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6 Lovely Places by the Sea on the Spanish Tropical Coast

Updated on November 3, 2019
Gro Kristina Slaatto profile image

I am a Norwegian writer with careers within art, design, history, tourism and journalism. My second home is in a small village in Spain.

Granada is a province of southern Spain. From the highest peak in Sierra Nevada, Mulhacén with its 3479 meters above sea level, to the finest beaches along the Tropical Coast, this region offers great variations in landscape and climate. After skiing you may visit the wonderful beaches along the Mediterranean Sea for a bath on the same day. Here I show you some of the loveliest places along the water's edge.

1. La Rijana beach (Castell de Ferro)

La Rijana beach with its crystal clear waters is a protected area of cultural interest.
La Rijana beach with its crystal clear waters is a protected area of cultural interest. | Source

La Rijana beach is located in the heart of an area of conservation, and the natural area is protected. The area is home to a great terrestrial biodiversity, and the crystal clear

waters of the bay hide a rich variety of fish and other species. It is also an area of great archaeological interest, as there have been found ceramic reminds from Bronze, Roman, Caliphate, Nasrid, Medieval and Christian period.

Protected area of cultural interest

About 20 kilometers from Mortil direction Almeria, you find the beautiful and quiet beach of La Rijana. The waters are crystal clear and also quite quiet, and the place is perfect for a refreshing bath, or an interesting dive. Park your car and walk down to the beach. The site is protected and there are several restrictions on visitors. Among other things, it is not allowed to light bonfires, camp, pick flowers and remove stones. Dogs and horses are not allowed to enter the area, and there are restrictions on fishing.

Overlooking the beach there is a majestic tower of ashlar masonry in the corners. The tower is a well known landmark and has been scene of numerous historical events. One may imagine how important the tower has been as a place looking out for enemies especially during war time. The tower has also been a scene in shooting of films, among others " Al sur de Granada". The tower is now registered property of cultural interest.

Enjoying the amazing scenery and view of an endless blue turquoise sea in an atmosphere full of ancient history, gives a truly distinctive feeling when one is there. If you want to explore the surroundings by the sea, it is possible to rent a kayak and paddle surf following special routes.


An unspoiled quiet bay with crystal clear turquois water.
An unspoiled quiet bay with crystal clear turquois water. | Source
Rent a kayak and follow special routes.
Rent a kayak and follow special routes. | Source
In the shadow of some lush trees, a small chiringuito offers you fresh fried fish and something cold to drink.
In the shadow of some lush trees, a small chiringuito offers you fresh fried fish and something cold to drink. | Source
Late afternoon on La Rijana beach.
Late afternoon on La Rijana beach. | Source

2. La Rábita beach

La Rábita is a small coastal village in the agricultural and marine district of Albuñol at the eastern part of the Granadian province. The district is a gateway to the mountain area of La Alpujarra. The village has three beaches, where Rábita beach is the biggest one. The beach is urban and close to the Paseo Maritimo where you can go for a walk, enjoy a meal and disconnect.

Jump into the waves on Rábita beach.
Jump into the waves on Rábita beach. | Source

La Rábita is perfect for those who want a quiet village where it is possible to disconnect.

Small boats on Rábita beach.
Small boats on Rábita beach. | Source

A peaceful atmosphere

The village has had tourism since the 70s, when the tourism began to flourish in Spain. One of the first hotels on the Tropical Coast that was for tourists only, was precisely here in La Rábita. Although there are still many people visiting the village, especially in the summer, the village has maintained a peaceful atmosphere where one may disconnect.

We found these lovely trees on our way to the beach. Yo amo La Rábita. I love La Rábita. The women in the village had crocheted and knitted colorful patches to decorate the trees.
We found these lovely trees on our way to the beach. Yo amo La Rábita. I love La Rábita. The women in the village had crocheted and knitted colorful patches to decorate the trees. | Source

3. Calahonda beach, Motril

Calahonda beach is one of the very best beaches in the province of Granada. The beach is not to be confused with the beach with the same name in Malaga, between Marbella and Fuengirola, where tourism can be overwhelming.

Surrounded by a headland and cliffs, the beautiful old Calahonda fishing village has preserved much of the original, as one have tried to respect the representative for the village and its identity in relation to development.

The beach which is characterized by coarse dark sand, is just at some few minutes walking distance fram the heart of the village. It is very clean, well equipped with sun loungers, showers and toilets. During the summer months there are rescue service and surveillance by Red Cross. The beach has easy access for disabled people.

