Hammam Arab Baths in Granada
There are two types of Arab baths in Granada: the traditional, authentic Arab baths or Bañuelo or the more modern replicas of the traditional Arab steam baths.
There are various old bañuelos in Granada that you can visit and the most important ones are in Carrera del Darro which date back to the 11th century (more info) and in Calle Real up in the Alhambra.
The more modern versions have recently become very popular and so as not to be disappointed, it's a good idea to book in advance.
As far back as Roman times, the baths were an extremely important part of daily life. As well as serving a social purpose where people could meet up with friends or business associates, the baths also provided a peaceful place for cleansing and relaxation. The buildings are also of architectural interest with their star-shaped openings in the ceilings to let in the light and arched supports.
Although the aristocracy and royalty would often have baths in their own mansions and palaces, the rest of society would use the public baths with their barbers, hairdressers, make-up artists and masseurs.
For the Arabs in Moorish times, personal hygiene and cleanliness was and still is extremely important and they believed water to be a symbol of purity. The Christians, on the other hand, believed this use of water to be wasteful and in the years following the reconquest knocked down most of the Arab baths in Spain.
Hammam Al Ándalus
Hammam Al Ándalus - Arab baths - massage
At the beginning of your spa session, you can explore the three Arab baths with different temperatures: one is cold (18ºC), the second has tepid water (36ºC), and the third has warm water (40ºC).
After dipping into the various pools, you can relax in the the steam bath and then enjoy a Maghrebi mint tea in the rest room with its music and comfortable cushions.
The visit ends with a massage and you can choose either a relaxing massage with essential oils or a deep cleanse exfoliating massage followed by a more gentle massage.
11th century - Arab baths - monument
The Bañuelo Arab baths date back to the 11th century and are considered to be among the oldest, the most complete and important baths in Spain.
This is a free entrance museum which will take about 15 minutes to visit. These baths used to be part of the Mosque of the Walnut Tree (Mezquita del Nogal) which previously stood here.