Marina del Este
and Punta de la Mona
are part of Almuñécar and lie just 10 minutes west
of the town. The Marina is a quiet, secluded port with berths for just over 200 boats.
Diving, snorkeling, waterskiing, jetskiing, sailing and swimming are enjoyed during the
warm summer months, as well as long moonlit after-dinner walks.
Punta de la Mona was
home to world-reknown guitarist Andrés Segovia and today boasts a 4-star luxury hotel
and numerous residences.
On the westernmost area of the Costa Tropical lies the town of
Almuñécar and its appendages,
Punta de la Mona
and Marina del Este.
Discovered and settled by the Phoenicians 3000 years ago, it has also been occupied by the Greeks, Romans and Arabs.
The Castillo de
San Miguel, an Arab castle, built on old Roman fortifications, still stands overlooking the
town and sea – reminding all of this area´s prolific historical past. Its old town
(Casco Antiguo) is an amazing maze of narrow cobblestone streets, now sprinkled with
café-bars, stores, and other types of businesses. The Friday flea market is well known and
frequented by all, while the daily “farmers market” is laden with local tropical fruits and
vegetables. Its coastline extends for 19 kilometers and incorporates 26 different types of
beaches – rocky, sandy, sheltered coves.
Another 5 minutes down the hill from the Punta de la Mona lies
La Herradura. The long
stretch of beach invites paragliders, snorkelers, divers and swimmers. Numerous tapa
bars and restaurants can satisfy any appetite – both resident and visitor.
The industries that abound in this area are a combination of tourism, agriculture and,
lesser today than in earlier times, fishing. Due to the growing influx of foreign visitors,
agriculture is becoming a secondary focus even though the majority of what is grown locally
is exported nationally and internationally. Chirimoyo, avocado, almonds, mango, and nispola
are just some of the tropical fruits for which this area is well known.
As a former predominantly fishing community, the Almuñequeros have a penchant for seafood.
Some typically local foods are: boquerones (tiny sardines) are cooked on skewers over hot
coals at many chiringuitos (beachside restaurants) during warm weather months, embutidos
(sausages) such as morcilla, longaniza and chorizo come in a variety of sizes and tastes
to be either cooked or served as tapas; gambas al pil-pil (prawns in garlic and chili),
bacalao and rape (different types of fish), and pulpo (squid cooked in its own ink).
Other popular foods are ensalada mixta de aguacate (tossed salad with local avocado),
jamon Serrano (specially cured ham from the Alpujarra region), paella (seafood and rice),
sopa de ajo (garlic soup), queso Manchego (Manchego cheese), calamares a la plancha
(grilled squid) and Manzanilla aceitunas (olives marinated in different ways).
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