** Peñon de San Cristobal at night - Almuñécar
When most people think of vacationing in sunny southern Spain, they immediately think of the 'Costa del Sol', Malaga or Nerja.
What they don't realize is that just a few kilometers down the coast lies a string of villages that are not only stunningly beautiful but are packed with fun things to do, are less crowded and much cheaper!
If you are thinking of visiting Almuñécar... continue reading for all you need to know about planning YOUR perfect vacation!
*Affiliate Disclosure: Some links on this site are affiliate links, this means we may receive a small
commission for any booking (which we greatly appreciate). This will not affect the price you pay in any way!
- The San Miguel Castle - Visit the great Arab castle, built on old Roman fortifications, which still stands today overlooking the
town and sea... reminding us all of Almuñécar´s prolific historical past.
Climb to the top and check out the incredible views!
- The Almuñécar Old Town
('Casco Antiguo') - Explore this amazing
maze of narrow cobblestone streets, sprinkled with
cafés, bars, and boutiques... as well as many interesting ancient relics.
Get lost in this historical labyrinth!
- The Spanish Markets - Almuñécar's Friday Flea
Market is well-known and
frequented by all, while the daily “farmers market” is laden with local tropical fruits and
This is a great place to find souvenirs and gifts for friends back home...
- The Beaches - Almuñécar's coastline extends for 19 kilometers and
incorporates more than 15 different gorgeous beaches and sheltered coves.
Slow down a bit and relax with a good book in paradise!
- The Village of La Herradura - Just 5 minutes down the coastal road from Almuñécar,
is the town of La Herradura. Visit the beautiful
Marina del Este or enjoy a tapa in its beautiful bay.
You can also kayak around the Cerro Gordo Point and visit the caves!
Almuñécar is FULL of fun things to do for both the adults and the kids. You will find parks, museums, an aquarium, and even a castle... to name a few!
Below are Almuñécar's TOP attractions.
If you're visiting Almuñécar with your kids, don't miss the Aqua Tropic water park. It's a fantastic little park sitting right on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea, just at the end of Playa Velilla.
There are water slides for all ages, a wave pool, jacuzzi, play area for small children, and restaurants and bars for a mid-day snack. You could easily spend the entire day here... or just drop the kids off and enjoy a day to yourself. There are strict lifeguards at each slide, so the park is very safe.
The price is pretty steep, but you can usually find coupons at the restaurants or tourist office in town.
Read our full review of the Aqua Tropic Water Park here.
AQUA TROPIC WATER PARK - SKIP THE LINES!!
If you are planning on going to the water park for the day... buy tickets in advance! The lines are LONG and VERY SLOW!!
ALMUÑÉCAR TOURIST OFFICE
- Palacete La Najarra, Avda Europa, 18690 Almuñécar, Spain
The Almunecar Tourist Office is located in the Najarra Palace, a beautiful neo-Arabic, Moroccan-style
building, across from the Majuelo Park.
10:00 am - 2:00 pm & 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
10:00 am - 2:00 pm & 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Phone: 958 631 125
** Views from the top of the San Miguel Castle in Almuñécar
Almuñécar is an amazing town and there are many great reasons to visit, but here are the TOP 5
reasons that make Almuñécar stand out from all the rest...
This may seem obvious, OF COURSE, people come to Almuñécar for its beaches... it’s a coastal town in southern Spain!
But, there are beaches along the entire Spanish coastline... What makes Almuñécar's beaches so special?
The spectacular natural beauty that is created by its rugged coastline!
Most of the coast along the neighboring Costa del Sol consists of long expanses of wide-open beaches. This is of course pretty... but the beaches around Almuñécar are even prettier... What should you expect?
- The Sierra Nevada mountains that lie just behind Almuñécar extend down to the sea forming picture-perfect coves and bays.
- This stunning combination of craggy cliffs dropping off into the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean is simply something that can't be missed!
- You will start to notice these characteristic beaches just after leaving the Costa del Sol and entering the Costa Tropical, just after the town of Nerja.
** Playa Puerta del Mar, Almuñécar Spain
Almuñécar has more than 15 beaches. The three beaches we recommend for families are Playa Puerta del Mar, Playa Tesorillo and Playa Cabria.
- Playa Puerta del Mar lies right below the great Peñon San Cristobal.
