Costa Tropical: Spain’s Tropical Coast
With its rugged Mediterranean coastline and mountain scenery, la Costa Tropical is a haven for visual artists as well as for travellers who are looking to get away from the crowds on the Costa del Sol. The coves and mountain backdrops remind one of the Cote d’Azur in southern France.
La Costa Tropical is located west of Almeria and east of Malaga, and is a must-see for anyone in the Almeria area. It is known for its tropical fruit, beaches, and scenery, and for those who are interested in seeing Moorish architecture, la Costa Tropical does not disappoint.
La Costa Tropical is in the province of Granada in Spain’s southern region of Andalusia, and is also sometimes referred to as la Costa de Granada. It is positioned between La Costa del Sol to the west, La Costa del Almeria to the west, and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. It is mainly comprised of four towns: Motril, Almunecar, Salobrena, and La Herradura, although Nerja is often also considered to be part of la Costa Tropical. The city of Granada is located about an hour’s drive north of Motril.
With airports in both Malaga and Granada, la Costa Tropical is easily accessible by air, and is also easily reached by train, as both Malaga and Granada are part of Spain’s major rail lines. There is intercity bus service between some of the towns, while by car, the N340 will take you along the coast. From Almeria in a rental car, it is simple to go on day trips to Granada, Nerja, Salobrena and Almunecar.
Positioned west of Motril and east of Almunecar along la Costa Tropical, the old town of Salobrena is a “pueblo blanco” – a white village. There is a steep climb to reach the Moorish fortress that is perched at the top of hill; but it is well worth the climb.
You can spend part of a day trip to Costa Tropical exploring Salobrena; park in the historic centre but still have a steep trek to reach the Moorish fortress. There is also a public square right below the fortress and there are spectacular views to be had from both the plaza (public square) and the fortress. As with other hilltop Andalusian towns, one must meander the way through narrow hilly streets to reach the town’s fortress. If you’re looking to buy a few souvenirs, there is a small souvenir shop near the fortress.
Almunecar is located east of Salobrena and west of La Herradura, just south of the N340 roadway. As with other Andalusian towns, it has a Moorish fortress – Castillo de San Miguel, which can be seen from the beach.
After strolling along the beachfront, you can head to Almunecar’s tourist information centre, which is located in a small, but picturesque park. The town’s botanical garden is also worth a visit, as it includes many beautiful and interesting sculptures.
Arab castles are part of the landscape in numerous towns and cities in Spain’s southern region of Andalusia, of which la Costa Tropical is a part.
Nerja is located at the eastern end of the Costa del Sol in the province of Malaga. With the Sierra Almijara mountains as a backdrop and its rugged coastline, Nerja is more similar to towns on the Costa Tropical. Its historic centre is typically Andalusian – picture whitewashed buildings and narrow, winding, cobbled walkways.
The jewel of Nerja is without a doubt the Balcon de Europa, which was built on the former site of a Moorish fortress. The town’s main plaza extends onto the Balcon, from which you can enjoy views of the coastline and beaches. Its beaches are some of the most beautiful in the area and there are numerous restaurants located within steps of the Balcon.
You can spend a whole week in Nerja enjoying Torrecilla Beach, taking evening strolls on the Balcon, as well as on the boardwalks along the beach. Day trips can take in Granada, Frigiliana, Velez-Malaga, Salobrena, Almunecar, Torrox Costa and Torre del Mar. Don’t forget to take in a local flamenco show; highly recommended and an integral part of Spanish culture.