Experience the best of La Herradura
Many people say that there is an unusual gravitational pull to the seaside village of La Herradura that seems to draw people whose interests lie in the arts, wellness, and mystic sciences...
...Maybe because its striking beauty is so inspiring or the feeling one gets of going back in time to a place where simplicity and nature reined supreme.
Whatever the Reason, La Herradura is a spectacular destination in coastal Andalucia. It lies just 45-minutes south of Granada and 50-minutes east of Malaga.
➜ La Herradura is not to be missed!
La Herradura, Spain
** Beautiful Homes Perched on the Cliffs Overlooking the Sea, La Herradura
La Herradura - Everything You Need to Know!La Herradura's history is vast, like the other towns in the Costa Tropical, its pretty bay was once used as a strategic port for both the Phoenicians and the Romans.
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 the perfect year-round climate... with mild winters and very little rain.
The little village, once unknown, is growing fast and becoming a top destination along the Southern Coast of Andalucia, as evidenced by new construction, new hotels, and additional tourist services.
La Herradura´s geographical location is also ideal (for a visit or a permanent stay). Its proximity to the sea, to bustling Almuñécar, and easy access to Granada and Malaga via the new highway make for a pleasant existence on the Costa Tropical.
Explore La Herradura, the TOP 21 Things to See & Do!
- La Herradura Highlights - Not to Miss!
- Best Hotels & Where to Stay
- Top 4 Sites in La Herradura!
- The 8 Best Things to Do!
- 9 More Must See Sites in La Herradura
- Getting to La Herradura
- Getting Around
La Herradura Highlights
- La Herradura is a municipality of Almuñécar which lies 20 kilometers to the east 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 two points, Punta de la Mona and Maro - Cerro Gordo. Each point is capped with an ancient Roman tower that were once used for protection against pirates coming from Africa.
- 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.
** Eastern La Herradura Bay - Punta de la Mona
Where to Stay in La Herradura ➜ The Best Hotels
La Herradura is just a small fishing village in the Costa Tropical but there are many fabulous places for you to stay. From 4-star hotels, low-cost hostels, two campgrounds and numerous options for renting villas or apartments, accommodation is easy to find in La Herradura. See our hotel guides below:
Top 4 Sites to See in La HerraduraLa Herradura is full of fun things to do for the adults and the kids. There are parks, amazing beaches, great hiking trails, tons of water activities and even a castle to explore! Below you will find a few of La Herradura's top attractions.
The La Herradura Castle
** La Herradura Castle - La Herradura, Spain
Protected by two towers to the east and west and nestled among the fruit trees behind la Herradura beach you will find this historic castle by the same name.
The la Herradura castle was built to communicate with the two towers (Punta de la Mona and Cerro Gordo) that sit on the top of each point in the bay, keeping vigilant against pirates that threatened the area.
A visit to each of the Roman towers is well worth your time, mostly because the views from the top are some of the best you will find along the entire Spanish coastline.
Torre Cerro Gordo
** Cerro Gordo Watchtower - La Herradura, Spain
Not many people know that there is a wonderful little trail that takes you to the top of the Cerro Gordo Point...all the way to the Roman Tower. From there you have fantastic views of the coastline in both directions (the Costa del Sol to the west and Almuñécar to the east).
If you visit at sunset, the views of the nature reserve along the coast are breathtaking as the colors range from majestic lavender and purple to deep orange, depending on the season.
The walk is a bit rough but only takes about 10-15 minutes. You will find the trail just to the left and behind the Mirador Restaurant on the old Cerro Gordo road.
** Playa Cantarriján - La Herradura, Spain
One of the most popular beaches in La Herradura is Playa Cantarriján, a natural beach (or nudist beach). It is located inside the protected National Park "los Acantilados de Maro / Cerro Gordo", an area that is completely undeveloped, hidden among the natural coves of the coast of La Herradura, and always a spectacular place to spend the day.
Playa Cantarriján is also consistently listed as one of the most beautiful beaches on the Spanish coast and attracts visitors from all over Spain every summer. It is part of a chain of 10 wild beaches between the small enclave of Maro and La Herradura, of which Playa de Maro is the most well-known.
Monument to the Shipwrecked Sailors
** Shipwrecked Sailors Monument - La Herradura, Spain
This monument was created to commemorate the tragic loss of lives in 1562 when the Spanish Armada sailed into the La Herradura bay for protection from a storm. Unfortunately, the storm and winds were too strong and took the lives of over 5000 people that day...
Read the whole story of what happened to the Shipwrecked Sailors here and visit the monument when you are in town.
La Herradura - A Nature Lovers ParadiseLa Herradura is best known for its year-round outdoor sports activities. Along the town's waterfront, the rich marine life, relatively calm waters, and 2 km of beach attract divers, swimmers, kayakers, sunbathers, hang gliders, and the occasional windsurfer.
