Costa Tropical is a very underestimated part of Andalucia, with very few foreign tourists even in the peak summer months. Costa Tropical is nested between the Sierra Nevada mountains and the Alboran Sea, having its own microclimate which makes it a desirable travel destination both in winter and in summer, because of the mild temperatures. You’ve read right, even in winter, on Costa Tropical the temperature doesn’t drop below 15 degrees.
Costa Tropical is a perfect destination for the entire family. There are gorgeous secluded beaches, beautiful hiking trails on the coast and in the mountains, delicious food and whitewashed towns and villages dotted along the shore of the sea.
There are many beautiful towns on Costa Tropical, and here is a list with my favourite ones:
It’s impossible not to fall in love with Salobreña the first moment you set foot in the town. It’s my favourite town on Costa Tropical. The foundations of Salobreña were laid down over 6000 years ago, when the sea was still covering much of the land we see today, with only a narrow peninsula coming out of the water.
In medieval times, Salobreña inspired fear towards its enemies coming from across the Mediterranean, and it was hard to conquer. Today, it couldn’t be more charming. Salobreña is split into two parts: the lower – where the beaches are, and the upper, where the mighty castle still stands in an impeccable condition.
Salobreña has narrow cobbled streets that go up the hill, steep, between white houses with flowers at their windows. There are plenty of flowers in Salobreña! Here is a guide on where to eat in Salobrena.
The old Almuñécar is very picturesque, with cute cafes in lovely squares, historic buildings, and a castle overlooking the town. Castillo de San Miguel stands tall above the town, built on the fortifications of a fortress dating back to the 1st century. It used to have 40 towers and 3 gates.
The Roman name of Almuñécar used to be Sexi, after the Romans conquered the town from the Phoenicians and adapted its previous name, “Sks”. During the Roman occupation, the town flourished and developed its economy through factories and trade. The remains of the old fish salting factory can be visited for free, in the main park of Almuñécar. The most popular product made here was the Garum, a fermented fish sauce used in the Roman, Greek and Byzantine cuisines, similar with the Asian fish sauce.
In the newer part of the city you will find plenty of seafront hotels with spas and swimming pools, and beach bars where you can enjoy the local fish specialities.
In the evenings, you can opt for dinner in one of the many local traditional restaurants or go for a flamenco show which includes a three course meal, for under 30 euros per person.
La Herradura is a very small and chilled town, located inside a horseshoe shaped bay, very popular for water sports. This Is the place to come if you love kayaking, snorkelling or diving. There is a diving shop pretty much at every corner of the street.
The sea water here is crystal clear and of a beautiful shade of azure. La Herradura borders the Cerro Gordo National Park with its dramatic rock cliffs, hidden coves and caves, and a fantastic underwater world.
Velez de Benaudalla
Velez is a charming village in Las Alpujarras mountain region, off the touristic beaten path. Even if it’s small, there are plenty of things to do in Velez, such as visiting the Ulloa Moorish Castle, which dates from the 16th century, or relax in the beautiful Jardin Nazari, a hidden garden created in 1573.
The Jardin Nazari is one of the most important Islamic gardens in Spain, often called “the little Generalife” – which is the garden of the Alhambra, in Granada. Jardin Nazari was built vertically, on different levels, providing its visitors a complete experience of the most important aspects of life: spirituality, psychology, aesthetic, nutrition and science. Every element of the garden is thought thoroughly, from the tall trees which represent the connection between the earth and the sky (heaven) to the continuous flowing water representing the main vital element of life; from the fruits and vegetables growing for food, to the flowers which inspire meditation through colours and aromas.
Calahonda is an old fishing village on Costa Tropical which preserves its identity by not allowing large developments to take over the land. Calahonda has a beautiful privileged location, in a sheltered harbour, surrounded by cliffs. The village has beautiful large beaches, mostly covered in pebbles, with plenty of chiringuitos offering freshly grilled sardines and fish on their menus.
If you are looking for a quiet but romantic holiday spot in Andalucia, then Calahonda is a perfect choice. The colourful fishing boats across the harbour provide a fantastic backdrop for sunset photos.
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