- Playa Tesorillo is great because of its small size, lively atmosphere,
and family-friendly ranking. It has two restaurants right on the beach, one plays live music during the summer months.
- Playa Cabria is another good choice. It is accessed from the opposite end
of Almuñécar through a dry riverbed and has a rustic, bohemian feel. Playa Cabria is a secluded beach, but with all the necessary services.
Who doesn’t love a castle? Many of the old Spanish towns still have castles at their center but the Almuñécar Castle is pretty impressive. It’s in great condition, still standing proudly at the highest point in the Old Town where it's been since Phoenician times. This is definitely a must-see while you're here. The kids will love it and the views from the top are amazing.
** Castillo de San Miguel, Almuñécar Spain
Almuñécar is a paradise for history buffs. Believe it or not, it was more well-known during the Phoenician and Roman times than it is today.
The town of Almuñécar was once famous all over the Mediterranean for a tasty fish sauce that was produced here, called Garum. It was considered a delicacy at the time and shipped far and wide across the whole of the Roman Empire.
Also at the time, huge Aqueducts were constructed to bring water down from nearby mountains to aid in production. These among other ancient relics can still be seen here today.
** Rio Seco Aqueduct, Almuñécar Spain
- Other Roman ruins you can visit are:
- The Old Fish Salting Factory
- The Roman Vaults at the 7 Palacios Museum - Built to elevate the town around the castle
- The Roman Bridge - A part of the old Roman highway that ran down the coast from Malaga. The Roman bridge is just outside of town along the N-340.
The Old Town in Almuñécar is... authentically Spanish. Compared to many of the villages you find on the Costa del Sol, which in recent years have been inundated with foreigners and tourists, Almuñécar has been able to hold on to its special Spanish heritage. Walking through its winding narrow streets is like a trip back in time.
** A home in the Almuñécar old town
One of the BEST things about Almuñécar is its proximity to SO many other interesting places. If you are in Andalucia for the first time, you will definitely want to visit the cities of Granada and Malaga.
Almuñécar is located just 45-minutes south of Granada and 45-minutes east of Malaga. You also have Nerja, the famous Nerja Caves, and Frigiliana within 10-minutes going west. The city of Almeria is about one-hour going to the east.
Therefore, Almuñécar is THE perfect base for anything you would like to visit in eastern Andalucia.
** One of the beautiful Almuñécar beaches, Playa Cotobro
Almuñécar is one of the larger of the Costa Tropical towns and is packed with great places to stay; from 4-star hotels, low-cost pensiones, and campgrounds to numerous options for renting villas or apartments. See our guides below for some great ideas:
There are so MANY great hotels in Almuñécar but these are the ones we recommend.... Remember to book ahead as this area is
VERY popular during the summer months...
TOP ALMUNECAR HOTELS - HOTEL HELIOS
TOP ALMUNECAR HOTELS - ALBAYZIN DEL MAR
With so much to see all around you, take advantage of some popular tours while you're in town. The MOST POPULAR tours and places to visit around Almuñécar are...
This is probably THE most popular destination in ALL of Spain! A definite MUST SEE while you're the area. Please book tickets AHEAD OF TIME and Skip the lines!! The Alhambra is just a 50-minute drive north from Almuñécar. Go early and tour the palace, then spend the rest of the day exploring this spectacular city!
El Caminito is another amazing bucket-list experience that is fast becoming one of the most visited spots in Andalucia. This would make for a great day trip!
The walk only takes about 2-hours then you can spend the afternoon enjoying the beautiful El Chorro lake district which has become quite famous too in recent years, due to the renewed interest in the "Caminito". The Camino del Rey is just 1 hr 30 min from Almuñécar.
Just a 10-minute drive down the coast from Almuñécar is the well-known white village of Nerja
. Don't miss the internationally recognized Nerja Caves
(listed in the Guinness Book of World Records)... visit and find out why! And, Frigiliana, recognized as one of THE prettiest villages in Spain
One of the most beautiful cities in Spain is just under an hour from Almuñécar. Spend the day wandering through its maze of bustling streets and alleys, visit the Cathedral, the Castle, and then enjoy a delicious and authentically Spanish meal in the Marina. Get your bearings with the Hop-On / Hop-Off bus, the KIDS will love it too...