Moving inland, across the highway, you will also find wonderful hiking trails, hillside villas and panoramic views of the coastline. These wonderful trails can also be found on both sides of the bay and especially in the area of Cerro Gordo National Park.
** Trail from Playa Cantarriján (La Herrdura) to Playa Canuelo
The 8 Best Things to Do in La HerraduraLa 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 8 amazing things to do in La Herradura.
** Popular area for diving - Cerro Gordo Cliffs
People come from all over Spain and the rest of Europe to dive off the coast of La Herradura and it is one of the most popular sports here. Because of this, there are a number of great scuba companies that will help you with all your diving and snorkeling needs.
These companies will provide you with your equipment, help you get the proper certifications, and take you to some truly 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', a nationally protected park that runs between the towns of Maro and La Herradura. Since much of the park is below sea level, there is a wide variety of interesting marine life to be seen. Some of the underwater caves are also popular dive sites.
** Kayaking through the Cerro Gordo Reserve
Another very popular activity in La Herradura is kayaking. Tours depart from Playa Burriana in Nerja or Playa La Herradura. There are also a number of water sports companies along the beach that rent out kayaks and paddle boards during the summer.
Kayaking is such a popular sport here because the shape of the bay creates an excellent environment for exploration. The bay is protected by its two points, so the waves are relatively small and the wind is minimal.
Kayakers can easily paddle around Cerro Gordo Point to the west and explore the caves and cliffs, stopping at Playa Calaiza for a quick swim or snack. On a calm day, a kayak trip west along the coast is simply breathtaking.
Hike the Cliffs around Cerro Gordo
** La punta del Cerro Gordo - La Herradura
Another fun thing to do in La Herradura is to climb to the Roman tower at the top of Cerro Gordo Point. The hike is easy and only takes 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 to the top of the tower. There is also a second viewpoint further to the right.
This whole area is part of the protected National Park and remains relatively untouched. You should also take a walk down the Cerro Gordo road where you can enjoy views all the way down the coast to Málaga.
Cruise Along the La Herradura Coast
** Cruise the Coast - La Herradura
A guided cruise along the shimmering coastline of La Herradura or the sun-kissed Costa del Sol is a must for anyone exploring southern Spain. These beautiful stretches of coastline boast dramatic cliffs, hidden coves and bays, and secluded, often unspoiled beaches.
You also have the option of renting your own boat... and best of all, no license is required. Be your own guide and explore the coast at your own pace. Stop to swim, snorkel or sunbathe on one of the beautiful beaches in the Maro Nature Reserve.
Enjoy a Drink at a Chiringuito at Sunset
A chiringuito is a typical Spanish restaurant and bar serving fresh seafood and typical Andalucian dishes, usually located right on the beach. One of the best things to do in La Herradura is to just... relax... sit down, take in the beauty of the bay, enjoy a cocktail and a tapa and watch the sun set behind the majestic Cerro Gordo point. It really doesn't get any better than that...
Have More Time? Check Out These Excursions...
** Frigiliana - 20 Min From La Herradura
Having a car while visiting La Herradura opens up a world of possibilities. You can visit the nearby picturesque towns of Nerja and Frigiliana, each with its own unique charm, or drive to the vibrant city of Granada to experience the magnificent Alhambra Palace, the lively tapas scene and beautiful Moorish architecture.
You can also explore some of the lesser known but equally enchanting villages along the Costa Tropical such as Almuñécar, Salobreña or Calahonda... and bask in the sun on their quiet unspoiled beaches.
Here are 3 of our favorite places to visit:
Visit Nerja & Frigiliana
Nerja is home to stunning sights like the Balcón de Europa, a magnificent viewpoint offering breathtaking coastal views, long sandy beaches and the Nerja Caves, an archaeological wonder listed in the 'Guinness Book of World Records'. (15 minutes from La Heradura)
Meanwhile, Frigiliana, known as "one of the most beautiful villages in Spain", will dazzle you with its narrow cobbled streets overflowing with vibrant plants and flowers, and its traditional whitewashed houses. (20 minutes from La Heradura)
A day trip from La Herradura to the enchanting city of Granada offers a unique opportunity to explore the Alhambra, an amazingly preserved Moorish palace renowned for its architectural beauty and panoramic views of the city. It's a 'World Heritage Site'! We recommend this guided tour of the Alhambra... (1 hour from La Heradura)
Visit the Other Costa Tropical Villages
** Coast of Almuñécar - 5 min drive from La Herradura
Continuing east along the coast you will find the charming village of Almuñécar. Visit the ancient Castillo de San Miguel and soak up the sun on one of its many beautiful beaches, like Playa San Cristobal. (9 minutes from La Heradura)
In Salobreña, you can explore the impressive Moorish castle that sits atop the village and offers breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea and surrounding sugar cane fields. (20 minutes from La Heradura)
9 More Must See Sites in La Herradura
Marina del Este
** Marina del Este- La Herradura
The Marina is a quiet, secluded port with berths for just over 200 boats; one of the only up-scale marinas on the southern Spanish coast. Diving, snorkeling, waterskiing, jet skiing, sailing and swimming are all enjoyed here during the warm summer months, as well as long moonlit after-dinner walks along the water.
