La Herradura, Spain
Many people have often said that there is an unusual gravitational pull to the little seaside village of La Herradura that seems to draw people here whose interests lie in the arts, wellness and mystic sciences. Nonetheless, its history is shared with that of the other neighboring towns and its natural harbor was a strategic port location for the Phoenicians and the Romans.
La Herradura Highlights
- La Herradura is a municipality of Almuñécar which lies 20 kilometers to its east, about a 10 minute drive, and its over 3000 inhabitants are keen service providers to the tourist industry.
- The word La Herradura means “horseshoe” in Spanish, the town was given its name because of the horseshoe-like shape of its lovely bay.
- The little fishing village is surrounded on both sides by the two points of Punta de la Mona and Cerro Gordo. Each point is capped with an ancient Roman tower that were once used for the protection against pirates coming from Africa.Punta de la Mona
- The renowned Punta de la Mona urbanization was once home to Andrés Segovia. Segovia was the virtuoso classical Spanish guitarist who is thought of as the father of the modern classical guitar movement. He is well-known all over Spain. La Herradura's main beachfront road was named in honor of the much beloved musician.
La Herradura Travel Guide
What to see and do...
La Herradura Old Town
The existing old town is typical of this part of the coast – small, whitewashed homes whose doorways open onto tiny streets, neighbors sitting on park benches exchanging the news of the day, and local fishermen often reveling in their catch. The pretty streets are tiled, and the walls are adorned with hundreds of colorful pots spilling over with red and pink Geraniums.
La Herradura's old town mostly consists of Spanish families that have lived here for centuries. It hasn't changed much over time and fortunately still retains its authentic Spanish feel.
La Herradura Today
In recent years La Herradura has seen an influx of people of many different nationalities. Northern Europeans especially are flocking to this area because of its perfect year-round climate, with mild winters and very little rain.
The little town, once unknown, is growing and fast becoming a top destination along the Southern Coast, not only for tourist but also full-time residents, as evidenced by the new construction, new hotels and additional tourist services.
La Herradura´s geographical location is also ideal (for a visit or for a permanent stay) – its proximity to the sea, to bustling Almuñécar, and easy access from the new highway make for a pleasant existence on the Costa Tropical.
What to do in La Herradura
La Herradura is very well-known for its sports-oriented activities. Along the waterfront portion of the town, the rich marine life, relatively calm waters and 2 km. long beachfront are attractive to scuba divers, swimmers, boaters, sunseekers, and hang gliders – and on occasion, windsurfers as well.
Moving 10 minutes inland across the highway, there are wonderful hiking trails, hillside villas, and panoramic views of the coastline. Wonderful trails can also be found on both sides of the bay and especially in the area around the Cerro Gordo National Park.
A visit to both of the Roman towers is well worth it, mostly because the views from each one are some of the best you'll find along the coast. The La Herradura Castle is also interesting and lies just behind the main coastal road, a two minute walk from the beach. One particularly breathtaking view is the sunset from the Cerro Gordo road above the town, as colors range from majestic lavenders and purples to deep oranges, depending on the season.
The 4 Best Things to do in La Herradura
La Herradura is the perfect place to holiday and it caters to all types, those who want to get physically active and those who just want to relax... Here are the top 4 things to do in La Herradura.
1. Scuba Diving
Scuba diving is one of the most popular sports you will find in La Herradura. People come from all over Spain and the rest of Europe just to scuba in these waters. Because of this, there are a number of really good Scuba companies that will help you with all of your scuba and snorkeling needs. They rent out all the equipment you will need, help you attain the proper certifications and take you to really incredible spots to "see the sights", underwater sights that is.
The Western end of La Herradura is part of the 'Paraje de los Acantilados de Maro & Cerro Gordo', this is a Nationally protected park that runs between the towns of Maro and La Herradura. Because a large portion of the park runs below sea level, there is a huge variety of interesting sea life to observe. Some of the cliff caves are also favored locations for scuba.
Another very popular activity in La Herradura is Kayaking. There are numerous kayaking companies along the beach that rent out various types of boats all day during the summer months. This is such a desired sport here because the shape of the bay creates an excellent environment for exploration. The bay is protected by its two points so that the waves remain relatively small and there is minimum wind.
With the kayaks you can easily paddle around the Cerro Gordo point, going west, and explore the cave. On a calm day a kayaking trip heading west along the coast is just breathtaking.
3. The Cliffs around Cerro Gordo
Another fun thing to do in La Herradura is to climb out to the Roman tower on top of the Cerro Gordo Point. The walk is easy and will only take you about 20 minutes, but the incredible views are worth it. Drive up to the top and park in front of the Mirador restaurant. There is a path to the left of the restaurant that will take you all the way out to the tower. There is also a second look-out further in to your right.
This entire area is part of the protected reserves and remains relatively un-touched. Take a walk down the Cerro Gordo road where you will enjoy views all the way down the coast to Malaga.
Cerro Gordo is also home to the protected Iberian Ibex, which is basically a wild goat. Most days you will see them grazing on the cliffs and jumping from rock to rock. It truly is a sight to see.
Playa Cantarriján lies just on the opposite side of the Cerro Gordo Point. It's a Playa Naturalista or nudist beach. This is one of the favorite beaches in the area.
4. Enjoy a Drink at a Chiringuito at Sunset
A Chiringuito is a typical Spanish restaurant / bar that sits right on the beach. One of the nicest things to do in La Herradura is to just relax... sit down, take in the beauty of the bay, enjoy a cocktail and tapas and watch the sun set behind the majestic Cerro Gordo point. It really doesn't get any better than this.