Granada – The Secret Coast

A refreshing and musical place combining beach bars with exotic vegetation and sea sports

Encased at the foot of the mountains, with a sublime aridity, and possessing a beautiful climate all year round, the 75-km-long Costa Tropical recalls the ancient kingdom of Granada.

The Tropical is a coast that includes many scenes:  gray sands, peñones, festivals, an agrotourism farm, and chiringuitos attached to monologism. Regarding cuisine,there is shrimp sprinkled with Calvente wine, tapa that they serve at the bars, and of course a wide array of amazing seafood. Join us on a journey through this magical land.

Gualchos- Castell de Ferro

Castell de Ferro, located in the province of Granada, is known principally for its tourism, its agriculture and its conservation of traditional constructions. However, the beachfront is full of modern apartments.

Castell de Ferro is situated in the central part of Granada’s coast. Near this location we can find El Romeral, Calahonda y La Mamola. The Castell de Ferro’s coast is characterized for its numerous caves and its beaches.

The origin of Castell de Ferro dates back to Phoenician times, according to some historians. It has many architectural remains of Arab origin or perhaps Roman. It has a tremendous tower overlooking the town from the hill, which may have that Phoenician source, although it has Arabic characteristics. Over the Marsa al-Firruy, al-Idrisi wrote, during the XII century, about discovering the path that led from Málaga to Almería along the coast.

Muslims said that the city was “A port with a little pond.” By then, his role was mainly port. The stronghold does not seem to be documented until the fifteenth century, some sources refer to it with the term “Castil”. This curious name seems to have romance origins, but after an Arabic adaptation it ended up with the name of Castil de fierro. It ended up with its actual name due to the influence of the local fishermen, who pronounced it Castel de Ferro. Since the 60s it has experienced increasing tourism and agricultural development.

Museums

Among the architectural elements Castell de Ferro has because of its history, its Moorish castle stands out. It has Nazari origins and its currently unfinished. Other elements of the period are three watchtowers that were lookouts and defenses against the Barbary pirates who came to their shores, and la Torre de Cambriles, la Torre de la Estancia and la Torre del Zambullón.

With Roman origins according to scholars of heritage, we can find the Torre de la Rijana, located a few kilometers from Castell de Ferro, who heads a small side creek very appreciated by tourism and has become famous for the filming of the movie ” Al sur de Granda”.

Coast

This part of the Costa Tropical is the least known by foreign tourists. Castell de Ferro, known for its clear waters, has some of the most beautiful beaches among the mediterranean coast.

With its lack of infrastructure, this beach is still relatively untouched. It is an area of crops and intensive farming of high quality, such as cucumbers, zucchini, peppers and avocados, most of which are for export to Northern Europe and other areas of Spain.

One of the most visited beaches is la Rijana, were you can go for a relaxed swim among with other visitants and tourists. The Rijana despite being located in the Costa Tropical of Granada, has always been named one of the best and most voted beaches of the Costa del Sol.

The Russian and the Rijana

By highway, we will go to La Rábita, commercial port of the Sierra de la Contraviesa (hence its castle, which is not open to the public), where we turn around to cross the coast from east to west. We entered a coast without concessions to tourism, the most secret of the Spanish Mediterranean. On the N-340 motorway towards Motril, half a kilometer from the exit sign, we parked on the right before a chalet. Solitude reinforces its beauty. Basilio Lukianov, a lieutenant fled after the Russian revolution, lived and died on this beach.

We pass next to the rock of San Patricio. At the exit of La Mamola, we turn towards the tower of the Cautor (climb up the hill to Castle of Baños), with a great panoramic view.

After Castell de Ferro, past the tunnel, we turn to the right to walk down to La Rijana, a strip of sand visited by wild goats in search of salt. If the land could talk, it would tell of its many Moorish princess prisoners. La Rijana is a natural jewel with no visible buildings, other than the barbecue bar that Antonio Legaza has been running since 1993.

The water attracts The divers of Dardanus (www.buceodardanus.com) to its fruitful orange coral reefs.

 

Almuñécar center

The park of El Majuelo, in Almuñécar, is one of the open air Spanish enclosures where palm trees grow more luxuriously. The pools evoke the memory of a salted fish sauce and fish sauce Roman factories.

WHERE TO EAT

  • Sangacho (958 62 35 18). Calahonda, Motril. The innovative recipes of Antonio Lorenzo, co-owner of the restaurant El Conjuro, are signified by the quality of their mini-burgers of bull’s tail and their pizzas. Average price, about $25.
  • The Moriscos (www.moriscosgolf.com). Playa Granada, Motril. Rice and shrimp well served. Tasting menu, $40 (not including drinks).
  • Aráis (958 61 17 38). Salobreña. Highlights are the creations of Francisco Izquierdo and selection of Granadian wines. Food menu, $35.
  • La Barraca (www.restaurantelabarraca.es). Playa de Cantarriján, Almuñécar. Baked fish and rice served at the foot of the sea. About $30.

WHERE TO SLEEP

  • Hotel Miba (hotelmiba.es). Salobreña. Under the care of a very friendly couple, Martin and Eva Barratt (South African and Swedish), this hotel is typified by its views. Two suites ($170) and six double rooms ($120). Book well in advance.
  • Hotel Embarcadero de Calahonda (www.embarcaderodecalahonda.com). Motril. The best reference on the east coast. Restaurant with views.  Double room with sea view. $80.