Granada was first settled by native tribes in the prehistoric period, and was known as Ilbyr. When the Romans colonised southern Spain, they built their own city here and called it Illibris. The Arabs, invading the peninsula in the 8th century, gave it its current name of Granada. It was the last Muslim city to fall to the Christians in 1492, at the hands of Queen Isabel of Castile and her husband Ferdinand of Aragon.
One of the most brilliant jewels of universal architecture is the Alhambra, a series of palaces and gardens built under the Nazari Dynasty in the 14th C. This mighty compound of buildings – including the summer palace called Generalife, with its fountains and gardens – stands at the foot of Spain’s highest mountain range, the Sierra Nevada, and overlooks the city below and the fertile plain of Granada.
At the centre of the Alhambra stands the massive Palace of Charles V, an outstanding example of Spanish Renaissance architecture. Other major Christian monuments found in the city are the Cathedral, including the Royal Chapel where Isabel and Ferdinand lie buried, the Monastery of La Cartuja and many churches built by Moorish craftsmen after the Reconquest, in Granada’s unique “mudéjar??? style.
The hill facing the Alhambra is the old Moorish casbah or “medina???, called the Albaicin, a fascinating labyrinth of narrow streets and whitewashed houses with secluded inner gardens, known as “cármenes???. The Plaza de San Nicolas, at the highest point of the Albaicin, is famous for its magnificent view of the Moorish palace.
The Sacromonte hill, which overlooks the city from the North, is famous for its cave dwellings, once the home of Granada’s large gypsy community.
The name Granada is ancient and mysterious. It may mean “great castle???, for the Roman fortress which once stood on the Albaicin Hill. When the Moors came here, the town was largely inhabited by Jews, for which they called it Garnat-al-Yahud – Granada of the Jews. The Jews are said to have been one of the first peoples to settle in Spain, even before the Romans.
Steeped in history and at the heart of the Costa Tropical, only a short distance from Granada and the Alpujarras you will love the charm of this old white Andalucian pueblo. Unspoiled by mass tourism, with long wide beaches and near tropical climate there is every sporting activity you can bring to mind – browse our website and fall in love with.
Salobreña old town, is built on a huge rock & is a labyrinth of little Andalucian style white “casas??? making up the intriguing districts of Brocal, Albaycín, La Fuente and La Loma.
You will not need a map to find your way around Salobreña just look for the Moorish Castle and the church of the Señora del Rosario which sit high at the top of the village. The views from the well preserved castle are spectacular and well worth a visit.
The castle attracts many thousands of visitors each year but especially during the summer months.
Their is a tale often told about the 15th century Sultan of Granada who, on his deathbed and afraid that his son may be cheated out of his inheritance by the Sultan’s brother Yusuf, sent someone to kill Yusuf.
Yusuf at this time was already imprisoned in Salobreña and was a touch smarter than the Sultan estimated. He asked to be granted a last favour, to be allowed to finish a game of chess he had been playing.
He managed to stretch the game out for so long that when news arrived of the death of the Sultan, the game was still under way. Yusuf was proclaimed Sultan instead of his nephew.
Just below the castle is the “Iglesia Parroquial Nuestra Señora del Rosario??? ( parish church ), The church was built on the site of an old mosque and is quite splendid distinguished by a Moorish style arch.
The other important feature of Salobreña is its wide beach, split in two by the Peñon rock. The beach, although a short walk away from the town itself is the location of several “chiringuitos??? (beach bars), very popular eating places with locals and tourists alike, most are open throughout the year.
The history of Salobreña can be explored further at the museum, the museum is inside the municipal library and worth a visit.
A fascinating feature is the story of how Salobreña was once virtually an island before the River Guadalfeo deposited its sediment.
This formed a fertile delta which together with the climate enables the varied fruit crops currently grown and harvested today.
In Salobreña we have as you would expect our fair share of festivals and fairs.
Easter, (Semana Santa) is one of the most important during the year when statues and floats are paraded around the old town starting at the Church at the top and winding through the old village streets to the more modern parts and then back up to the church. You will be fascinated to see how these floats or “tronos??? are skillfully maneuvered by the villagers.
June 24th to 29th each year we celebrate our festival of San Juan and the San Pedro fair.
In July comes the festival of The Virgin del Carmen, celebrated in La Caleta. This begins with a church service and then the statue of the Virgin is carried through the streets down to the little port. From here the statue is loaded onto a small craft which heads a procession of local fishing boats along the entire length of Salobreña beach. The procession is accompanied by a steady and continuous firework display.
