Tranquil resorts of the Costa Tropical

A-7 Autovía del Mediterráneo

The A-7  - or the Autovía del Mediterráneo - is the road to take when you wish to travel up and down the fabulous coastline of Andalucía.  It actually starts up in Barcelona and finishes in Algeciras, and once finished will lay claim to being the longest national motorway in Europe.  Recently, where the motorway swings and loops around the Costa Tropical, developments have been taking place and new sections have sprung up, cutting the time it takes to go from A to B.

Exit for Playa de la Rijana, Costa Tropical

Bypassing the resorts of the Costa Tropical

The other factor, of course, is these new stretches of grey concrete also manage to effectively cut off some of the resorts around the Costa Tropical.  Is this really such a bad thing? In these days of over development and mass tourism, it's actually of benefit to those seeking solace in the sun. The Costa Tropical is a haven of traditional and quiet beaches, suitable for families, and those with younger children.

So, come on.  Pack.  Escape to the Costa Topical, far from the madding crowd. 

Playa de la Rijana, Costa Tropical

Quieter resorts

Sometimes, a quieter, more relaxed affair is in order.  Where shall we go for that quiet break?  What's required?  No loud clubs.  No Hen or Stag parties, absolutely not.  Where the locals go.  Traditional, a little Spanish beach-life. Take the nearest exit and drop down for a sea view drive onto the N-340. Let's take a closer look at the more tranquil resorts of the Costa Tropical. Pack your parasol. Take a breath of salty air..

Velilla Beach, Almunecar Granada by piccavey

The surroundings

Check out the views.  A frame of snow-capped mountains, down to a blanket of green agricultural landscape.  Avocado, Banana, Custard Apple, Sugar Cane.  No wonder this is called the Costa Tropical. And that stretch of blue sea is always in view - even in winter, a flat, sparkling and welcome sight.


What are the towns of the Costa Tropical?

The larger resorts or towns along the Costa Tropical that you may choose to visit are: (Going west to east)

  • La Herradura-  Translates as 'The Horseshoe', has a fabulous beach, and plenty of places to eat.
  • Almunecar - Read more about Almunecar, see the top 5 tourist must-see spots.
  • Salobrena - Walk up to the castle, explore the old town. See the sights of Salobrena from the top.
  • Motril - Visit the Sugar Museum, plenty of shops and a bird reserve down by the port.

view of salobrena

What are the smaller resorts of the Costa Tropical?

But there are also smaller, more tranquil spots along this coast.  Also travelling from west to east, look out for:

  • Carchuna  - Quiet shingle beach, come off the main road just before Calahonda.
  • Calahonda - The perfect picturesque harbour, arched and dotted with colourful bobbing boats.  Lots of places to eat and drink, long beach. Not to be confused with the OTHER Calahonda on the Costa Del Sol.
  • Lance del Virgin - Tiny cove, on-the-beach restaurant, very quiet.
  • Castell del Ferro - Local fishing boats, parking on the beach, plenty of places to eat.
  • Castillo de Banos - Small and friendly, shingle beach.  The garage on the road into Castillo de Banos has some of the nicest bread in the area for sale, if you're thinking about a picnic on the go, then consider buying some as you fill up the car with fuel.
  • La Mamola - Lines of Jetties pointing their fingers out to Africa, and gently shelving waters. Dolphins often spotted here. 
  • Los Yesos - Very quiet, shingle beach, traditionally Spanish.
  • Melicena - Uncrowded, low-rise resort, quiet and visited mostly by local Spanish.
  • La Rabita - A couple of very good fish restaurants serving freshly caught bounty.  A smattering of bars and a few shops. 1000 metre shingle beach with all amenities in the summer months. Turn off at La Rabita and the mountain road will wind you steadily up to the Alpujarra region and the white villages for a day.

Costa Tropical


Not a resort, but a cove not to be missed, is picturesque La Rijana, one of THE best along the Costa Tropical, and a clear snorkelling favourite.  You'll locate it just outside Castell del Ferro.  If you do go to La Rijana, look out for the hand-painted sign painted onto the side of the rocks, and come off the motorway to park underneath the bridge.  John wrote all about a day at Playa de La Rijana here.

Snorkelling off Maro beach, La Cala de Maro


For a long lunch, try El Paraiso on the main road at Castillo de Banos, you won't be disappointed, but it can get crowded at the weekend as it's a very popular spot for seafood.  Enter through the bar area, leading to the busy restaurant, or head right out the back to the terrace with it's own promenade and beach-front.  Even just a stop for a cold beer and a taste of the fishy tapas is a must.

El Paraiso

Calle Gran Via 12

18750 Castillo de Banos

Open from 8:00am to 1:00am

El Ancla in Calahonda is also worth fighting to get into at the weekend, so popular the tables almost spill over onto the roadside.  The smell of fried Boquerones entices a fair crowd in at lunchtimes, a popular place to eat for both locals and tourists alike.

Seafood meal

Booking early

So, if you've been tempted by the quieter resorts of the Costa Tropical, then all that remains is to pack your parasol, bikini and beach towel. With the current sterling to euro rates this might be the best time to book. It might only be the end of February, but it's never too early to plan a summer holiday in Spain!