The Costa Tropical Beaches
A Place of Spectacular beauty...
The beaches in the Costa Tropical are special, I can’t even begin to describe their natural beauty. But I will try...
Imagine the rugged Sierra Nevada Mountains that soar to the clouds, blanketed in snow; this is the backdrop.
Now, imagine sandy beaches with deep blue and turquoise water protected by the high cliffs that drop down from the Sierras. The cliffs are natural and untouched, and each boasts a small window into the past with the “torres” or watchtowers that sit on top. These torres are a constant reminder of the people who once lived here, starting with the Phoenicians and later, the Romans and the Moors.
But wait...there's more...
Now imagine the flowers; the pinks, oranges, purples and blues of the bougainvillea that climb and wind around everything they find. Picture thousands of palm trees lining the beaches and towns, the majestic Phoenix Palm exploding in a firework-like display of color and palm tiers, and the Date Palms that soar ever higher with bright bursts of orange dates hanging from their trunks.
Now imagine scuba divers bobbing in and out of the waters around the coral reefs, wind surfers dotting the sea and colorful parapentes dotting the skies, sail boats anchored around the natural coves, and swimmers splashing in the waves or just relaxing on the sand and enjoying the perfect weather.Can you imagine anything more amazing? If not.... it's time to visit our beautiful coast.
The 10 Most Beautiful Beaches of the Costa Tropical
1. Playa Berengueles - La Herradura
Located at the bottom of the Marina del Este urbanization, just next to the marina itself, is playa Berengueles. It is a small bay with one large rock jutting out on its eastern end, while the Punta de la Mona forms the arm of its western end.
The beach itself is wide and sandy and planted with beautiful palm trees from one end to the other. Clinging to the cliffs above the beach, views can be seen of the striking Aldea urbanization and the Punta de la Mona lighthouse.
The Berengueles beach is known for its bohemian, laid back feel and popularity with scuba divers. On any given day, during the summer months, you will see divers and snorkelers bobbing in and out of the waters of this pretty bay.
The chiringuito, that sits on the eastern end of the beach, also has a very “chilled-out” atmosphere and stays packed all summer long.
2. Playa Tesorillo - Almuñécar
Tesorillo is another one of Almuñécar’s pretty beaches. It’s one of the smaller beaches, but it’s beautiful because of its unique setting.
Tucked into the rocks at the end of Playa Velilla, this beach is headed by an old Moorish tower that sits on the rocks above. The beach itself is surrounded by cliffs and rocks so it feels very private and quaint.
There are two lively chiringuitos that sit right at the entrance of the beach that play music during the summer months which give playa Tesorillo a very fun and festive vibe.
3. Playa Calabajio - Almuñécar
Yet another beautiful beach that can be found on the outskirts of Almuñécar is Playa Calabajio.
This beach is special because of an immense Mediterranean garden has been planted all around it with paths going up the cliffs on both sides of the beach. It is located a bit further from town and tends to be quieter and more secluded than the others.
A great 4-star hotel is located just at the top of the cliff, overlooking Playa Calabajio and Playa Cabria. It has an enormous infinity pool that enjoys incredible views of the entire coastline.
4. Playa Cantarijjan - La Herradura
Playa Cantarijjan is included on most people’s list of the "Best Beaches in Granada", not only that, it often makes the list for one of the best beaches in Southern Spain.
The beach is located within the “los Acantilados de Maro Cerro Gordo”, which is a huge natural park between the towns of Nerja and La Herradura. The area is protected by the Spanish government so little to no development is allowed. It is an absolutely stunning area.
If you’ve never been, I would highly recommend the drive between the two towns --- magnificent beaches, soaring cliffs and Roman watchtowers line the way.
5. Playa Muerto - Almuñécar
Playa Muerto is another one of the “naturalista” beaches in the Costa Tropical, another way to say nudist beach. It is located at the western end of Almuñécar, under the Cotobro urbanization.
Muerto gets a vote for “Best Beaches in Granada” due to its spectacular and untouched natural beauty.
While on the beach, you will quickly notice that it's completely void of any development. There are no restaurants, no services, no kayak or paddle board rentals… only the sand, surf, cliffs and beautiful views of the marina in the distance.
Because this is a nude beach, access has also been restricted to a winding stone pathway that wraps around the cliffs edge. This makes it very secluded and quiet.
6. Playa La Herradura - La Herradura
The town of La Herradura is one of the most stunning towns along the Granada coastline.