This is a wonderful place to visit where you can stroll through the Marina shops and enjoy a delicious meal right on the water. The kids will love feeding the fish that swim up for a mid-day snack!
Renting a boat for the day is also a very popular activity here. Read our Marina del Este Guide.
Punta de la Mona
** Cliff-top homes in Punta de la Mona - La Herradura
Covered in Pine trees and colorful Bougainville, the Punta de la Mona was once home to the famous flamenco guitarist, Andrés Segovia, and today boasts a 4-star luxury hotel and numerous high-end residences. It's one of the most sought-after areas in southern Spain for luxury second homes and vacation rentals.
Read reviews and see prices for the Hotel Best Alcazar, only 4-star hotel in the Punta.
La Herradura Old Town
** The Old Town (Casco Antiguo)
The existing old town in La Herradura is typical for this part of the coast – here you will find small, whitewashed homes with doorways opening onto tiny streets, neighbors sitting on park benches exchanging the news of the day, and local fishermen reveling in their catch. Its 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 consists mostly of Spanish families that have lived here for centuries, and it hasn't changed much over the years...fortunately it still retains its authentic Spanish feel.
Explore the gently winding streets of the old town, its pretty flowered-filled corners are always a delight!
The La Herradura Beaches
** Cove on the Eastern end of La Herradura Beach
La Herradura has been blessed with astounding beauty, and its beaches are the reason why. There are 4 wonderful beaches in town, most with all the amenities; restaurants, bars, shops, kayaking, paddle boarding and more.
Calaiza beach, the only beach with no services, can be accessed by kayak and is a wonderful little place to visit.
Read the La Herradura Beach Guide for more information on all the La Herradura beaches.
The San Jose Church
** San Jose Church La Herradura
Once a hermitage but later designated as the local parish church in 1907, it derives its name from the patron saint of La Herradura, San Jose. It has a tall white bell tower and is used today for the town’s local church services and weddings. There is a small shaded patio off to one side with a prayer area for giving thanks. Candles are lit daily. More about the San Jose Church.
** La Ermita- La Herradura
Sitting in the middle of the Pine forest atop the Punta de la Mona urbanization you will find this little gem. The Ermita De San Jose & Santa Rita is a small church with fantastic views of Almuñécar to the east. The area surrounding the ermita is also very beautiful and a nice place for walking. You can even climb up to the Tower above for more amazing views. More about La Ermita.
The Punta de la Mona Lighthouse
** Views towards Almunecar from the top - La Herradura
Sitting atop the Punta de la Mona urbanization is another Arab watchtower, this one is from the 18th century. It overlooks the Marina del Este below and has views to Almuñécar and Cerro Gordo.
You can access the tower from the stone staircase just above the Ermita or you can drive all the way to the top through the La Aldea neighborhood. A stroll through La Aldea is also recommended. Torre Punta de la Mona.
Los Acantilados de Maro & Cerro Gordo
** Views towards Malaga from the Costa Tropical & La Herradura
Running from the town of Maro (Nerja) all the way to La Herradura is the National park of Los Acantilados (the cliffs). This is one of the most picturesque stretches of the whole of the Southern Spanish coastline. It is protected by the Spanish government, so it's completely natural and untouched.
One of the most recommended drives in the Costa Tropical is the 15-minute drive from Maro to La Herradura on the old, curvy N-340 coastal road where you will see long stretches of beaches, mountains and cliffs jutting out into the sea, dotted with old Arab and Roman watchtowers.
There are many areas to stop along the way to take photos and enjoy the views.
Read more about the Los Acantilados de Maro / Cerro Gordo National Park here.
The urbanization was designed by famous architect Jesus Del Valle, who once lived there, and is now one of the most sought-after areas in La Herradura for summer rentals, apartments or villas. La Aldea
Getting To La Herradura
Getting Here By Train:Granada and Malaga both have great train stations and are accessible from anywhere within Spain. In general, the rail station in Spain is great and runs very smoothly. You can travel all over the country easily and quickly and usually at a low cost to you.
From each of the train stations (Malaga & Granada) you can get a direct bus to La Herradura. Best site for finding the cheapest bus fares!
Getting Here By Plane:Flying into the Costa Tropical 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.
Getting Around La herradura
BusThe 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 individual town.
TaxiEach 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.
Rental CarOne of the preferred ways of getting around is of course renting your own 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.
La Herradura Tourist Office
18697 La Herradura, Granada, Spain
Open Mon - Friday:
10:00 am - 2:00 pm & 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Saturday & Sunday Closed
Phone: +34 958 61 86 36