In October we celebrate the festival in honour of the Virgin of the Rosario, the patron of Salobreña. This is a spectacular festival and very colourful. Villagers from the surrounding villages of Lobres, Caleta, Molvizar and from the hills around converge on the beach area, many come on horse back. From the Peñon rock there is a lively and noisy parade.
In the summer season there are many concerts and shows in Salobreña, these are organised each year by the local tourist office.
Almuñecar is the tourism capital of the Costa Tropical, a relatively unknown stretch of the southern coastline of Spain that is part of the province of Granada, in Andalucia. Costa Tropical is situated between the more populous Costa del Sol to the west, with Malaga, Marbella and Puerto Banus, and the coast of Almería to the east.
Due to continental drift, the African plate is slowly pushing under the European plate. This has caused Costa Tropical’s geography to be hilly and rugged, and the climate to be favorable for most of the year.
Rocky structures thrust up steeply from the sea floor. Seasonal torrents, fed by melting snows, cut deep ravines into the stunning landscape. Once lush with forrests, the hillsides now provide a foothold for almond, olive and the hardy carob trees. Small villages and farming communities have developed in the more sheltered valleys, or on the hillsides and around the coast.
Overlooking everything is the impressive Sierra Nevada. These mountains are among the highest peaks in mainland Spain They form a natural weather break which protects the Costa Tropical coastline from the worst of the European winters. Because of this weather protection, the area has a subtropical micro-climate, which reflects the variety of products that are grown here, and can be found in most local markets, especially the wide range of fruits and vegetables.
Almuñécar’s Moorish castle is located on a small hill between the mouths of two rivers, the smaller Río Seco (Dry River) and the larger Río Verde (Green River). The latter runs through the valley of Almuñécar, a fertile area of subtropical orchards that line the valley floor and climb up to the terraced hillsides. To the west of Almuñécar is the, Punta de la Mona, a forest of pines on a headland that shelters the Marina del Este marina port, which also supports a number of luxury urbanisations. Beyond Almuñécar and the horseshoe shaped bay called La Herradura, is and interesting ruin called Cerro Gordo, 200 meters above the sea, which marks the end of the municipality and province.
Almuñécar was founded almost 3000 years ago by the Phoenicians and has since been occupied by a succession of Mediterranean cultures including, most notably, the Romans and the Moors. Attracted by the rich trade of local products, the town of Almuñécar was one of the most important ports on Spain’s Mediterranean coast. Evidence of the area’s historical importance can still be seen today in the numerous monuments and ruins that are dotted around the landscape, most notably the old Roman fish factory and aqueduct.
Along the 19 km of Almuñécar coastline, visitors can choose from a large variety of Almunecar beaches and small coves, ranging from a fine quality sand to shingle. Watersports are very popular and there are numerous organizations that offer different types of equipment for hire. Divers will discover some of the best underwater courses here, or anywhere along the southern coast of Spain.
Development of Almuñécar has mostly been restricted to the coast and the adjacent hillsides, this is due to the rugged landscape in the area. However, in recent years there has been a shift towards the, sun and sea mentality, and because of this many farmhouses and plots of land have been bought up in the surrounding hills. Rural tourism, although slow to begin is now very much on the increase.
Almuñécar was originally based on agriculture and fishing, but now the local economy is based almost entirely on tourism and in recent years Almuñécar has seen a huge surge in its infrastructure. Hotels and apartments are being constructed to accommodate the increasing number of visitors, and shops and services are being opened to keep pace. Cheap flights and the great weather have attracted many people from northern Europe to buy second homes here, and with improved infrastucture and telecommunications, it has become possible for many professionals to work, “away from home???, but still be in touch, via the Internet, with their office.
Tourism has been traditionally confined to the summer season, especially in August, when the town is is at full capacity. Visitors are now coming to Almuñécar in Spring and Autumn, when the weather is cooler and the town is not so busy. During winter, except Christmas and New Year, Almuñécar is relatively quiet. Important fiestas such as Easter and Christmas are very busy.
While they stay, most visitors rent chalets or apartments in Almunecar, but many foreign residents from France, Germany, Belgium, Scandinavia and England have bought property and now happily live here.
The wealth of Motril is not only found in its wide beaches, in its crystal-clear spring waters, in its defiant mountains. Its wealth also resides in the variety it offers, as it is the only place in the world where the visitor can find everything needed to enjoy an unforgettable holiday.
Motril is much more than just sea. It is a place of one’s dreams of great beauty and charm, where tradition and modernity mix perfectly together in a town which is, without doubt, a sea of surprises.