There is a nice promenade, un paseo maritimo, along the beach. Here you will find chiringuitos where you may have a meal and just sit down enjoying the amazing views of the quiet, blue turquoise waters of this protected bay of the Mediterranean Sea. Its clear and clean waters have gained the Blue Flag, an European award given by the Foundation for Environmental Education.

Calahonda with its beautiful beach and cozy bay.
Calahonda with its beautiful beach and cozy bay. | Source

4. Granada beach

Granada beach has like the beach in Calahonda received the Blue Flag award for its clean waters, given by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). Located between the villages of Motril and Salobreña, it welcomes you with plenty of space along the waters´s edge. The beach is well equipped with showers and toilets, and may you may even rent sun lounges. During the summer season there are lifeguards from the Red Cross supervising the safety and rescue of swimmers. Be aware of that the color of the flags on the beach indicates whether it is safe to swim or not. Stay on land if it is red, and be very careful if it is yellow.

There are no holiday apartments built first line by the beach, but you will find them, some restaurants and bars close by. Most of them are built with inspiration in Morrish style.

Los Moriscos Golf Club, the only one on the Costa Tropical, is located near the beach. Here you will also find a nice chiringuito and a restaurant with the same name. From here you may enjoy the view of the most beautiful sunsets, while having a refreshing drink and a tasty meal. There are also evenings with music.

El chiringuito and restaurant Los Moriscos on Granada beach.
El chiringuito and restaurant Los Moriscos on Granada beach. | Source
The entrance of Los Moriscos, Granada beach.
The entrance of Los Moriscos, Granada beach. | Source
A sunny day at Granada beach.
A sunny day at Granada beach. | Source
Villa Astrida behind the walls.
Villa Astrida behind the walls. | Source

A royal residence

Throughout the latter half of the 20th century, Granada beach has also been home to a royal residence.
Granada beach was the location where King Baldwin and Queen Fabiola of Belgium found their dream place and built Villa Astrida in the 60s. The beautiful house was their official resort, and they spent their holidays here with great discretion. King Baldwin died at Villa Astrida in 1993.

You may still see Villa Astrida and bit of its beautiful garden, but from the outside of the walls.

An amazing sun set on Granada beach.
An amazing sun set on Granada beach. | Source

5. Salobreña beach and El Peñon

Salobreña village is a beautiful and famous touristic destination. The white village rises beautifully in the middle of an amazing green and lush, flat landscape and makes the background of its beautiful beaches. Sometimes the village reminds me of a big white ship. Its medieval structure with small white houses and narrow streets in labyrinths together with breathtaking views, makes this village well worth a visit.

The 1850 meter long beach of El Peñon de Salobreña is a well equipped large coarse sanded shore. Among others you will find showers and toilets, and surveillance service. There are also playgrounds for the children.

There may be a lot of people in the area during the high season, but the beach area is large and there is plenty of space for everybody.

In the evening, people of all ages are walking along the paseo maritimo; families and friends, locals and tourists. Sometimes you will find street sellers offering their goods.

There are many restaurants to choose from along the paseo maritimo, and some places you may get the feeling of real beach life, sitting with your feets in the warming sand.

If you fancy eating at a traditional and well known restaurant with beautiful views of the Mediterranean, delicious food, white tablecloths and romantic candle lights, then visit El Peñon. You will not forget it.

El Peñon. A picturesque place to visit both daytime and in the evening.
El Peñon. A picturesque place to visit both daytime and in the evening. | Source
El Peñon and the Mediterranean Sea by night.
El Peñon and the Mediterranean Sea by night. | Source

6. La Guardia beach (Salobreña)

La Guardia is a nice and quiet beach close to Salobreña, located between the peninsula of El Peñon and an old sugar factory, behind the subtropical crops of the Vega de la Guardia and with the castle of Salobreña behind. The beach is very family friendly and has surveillance service and life guards. In addition to general facilities, La Guardia has an ample parking and there are several beach bars where you may enjoy fresh fish, something refreshing to drink and an ice cream.


La Guardia beach. Some families build picturesque huts on the beach, bringing food for all the meals, so they can spend the whole day on the beach.
La Guardia beach. Some families build picturesque huts on the beach, bringing food for all the meals, so they can spend the whole day on the beach. | Source
La Guardia beach with the peninsula  El Peñon in the background.
La Guardia beach with the peninsula El Peñon in the background. | Source
La Guardia beach. A small hut for the rescue services.
La Guardia beach. A small hut for the rescue services. | Source

© 2019 Gro Kristina Slaatto

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    • Lorna Lamon profile image

      Lorna Lamon 

      4 months ago

      This is a great article full of interesting information and beautiful photos. I love this particular part of Spain and tend to visit as often as I can in order to catch up with old friends.

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