Separating the two beautiful beaches of Playa San Cristobal and Playa Puerta del Mar is the historic natural landmark, El Peñon del Santo. It consists of one great rock and two smaller ones that jut out into the Mediterranean Sea right below the Casco Antiguo or Old town. A giant cross was placed at the top in the early 1900's commemorating the defeat and expulsion of the Arabs in 1489.
Climb to the top and enjoy the breathtaking views of Almuñécar and its coastline.
** The views from the top of the Penon del Santo - Almuñécar, Spain
This ancient monument has survived thousands of years and is still intact and waiting to be enjoyed in the Majuelo Botanical Gardens. It was discovered in 1970 and a lot has been learned about it since then. The Phoenicians were the first to build and run this Fish Salting Factory that was later taken on and improved by the Romans. They shipped their famous fish sauce delicacy far and wide over the whole of the Roman Empire.
Take a stroll through the Majuelo Gardens and you will find this ancient gem right at its center. It's located right under the Almuñécar castle so it would be an easy stop on your way back down.
** Ancient ruins of the fish salting factory - Almuñécar, Spain
These Roman Aqueducts are some of the finest and most well-maintained aqueducts you will find in southern Spain. There are three all together with the largest having 3 separate parts, spread out through the valley. The aqueducts were used during Roman times to bring water from the valley into town where the fish salting factory was in full swing.
The Aqueduct in the center of town is the easiest to see, it's located right on the opposite side of the Carbonell hardware store. You will also see the remains of what was once the town's Roman Baths in the same area.
Read more about the Roman Aqueducts in Almuñécar here and how to find them.
** Torrecueva Aqueduct - Almuñécar, Spain
All the ancient Spanish villages have their cathedral, but this church was designed by a famous architect who built most of the cathedrals in Granada. The Almuñécar church is famous because it was the first church of its time, in the whole of the Granada Province, to be built in the new Baroque style.
After visiting the aqueducts in town, head up the hill towards the Incarnation Cathedral. It has been beautifully maintained and is worth seeing. From there, head back down the hill on the other side and enjoy a tapa in the Almuñécar townhall square.
** Incarnation Church - Almuñécar, Spain
Just in the center of Almuñécar, close to the San Cristobal beach is the Najarra Palace. It was built in the 19th century by a wealthy Moroccan man as a summer home. Today it needs a bit of care, but you can still see the splendor of its design and style. It has a beautiful Arabic garden in the back.
The local tourist office is usually housed in the palace but is currently residing in the office above the Aquarium while reformations take place.
** The Najarra Palace - Almuñécar, Spain
The new A-7 highway that runs along the whole southern coast of Spain and up to Barcelona was only just completed in the last 15 years. Before that, the curvy N-340 coastal road was used to connect the Costa Tropical towns to the rest of southern Spain.
Long before that, the Romans had built their own highway system that ran up and down the entire coast of Spain which was an intricate system of cobblestone roads and bridges.
Part of that highway can still be seen today, just on the outskirts of Almuñécar.
Leaving town and driving towards the village of La Herradura you will see a small sign indicating the bridge below. You must park your car at the top and walk down a short gravel road to get to it. Unfortunately, like many of Spain's ancient relics, it's not well marked.
The roman bridge is in surprisingly good shape after being used for so many, hundreds of years.
** The Roman Bridge - Almuñécar, Spain
Other ancient monuments in Almuñécar to see and learn more about are:
The history of this area is vast. Most of what you see here today was influenced and created by the many different civilizations that occupied and ruled the area over the last 3000 years... starting with the Phoenicians, then the Romans then the Moors.
While visiting Almuñécar you will come across many statues and other pieces of work created as a way to give thanks to all the people that came before us and made the area what it is today.
** The Real Fountain in the old town - Almuñécar, Spain
See if you can find some of these tributes:
- The Statue of Abderraman I - This Prince came ashore in Almuñécar on his way to Cordoba where he started the independent emirate which unified all of Andalucia under Muslim rule for over 800 years.
- The Blas Infante Arch - Commemorating Blas Infante, the "father of modern Andalucia" and a tribute to the three most influential civilizations that have ruled the area.
- The Phoenician Tribute - A tribute to the people that founded the town of Almuñécar.
- The Real Fountain - Part of the ancient system that brought water to the town of Almuñécar. If you look closely you can still see part of the old Roman water channels that connected the city with the aqueducts.