It’s here for you to discover. Motril lies in a heavenly setting in the southernmost part of the province of Granada. The municipality of Motril is the most important regarding wealth and population in the whole of the province if we exclude the capital. 107 square kilometres protected by formidable mountain ranges and an incomparable irrigated plain or vega with the most beautiful tones of green. And further on past the plain, we find the sea; with the intense blue of the East and the pale green of the West.
It’s privileged geographical situation makes Motril a unique destination. Only 45 minutes, following the N-323 national road, separate the tropical climate of Motril with warm temperatures which vary between 18 and 25 degrees, from the continental climate in Granada. And just 100 kilometres from Motril you will find the cosmopolitan Malaga, just two and a half hours the Andalusia capital Seville, and only five hours journey away, Madrid.In this way, Motril can be said to be a tourist destination which offers an endless range of possibilities for the visitor.Due to its excellent road system, it is possible to travel in a short time from Motril´s tropical coastal landscape to the monumental Granada, one of the cities with the greatest historical and cultural wealth in the world, or to the snow-topped mountain range of Sierra Nevada, the best equipped ski station in Spain…or make a stop in the outstandingly beautiful foothills of the Sierra Nevada, the Alpujarra, with picturesque whitewashed villages and great gastronomic tradition such as Lanjarón, Órgiva, Pampaneira, Bubión or Trevélez. Even closer are the coastal villages of Salobreña, Almunécar, La Herradura, or Castell de Ferro, where you can enjoy the magnificent beaches, many still to be discovered, or explore their rich artistic patrimony, wisely conserved over the centuries.Motril is Granada´s window on to the Mediterranean Sea. In Arab times Motril was residence to the mother of the King Boabdil. After the Christian conquest, Motril gradually came to prominence among the other coastal towns, becoming the commercial and economic capital town of the coast, reaching its maximum social and economic splendour from the XIX th century onwards due to the development of the sugar cane industry.
Today Motril is a modern town with over 50.000 inhabitants, living through a process of constant development owing to the commercial port, the cultivation of tropical fruits, the important agricultural and industrial activity, an interesting artistic patrimony and an ever-growing tourist industry.
La Mamola is a small village in the real Spanish style. Village populations is about 900 people, there are 2 supermarkets, 2 Fishmongers, 4 bars and restaurants (8 over season time), Chemist, Post office, Bank, 2-3 small gift shops, bakery and a doctors surgery and a lot of very nice people in the Village. This is an agricultural area, with greenhouses and fields supplying vegetables and fruit for the supermarkets of Europe and sheep and goats grazing the hills. The best selling novels ‘Driving over Lemons’ and ‘A Parrot in the Pepper Tree’ by Chris Stewart are set only a few miles away. In addition to the drives through the local countryside and the other beaches of the Costa Tropical, the location is ideal for anyone looking for peace and quiet. Just an hour away you can enjoy skiing & snowboarding in the Sierra Nevada. You can also drive up through all the beautiful mountain villages of The Alpujuras.
La Mamola is a town located on the seashore, under the protection of the Torre de Cautor (The Tower,16century), which has an undeniable historical value and is easily accessible for a visit. Also close by and well worth a visit is the emblematic Castillo de Baños (Castle Of Baths,18th century) located in the small village of the same name. Visitors to Castillo de Baño will soon be able to enjoy visiting the Centro de Interpretación de las Defensas de la Costa Granadina ( Center for the Interpretation of Granada’s Coastal Defenses).
The Playa de La Mamola (La Mamola Beach) offers clean waters, with several jetties for fishing, Bars, Restaurants, Small Supermarkets, Bakers, Fishmongers, Gift Shops, Post Office, Tobacconist, Hardware Store, Chemist, Doctors Surgery & Bank with Cash Machine. The Mountain and Maritime character of the area offer a variety of delicious foods that include the best that both the land and the sea have to offer.
La Guapa is a small village on the road up to Polopos. It is within walking distance of Castillo de Baños and the local beaches.
Haza del Trigo
Hazo del Trigo is a small village located more inland from the Coast. It is a typically Andalucian whitewashed village which has a shop/bar. A large new restaurant/bar are going to be opened. soon.
Haza del Lino
Another inland village which like Haza del Trigo & Polopos hangs from the spectacular cliffs and edges of the Sierra de la Contraviesa. This is a privilaged mountain environment where the natural vegetation combines in harmony with the traditional crops of almond trees, grape vines, fig trees and carob trees.
Strolling through the fields and along their paths, riding through the landscapes on a bike, or practicing adventure sports.