Top Destinations in the Costa Tropical
Welcome to the breathtakingly beautiful Costa Tropical. If you have never been to this part of the world, now is the time!
Activities in the Costa Tropical
Popular Trips and Tours
With so much to see all around you, take advantage of some of these popular tours while your in town. The Alhambra (Granada), Camino del Rey, Nerja Caves and Frigiliana are some of the top destinations in the area.
Top Sites to See in Almuñecar
Almuñecar is full of things to do for the adults and the kids. There are parks, museums, an aquarium and a castle! Below you will find a few of Almuñecar's top attractions.
About the Costa Tropical
In the past, the Costa Tropical was commonly overlooked in favor of its neighboring coast, the Costa del Sol. But today, with easier access due to the new highway, cheaper prices, prettier beaches and more natural surroundings, more and more people are flocking to this area.
The Costa Tropical is made up of three mid-sized towns and many smaller white villages, but it's mostly associated with the town that sits at its center, Almuñécar, its sidekick La Herradura and their neighbor Salobreña. Motril is also a popular destination now and the largest town in the Costa Tropical with a population of over 60,000.
Where is the Costa Tropical?
You will find it along the Mediterranean coastline of Southern Spain in Andalucia, nestled between the two well known cities of Malaga and Granada.
It sits between the famous Costa del Sol and the lesser known, but stunningly beautiful, Costa Almeria.
Along the water, from west to east, it begins at La Herradura and ends with Albuñol. Stretching northward, it ends at the base of the Alpujarra mountains on the east/ northeast side (Albondon), and Dúrcal and Padul at the edge of the Lecrin Valley.
The driving time between Nerja and Motril, the towns on either end of the Costa Tropical, is about 30 minutes.
What makes the Costa Tropical so Special?
The combination of its micro-climate ("micro-clima"), tropical vegetation, geographical and topographical aspects, and its rich, multi-cultural (Phoenician, Roman, Greek, and Arab) history make the Costa Tropical one of the most interesting areas in Spain, and in Andalucia in particular.
Unlike the better known Costa del Sol where the 21st century has already arrived, the Costa Tropical is still very Spanish, and yes, still living in the 20th century. Its people are warm, friendly and family-loving.....qualities that are fast disappearing.Once you have visited this part of the world, you will probably be back again....and again....and maybe stay for good like so many others have already.
Weather in the Costa
Geographically located between Africa and the Sierra Nevada mountain range, the Costa Tropical is sheltered from cold northerly winds resulting in the only totally protected, sub-tropical zone on the southern coast. The climate varies greatly from a more tolerable range along the coast (10º - 20º cooler in summer, 10º-20º warmer in winter) to more severe summers and winters elsewhere.
Together with approximately 320 days of sunshine yearly and an average temperature of 20ºC, this strip of coastline is indeed special.
The Costa Tropical TownsLa Herradura especially.
Almuñecar, not the largest but the most popular of the Costa Tropical towns, is located between La Herradura and Salobreña. It is just a 45 minute drive from the cities of Malaga to the west and Granada to the North.
You will find the greatest number of restaurants and hotels here and the most numerous beaches. In the off seasonal months, Almuñecar’s permanent year round population stands at around 23,000, but balloons to almost 100,000 during July and August. This makes the area a wonderful retreat for those who appreciate quiet and tranquility for most of the year, and a wonderful hub of activity, music and excitement during the summer months.
There is much to see and do in Almuñecar; for more detailed information on this town visit the Almuñecar Section.
La Herradura is the smallest of the Costa Tropical towns and is an appendage of neighboring Almuñecar. It is a much quieter place, much like a sleepy seaside fishing village, although again, the summer months bring many visitors and the little town comes to life. Many say that La Herradura is the most picturesque of the 4 villages. It is so named “La Herradura” or “horseshoe” because of its beautiful horseshoe shaped bay which is surrounded on both sides by two points, Punta de la Mona and Cerro Gordo. Each point is capped with an ancient torre, or watch tower. To learn more about La Herradura, visit our La Herradura Section.
Driving past Almuñecar to the east, you will come across the next town in the Costa Tropical, Salobreña. As you make your way along the curvy N-340 highway, suddenly a breathtaking view will appear; an ancient white washed village clinging to the cliffs and crowned with a remarkable Moorish castle. The village of Salobreña has been built upon a large rock formation that sits in the middle of a sugar cane plantation right on the Mediterranean Sea. Take some time to explore this unique place with its winding alleys, flowered walks and spotless beaches. Be sure to tour the old Moorish castle and the Iglesias de Nuestra Señora del Rosario. For more information on Salobreña, visit our Salobreña Section.
Motril is the final town along the Costa Tropical highway and is the most industrial of the four (4) towns. It is the most densely populated town with about 51,000 inhabitants and has a very impressive commercial center. In recent years the area has enjoyed a vibrant economic boom due to its very active port where tropical fruits and vegetables are shipped from here to all parts of the world. Cruise ships are also making regular appearances here. For more information on Motril and its offerings, please visit the Motril Section.
Nerja is located at the eastern most end of the Costa del Sol, about 5 minutes from La Herradura. It is a very popular tourist stop and for good reason. The town boasts a wonderful shopping district, beautiful beaches, panoramic views of the Mediterranean coastline and an endless selection of hotels, restaurants and bars. Must sees include the famous Balcon de Europa, a lookout that extends from the town out over the sea and the unimaginable Nerja caves, just outside of town. The smaller neighboring towns of Frigiliana and Maro are also worth a visit.