- The Water Monument - During ancient times, life was hard, and water was scarce. This is a tribute to the town obtaining its own water supply.
Another contribution from the Romans and the Moors were the "Torres" or Watchtowers that dot our coastline. These ancient people developed an intricate communication and security system that protected the area from the danger of pirates. These important watchtowers always sat on the highest points along the coast and communicated with each other by using fire and smoke signals.
It is said that a message could be received in Barcelona from the Costa Tropical area in less than 20 minutes.
Read more about the Almuñécar Watchtowers here.
** Torre Taramay - Almuñécar, Spain
A small but interesting little museum that the kids might enjoy and it doesn't cost much. Adults are 2.00 euros, kids 1.00 euro and kids under 5 are free. You will find a great selection of intricate little bonsai trees, a Moorish fountain, and a stocked koi pond inside. The Almuñécar Bonsai Museum
Just around the corner from the San Miguel Castle, you will find this interesting museum. It is housed within the ancient roman vaults that were built to hold up the town around the castle. There are quite a few relics that have been found in Almuñécar and are on display here, the most important is an old Egyptian urn that was excavated in the Laurita Necropolis and dates to the 14th century BC. How it came to be here, is still a mystery. Almuñécar Seven Palacios Museum
** 7 Palacios Museum - Almuñécar, Spain
Just 5-minutes down the N-340 coastal road going west lies the town of
La Herradura, a municipality of Almuñécar and another VERY popular destination in the Costa Tropical.
Its beaches and bay are favorites among paragliders, snorkelers, divers, and swimmers. Numerous tapas
bars and restaurants line the beach.
Almuñécar is a great stop on your next trip. It's located in the region of Andalucia, nestled between the two famous cities of Malaga and Granada. Any trip to Spain should include a drive through this pretty area.
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Granada and Malaga both have great train stations and are accessible from anywhere within Spain. In general, the rail system in Spain is fantastic and runs very smoothly. You can easily and quickly travel all over the country, usually at a low cost to you.
From the Malaga or Granada train station you can get a direct bus to Almuñécar.
The BEST site for finding the lowest fares and booking trains (or buses) is OMIO:
Look for rates and times for trains in Spain.
From each of the train stations (Malaga & Granada), you can get a direct bus to Almuñécar.
The best site for finding the cheapest bus fares is OMIO!
Flying into the Almuñécar area is also easily done. Both Malaga and Granada have airports that service all of Spain. Malaga's airport is international with direct flights coming in from all over the world.
The BEST site for finding low-cost airlines into these two cities is also now OMIO, they have added a new service lately and it's the cheapest that we have seen AND with the most reliable carriers:
OMIO - Cheapest Flights in Europe
The Spanish bus system is great. Unlike in some countries, buses are used here often, and they tend to be larger, more comfortable, and very reliable. You can find direct buses from all the larger cities to any of the Costa Tropical towns, or buses that run from each small town to another.
There are also local buses that service each town.
All bus tickets can be purchased on OMIO where you can also compare and get the best prices. Local buses require payment as you get on, usually one euro.
Best site for finding the cheapest bus fares is OMIO!
Each town has a taxi stand where taxis are always present. You can either go down to the stand or call one up and have them come to you. There are also several private taxi services with larger vehicles that will take you to and from the bigger cities and airports. More about Taxis in Almuñécar.
One of the preferred ways of getting around is, of course, renting a car. Car rentals in Spain tend to be very reasonable. You can either pick up a car in Granada or Malaga (at the airport) or pick up a car in town. More about car rentals in Almuñécar.
The industries that abound in this area are tourism, agriculture, and
to a lesser extent 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 food that 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 typical local foods are:
- Boquerones (tiny sardines) are cooked on skewers over hot
coals at many chiringuitos (beachside restaurants)
- Embutidos (sausages) such as morcilla, longaniza, and chorizo come in a variety of sizes and tastes
and can be either served as a main dish or tapas
- Gambas al pil-pil (prawns in garlic and chili)
- Bacalao and Rape (different types of fish)
- Pulpo (squid cooked in its own ink)
A few other popular foods in Almuñécar are ensalada mixta de aguacate (tossed salad with local avocado),
jamon Serrano (a 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 (marinated olives).
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