Top Ten FREE Things to Do in the Costa Tropical
10 FREE Things to Do in the Costa Tropical on a BudgetSometimes the most stressful part of traveling is balancing your budget while still trying to take in as many of the sites as possible. Luckily in the Costa Tropical you are surrounded by nature and some of the most interesting things to do are outdoors and you guessed it... FREE.
Take a look at our list below and you will see that you can still thoroughly enjoy our coast while keeping it lite on the wallet.
1. Climb Up to the Punta de la Mona Lighthouse
From the Green Zone in the Punta de la Mona urbanization, climb the stone stairway to the top. There you will find the Punta Watchtower and enjoy spectacular views of the coastline going east towards Almuñécar. You can also see the Puerto Deportivo Marina del Este and Playa Berengueles below.
More information on the Punta de la Mona Watchtower.
ALSO, Climb to the top of the Cerro Gordo Watchtower -- Insane Views!
2. Take a Stroll Through La Aldea
From the Punta de la Mona Watchtower you can continue down into the ‘La Aldea’ community that clings to the cliffs overlooking the marina and beach below. It is a small neighborhood with winding streets and pathways that lead to beautiful homes covered in colorful flowers and tropical plants.
This is a very popular area for rentals during the summer months.
More information on La Aldea.
3. Visit the Punta de la Mona ErmitaAnother nice site in the Punta de la Mona area is the small ermita that sits just below the lighthouse. The church holds services on Sundays during the summer but is very quiet the rest of the year. You can walk around the pine forest surrounding the church and enjoy views of the Almuñécar Peñon from the terrace in the back.
More information on La Ermita.
4. Bird watching in Motril
Bird lovers will love this little spot just inland from the beaches of Motril. It is a natural marsh area that is home to many unique species of birds and other animals. It opens most afternoons and is free to the public.
One word of caution as this is a sanctuary for the animals living there, silence is expected. There are many “hides” throughout the park where bird enthusiasts can sit quietly and enjoy watching and photographing the wildlife.
Read more about the Charca Suarez Bird Sanctuary.
5. Celebrate with the Locals - Go To a ParadeJust like everywhere else in Spain, the Costa Tropical is brimming with Fiestas. Check the calendar to see what’s on while you’re here. There’s no doubt a fireworks display, parade or fun holiday party happening somewhere…
6. Climb to the Top of the Almunecar Penon
While hanging out at the beach in Almuñécar, head over to the Peñon (Giant rock formation jutting out into the sea) and climb the staircase to the top. You will find a wide patio with incredible coastal views to the east and west, and the castle behind it.
More information on Almunecar Peñon.
7. Take a Drive Down the CoastSpain is a breathtakingly beautiful country. The natural beauty of the terrain throughout the country can just be unbelievable. There are many larger cities in Spain like Madrid and Barcelona, but most of the country is made up of national parks that are undeveloped and protected.
The coastal area along the Costa Tropical is one of these areas.
Driving from the town of Nerja along the old N-340 highway going to the east towards La Herradura is one of the most spectacular areas along the coast. There are many beautiful beaches along the way to explore.
From the town of Calahonda, just past Motril you will find another stretch of the old coastal road that is just stunning. You can wind around its curves and cliffs until you get to the eastern most part of the Costa Tropical and enjoy amazing views along the way.
8. Explore or Take a Guided Walking Tour of the Old Town
Each of the Old Towns are fun to walk around and explore. La Herradura’s is small but quaint, Almuñécar and Salobreña have much larger old town areas to explore and Nerja has a great Old Town Shopping district.
9. Go on an Amazing Hike and Enjoy Incredible Views
The Costa Tropical is known for being an outdoorsy type of place. People come here for all sorts of reasons but one very popular one is for the hiking. The coastline is just stunning and the trails running from the towns of Maro to La Herradura are unforgettable.
10. Go To One of the Many Local Spanish Markets
Ahhhh, a Spanish market. If you’ve never been it’s quite an exhilarating experience. Men and women shouting loudly, selling their wares… the smell of exotic spices - from lands not so far away… and the sea of people who come out religiously to find the best deals to be had.
You can usually find a market somewhere on any given day of the week in the Costa Tropical, all the larger towns have one. You can definitely find a ‘mercado’, which is the town’s fresh food market, open daily and then there are the traveling markets that set up in a different town each day.
All of these markets are fun and make for a very Spanish experience, check out the market schedules to find the markets nearest you.
The markets are year-round. Here is the schedule for the whole coastal area...
- MONDAY: Torrox Pueblo – Torrox Costa-Marbella
- TUESDAY: Nerja – Motril – Salobreña - Fuengirola
- WEDNESDAY: Algarrobo Costa – Rincón de la Victoria – Estepona - Mijas Costa
- THURSDAY: Frigiliana – Torre del Mar – Vélez Málaga – Torremolinos
- FRIDAY: Motril – Almuñécar – La Herradura - La Cala del Moral – Salobreña -Benalmádena
- SATURDAY: Caleta de Vélez – Cómpeta - Puerto Banús - Mijas Costa - Fuengirola
- SUNDAY: Málaga
Outdoor Antique Market - Almunecar - 1st Saturday of each month - 9:00 - 2:00 - Beyond the Blas Infante Arch, across from McDonalds
Outdoor Flea Market – Nerja – Every Sunday each month - 9:00 - 2:00
11. Go to a Museum
OK! So, this is not FREE, but about as cheap as you can get. Many of the museums are VERY low cost and are a great way to spend your day and learn about the history of this beautiful area. Some of the cheapest sites to visit are:
The San Miguel Castle: Adults: 2.35 € ----- Children / Seniors: 1.60 €
(Includes Archaeological Museum)
The Bonsai Museum: Adults: 3.00 € ----- Children / Seniors: 2.00 €
The Majuelo Park: Adults: FREE € ----- Children / Seniors: FREE €
Loro Sexi Bird Park: Adults: 3.50 € ----- Children / Seniors: 1.50 €
Salobrena Castle: Adults / Children: 4.00 € ----- Seniors: 2.00 €
How to Arrive - Costa TropicalFrom Granada: Drive south on the A-44 for 45-50 minutes to reach the Costa Tropical.
From Málaga: Head east on the A-7 for 50 minutes to reach the Costa Tropical.
We hope that you have a wonderful vacation and take advantage of all the super-fun activities that can be found here --- that are FREE or very CHEAP !! ;-)
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