Playa La Herradura, is the towns longest beach that runs the entire length of its beautiful bay. It is jam packed with chiringuitos, shops, bars, cafes, diving schools, boat rentals... the list goes on and on.
The beach is surrounded by two points, Cerro Gordo and Punta de la Mona. It is almost 2 km in length, but the eastern and western ends of the beach are arguably the nicest. The sand is finer and the water is very clear, perfect for snorkeling and diving.
7. Playa Guardia - Salobreña
Located in what some would call the “Jewel of the Costa Tropical” (the town of Salobreña), Playa Guardia is the long sandy beach that stretches the length of the western end of town, up to the great Peñon.
It is backed by a lush sugar cane plantation and the Salobreña castle in the distance.
The beach itself has all the amenities, including great restaurants and bars, water sports and a new promenade that is great for walking and biking.
Playa Guardia is more touristic than some of the others on the list because it’s so close to Salobreña, but it's usually less crowded than the beaches in Almuñécar and La Herradura.
8. Puerta del Mar - Almuñécar
Puerta del Mar is one of the main beaches in Almuñécar, and the second longest.
It is strikingly beautiful with jetties forming smaller coves that are perfect for swimming. From anywhere along the beach you have wonderful views of the Almuñécar Peñon jutting into the sea, and the mighty castle that sits behind it.
This is a great beach for families as it is close to the town center, and all the hotels. It has all the necessary amenities; restaurants, bars, cafes, shops, water sports, etc.
During the summer months the beach bars on Playa Puerta del Mar play lively music.
9. Playa Calahonda - Motril
Calahonda beach is another beach that always makes the “Best Beaches in Granada” list. It is a wide, sandy beach that juts out into the sea on one end, and has a pretty little cove on the other, that is popular with scuba divers.
The area around Calahonda (going east) is known for its rugged cliffs that fall dramatically into the sea and create breathtaking views around every corner.
If you want a nice photo, the best place to view Calahonda beach is from above. You can see the entire length of the beach, it’s pretty cove full of boats, and swimmers bobbing in and out of its turquoise waters.
Playa Calahonda has been designated as a “Blue Flag” beach of excellence.
10. Playa La Rijana - Motril
Playa Rijana is my all-time favorite beach and the most beautiful in the Costa Tropical.
It’s just past the small coastal town of Calahonda on the old coastal road that wraps around the cliffs. After you get past the more commercial area around Motril, the coastline going east is just incredible.
Playa Rijana is part of a national park - it is very natural and undeveloped. The beach forms a small bay with the ruin of an old Moorish tower on one end with three large rocks that jut out into the sea.
I would definitely recommend this beach for a day out, and then a drive further down the coast going east is well worth your time.
Three EXTRA Beautiful Beaches of the Costa Tropical
11. Playa La Joya - Motril
La Joya beach can be found just after the small town of Torrenueva going east from Motril.
The beach itself is quite nice with a huge boulder on one end that gives it a very dramatic look. It’s a favorite among locals and always makes the list for the "Best Beaches in Granada.
Access to the beach is via a steep flight of stairs on its western end which can be a bit challenging for some. Once you reach the sand, you have the beautiful sea views, surf and seagulls soaring overhead to enjoy.
12. Playa Cabria - Almuñécar
Cabria beach is another beach in the resort town of Almuñécar that has made the "Best Costa Tropical Beaches" list. It’s located on the far eastern end of town at the end of a dry riverbed, so it also has a very remote and secluded feel.
The overall vibe is very bohemian and sporty, so this beach tends to attract the youth more than others.
On the eastern end of the beach there is a stone pathway that leads to yet another of Almuñécar’s gorgeous beaches, Playa Curumbico. This beach is small but even more private and is often used for nude sunbathing.
13. Playa Calaiza - La Herradura
This beach is rarely on anyone’s list as one of the "Best beaches in Granada", but I think it deserves to be. The reason most people don’t include it, is because most people don’t know about it.
Calaiza is just a tiny little beach on the western-most side of La Herradura bay, tucked away between the rocks and the cliffs. It’s a favorite among kayakers, who often stop off for a rest, and snorkelers who enjoy the colorful fish species that live among the rocks.
The only downfall (or maybe it’s one of the best things about Calaiza... because its less crowded) is access to the beach. The only ways to get to Calaiza are to hike in from the Pine forest above or arrive by boat. Sounds like an adventure!