Built to serve as a summer palace for the Muslim emirs in the 13th and 14th centuries, the gardens here are a retreat from worldly worries. Water trickles at each turn, the architecture is unobtrusive, but artfully designed for sound and natural light tricks, and the gardens are lush, fresh and seemingly unchanged by time. Roses and carnations, willow and cypress shrubs, it’s the perfect idea of outdoor living, the kind we still try to create for our homes today. Its curious name, Generalife, doesn’t have any one interpretation, but could mean the governor's garden or the architect's garden. And, it is located very close to the Alhambra, one of Spain's most visited historic buildings, making it a perfect opportunity to see two spectacular sites in one day.