Motril, situated on the Costa Tropical in the province of Granada, is the main town on this part of the coast, and drives the local economy with its commercial and leisure port, ferry services to Morocco and local fishing industry.
Access to the town is via the N-340 coast road, linking in a westerly direction to the nearby towns of Salobrena, Almunecar, La Herradura and Malaga’s Costa del Sol, and east, to the town of Adra and the Costa del Almeria. The area is also served by the AP-7 motorway running along the entire Mediterranean coastline from Cadiz to Barcelona, and inland to Granada, the provincial capital and international airport, some 70 kilometres to the north.
With a local population of around 50.000, Motril offers a quaint town centre with many streets closed to traffic, allowing relaxed and safe access to the many shops, bars, restaurants and discos. There are street markets every Tuesday and Friday mornings in the Avenida de Salobreña opposite the municipal market, and some large commercial shopping centres with easy parking on the edge of town.
Other places of interest are the Casa de Las Palmas, a 16th century sugar mill which up until the end of the last century was a major source of income due to the importance of its annual sugar cane harvest, a local age-old tradition which has virtually ceased today. The area in general has been an historic gateway for many civilizations, in particular the Phoenicians and the Arabs, an example of which is the town hall itself also dating back to the 16th century, with its Arab façade.
The main beaches surrounding the town, La playa Poniente and La playa Granada, offer an abundance of chringuitos (beach restaurants with great fish dishes), as well as sailing, jet skiing, water skiing and scuba diving. The beaches are equipped with sun beds showers, changing rooms and life guards. Further along the coast there are many smaller sheltered coves and inlets including three nudist beaches. And if you are in the area in June, don’t miss the Fiesta de San Juan, which celebrates midsummer’s day (and night), where you can party all night long to the following morning.
There is a water park at nearby Almunecar, as well its annual Jazz Festival held in July in the spectacular Botanic Gardens situated below the town’s ancient Moorish castle. Locally, you can also practice paragliding or hang gliding. For golf lovers, the Los Moriscos Golf Club is situated 8 kilometres from Motril and has a putting green, driving range and restaurant.
The town of Salobrena is also worth a visit, a hillside village of tight, meandering streets leading up to an ancient castle at the top with magnificent panoramic views over the coast.
The Costa Tropical enjoys a micro climate with mild winters and hot summers, allowing the growth of many exotic tropical fruit including mangos, papaya, bananas and avocados, the latter of which were imported for the first time in the early sixties by an American from California who wondered whether they would grow or not. They certainly did, and this area now produces the largest source of avocado crop in the whole of Spain.
Behind Motril and inland from the coast, a trip into the Alpujara Mountains is well worth a visit as it offers an array of many delightful, small and typical Spanish villages, such as Orgiva, Rubite and Lanjaron, the latter a village made famous for its natural spring water which is now bottled and exported across Spain and Europe. Continuing on, you will come to the foothills of the Sierra Nevada and its world famous ski resort with its season running from late November through to late April/early May.
Tourism OfficePlaza de las Comunidades Autónomas, s/n (Entrance to the Parque de los Pueblos de América), Motril – 18600 (Granada). Tel: (+34) 958 82 54 81. Fax: (+34) 958 60 93 12. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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