The Costa Tropical is that part of the province of Granada (Andalucia region) that touches the Mediterranean Sea. It is situated between the better known Costa del Sol of the Malaga province and the Costa de Almería.
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.
Its terrain is varied: from softly rounded seaside roads to rugged moutainous hills. The views can be romantic and peaceful as the sun sets on the sea, or splendidly exhilarating from atop a mountain village. Geographically located close to Africa and as well as the Sierra Nevada, it is protected from cold northerly winds and results in a unique climate zone. Its climate varies greatly from a more tolerable range along the coast (about 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 consists of four (4) main villages; Almuñecar, La Herradura, Salobreña and Motril. We have also included Nerja in this website because of its proximity and likeness to our area. Nerja is actually a part of the Costa del Sol, but it is located only 5 minutes from the Costa Tropical.
The Costa Tropical towns are located on the southern coast of Spain, between the Costa del Sol and the Costa Almeria. The driving time between Nerja and Motril, the towns on either end of the Costa Tropical, is about 30 minutes. Almuñecar, the Costa Tropical’s most popular town, is a 45 minute drive from the cities of Malaga to the west and Granada to the North. All five (5) of the towns listed above sit right on the Mediterranean Sea with the Sierra Nevada Mountain range rising behind them, creating the only totally protected and sub-tropical area on the southern coast.
, not the largest but the most popular of the Costa Tropical towns, is located between La Herradura and Salobreña. 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 during 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
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
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
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.