Otivar of the Costa Tropical in the Granada province is a traditional small
mountain village located near the Mediterranean coast of Spain in the Andalucia
(Andalus) region. Otivar is very close to the Costa Tropical town of Almuñécar.
It is easily accessible by paved smaller roads that connect with major highways.
Otivar is near
Almeria, and is
readily accessible from the heart of the Costa Tropical, Almuñécar:
The nearest coast is at Almuñécar. The large town of Motril is only 20 minutes from Otivar.
In addition to the highway access, Otivar is also accessible to Granada city via the
beautiful mountain road Sospiro de los Moros, a stunning drive through winding mountain passes.
- Otivar is located about 50 minutes drive due south of the city of Granada
and Granada airport. Driving from Granada and down the main N323 highway to the coast, take a
right turn at Salobreña onto highway N340. Take N340 east to Almuñécar. Once in Almuñécar and
at the main roundabout, Otivar is clearly marked.
- From Malaga, take the N-340 highway east towards Almuñécar, Motril, and
Almería. In just under an hour upon reaching Almuñécar, drive to the center of town and
follow the directions described above.
Otivar is a small village of about 1,000 residents located on the ancient and scenic mountain
road connecting Almuñécar with Granada, called Sospiro de los Moros or "sigh of the Moors",
named after the exit route of the ruling Muslim or Moorish leader Boabdil after the final
conquest of Spain by the Christians in 1492. Otivar is situated in the Sierra del Chaparral,
located between the Sierra de Los Guajares and Almijara mountain ranges. Located in the
southern end of the majestic Sierra de Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama mountain range (or Almijara),
Otivar is only 20 minutes from the coast and 10 minutes from another similar but smaller town,
Jete. It is divided by the Rio Verde ("green river") and sits on the Bodijar Ravine.
The Rio Verde of Otivar offers abundant outdoor sporting activities. It boasts many waterfalls
and rapids, as well as deep ravines and gorges. One can go trekking, rafting, rock climbing,
caving, and mountain climbing here. Leaving Otivar heading north towards Granada on the
Sospiro de los Moros, climbing the mountains, you will soon see on your left a dirt road
exit leading to the best waterfalls of the Rio Verde. Further up the mountain, there are
many entrances to the Sierra de Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama national park which also offer
wonderful trekking and camping. The scenery at higher elevations above Otivar is stunning.
Otivar has several bars and restaurants, two banks (one with a 24 hour cash dispenser), small
shops and village supermarket. Fresh fish is delivered to the village from the coast daily and
local bread and delicacies can be bought from the two bakeries. A community pool lies at the
top of Otivar and is open between June and September.
Otivar is near ancient cave burial sites, showing that the area's beginnings are rooted in the
Neolithic period of 4500 BC through 5000 BC. Artifacts found in the local caves near Otivar,
including tools and ceramics, give us an interesting view into times long past.
One of the Costa Tropical's largest industries is wine making. Grapes thrive in the climate of
Otivar. One large winery, Horacio Calvente Cellars, create delicious wines every year. Horacio
Calvente Cellars specializes in merlot, cabernet sauvignon, muscatel, and many white wines.
Mangos, figs, chirimoyas, and avocados also thrive in Otivar's warm Costa Tropical climate.
Typical dishes of Otivar include sausages and rice, choto al ajillo (livers, onion, fried
bread cubes, and garlic), and potaje de hinojos (fennel stew.) As Otivar is near the sea,
fish is often served a few times a week. Loaves of fresh bread are staples of the Otivar
diet and served along with meals.
For dessert, fig bread, fried dough, garrapiñadas (sugar coated almonds), fresh fruit, and
cakes are sure to please any sweet tooth. Relax with a glass of locally made wine and enjoy something sweet.
Otivar is located very close to the towns of Jete, Itrabo, and Lentejí, the latter of which is
further up the mountain overlooking Otivar. A visit to Otivar should be combined with a visit
to Jete, Itrabo, and Lentejí. A nice loop can be made by visiting the towns of
Molvizar, Salobreña, and Almuñécar, with the first five towns located in the
mountains and along the magnificent Sospiro de los Moros road, and the last two (Salobreña and
Almuñécar) coastal towns in the heart of the Costa Tropical offering a magnificent drive along a
beautiful stretch of the N-340 highway.
The origin of Otivar is based on the transport of fish produce from Almuñécar to Granada
during Roman and pre-Roman times. Muslims from North Africa or "Moors" invaded the area
beginning in the 8th Century AD. The Moors put the rich soil and abundant water supply of
the Rio Verde to intensive use by creating terraced fields clinging to the mountainside and
efficient irrigation systems that exist and function to this day. Under the Moors the region
reached its heights of productivity and population that has only been recently eclipsed. The
Otivar area went into a long period of decline after the expulsion of the Moors by the
Christians in the 15th and 16th Centuries, but has revived in the 20th century with the
growth of intensive fruit cultivation for world export.
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