The Costa Tropical is the coastal border of the southern Spanish province of Granada. The capital of this province is the city of Granada, which brings in tourists from all over the world thanks to its Moorish architecture and famous Alhambra palace. In the winter, the mountains of the Sierra Nevada are one of Europe's most southerly ski resorts. In areas such as the Alpujarras and Lecrin Valley, hiking and eco-tourism also attract a number of visitors. Moreover, the whole area boasts a wealth of interesting cultural attractions, notably the Moorish castle, Roman Aqueducts, Phoenician, Necropolises, and much more.
The Costa Tropical of the Granada province is a particularly picturesque beachside. Considered by many to be more relaxed, with a perfect sub-tropical climate you can enjoy sun and ski on the Costa Tropical.
A walk through this park will allow you to appreciate the archaeological richness of Almuñécar in the heart of the old town because the remains of an old fish salting factory are preserved here, a flourishing operation in Almuñécar during the Phoenician-Punic and Roman times.
The plants displayed were imported from countries in central and southern America, Africa, the Philippines and New Zealand. In addition, in summer, at nightfall, it becomes the cultural and leisure centre of the town, since many concerts and leisure activities are held here.
Located on the beach of Velilla, this water park of 35,000 m2 stands out for being the only one that offers all the leisure activities of a water park but with saltwater.
Aqua Tropic Almunecar is open between 11 AM and 7 PM from June to September. For adults, it costs 21 Euros and for children under the age of 12, it costs 15 Euros. There is a reduced rate if you enter after 15:00. It has private parking for clients.
In the Almuñécar Aquarium, you can get to know the ecosystem and marine fauna of this part of the Mediterranean. The Aquarium has reopened its doors a year and a half ago, after refurbishments, with 125 different species, including croaker, moray eel, grouper, jellyfish and seahorse. The most interesting attraction is a panoramic tunnel passing under Andalusia's largest oceanarium, with a million litres of water, and having some very special tenants: sharks, among whom the bull shark stands out.
Being the most populated city in the Costa Tropical region, Motril gathers a mix of culture, history and architectural beauty. There are several landmarks, and religious monuments to visit. In the city centre, you can find the Colegiata de Mortil, built over the Mayor mosque in the beginning of the 16th century, it mixes several architectural styles from Gothic to Baroque. Its impotence reminds the visitor that it once had a defensive purpose.
Nuestra Señora de la Cabeza might be considered the most emblematic church in Motril. Take a look at the altarpiece and the dressing room of the Virgin, the work of Manuel González Ligero. It keeps a carving of the Virgin that dates from the 16th century. In the following century, the hermitage became a Franciscan convent. From the viewpoint, you can enjoy a wonderful panoramic view of the city.
Transportation near the coast is mainly supported by a bus network that established a circuit between the locations and cities along the coast. If you choose to drive, we inform you that the region is crossed by the coastal highway N-340 which runs southwest-northeast along the Mediterranean coast of Spain. Over the past four years, the A7 motorway has been extended along the coast from Nerja in the province of Malaga to Motril, where it connects the A7 motorway with the A44 motorway that runs north from Motril to Granada city.
For more recreational transport activities, there are a good number of motorbikes, bicycles, cars and boat rental services.
With an average temperature around the 20ºC, this beautiful segment of the Mediterranean Spanish coast takes its name from the subtropical climate that it enjoys. The warm winters, long and hot summers attract a large number of both Spanish and foreign visitors.
The largest urban centre on Costa Tropical is considered to be Motril with around sixty-thousand inhabitants, where you can find the largest markets and shopping centres of this region. If you want to find fresh fish in the morning, head over to the “Plaza Motril”, or Mercado Municipal. If you wish to visit a more typical shopping centre, we suggest you visit the “Centro Comercial Abierto de Motril”, which is an open-air shopping centre downtown.
The closest airport to the Costa Tropical is the Granada Airport, near the province’s capital. It has a single passenger terminal and a landing strip with just under 3km. There are four airline companies operating in this airport. It is located about 80km away from the coast, which translates into around one hour driving from the airport to the beaches of the Costa Tropical, or around 2 hours if you chose to travel by bus.
There are four main beach locations in the Costa Tropical province of Granada: Almuñecar, Salobreña, Motril and La Herradura.
Almuñecar is the main tourist centre of the Costa Tropical. Since the city stands right on the coast, the more relevant beaches have an urban background, with plenty of accessibilities, bars and restaurants nearby. Be aware that parking near this beach is very difficult, as is in almost all of Almuñecar.
The San Cristóbal is a large beach, a little over 1 kilometre wide, of dark and thin sand. The Puerta del Mar beach is just over the Peñón del Santo cliff from the San Cristóbal beach. They are both very similar in size and sand characteristics, however, the Puerta del Mar beach has a higher occupation rate due to its centrality and underground parking.
Other two beaches to visit in Almuñecar are the Velilla beach, with a mix of gravel and fine sand and the Aquatropic water park nearby. Finally, the El Tesorillo beach stands out for being the smaller of the four, with just 80 metres wide, but very beautiful thanks to the great rocky background.
Local food goes back a long way to ancient traditions from several civilizations that occupied or passed by the area through history: the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, etc.
This region’s gastronomy is rich in flavour, with pickles based on bluefish and fried squid, anchovies, shrimp, cod and many others caught fresh on the Mediterranean shores. The potato stews with dogfish, salted meats, monkfish salads and salamadroña soup, based on sardines, pumpkin and spices, have a lot of archaic culture and history. Amazing flavours that are enriched with Vino Costa, elaborated in the towns of the adjoining mountains. Lastly, a tasting not to be missed: the Motril cane rum. The only rum that is made in Europe. Some restaurants where you can find these and other delicacies are, for instance, the Tropical Restaurant which is specialized in fish and seafood. If you’re not looking at the prices tab and going for something more distinctive, we suggest the “La Piscina” restaurant. With a very quiet and familiar environment, it is a perfect place to have shrimp and lobster along with the best freshly caught fish.
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