The coast from Nerja all the way to the east is called the Costa Tropical. That is not surprising because this part of the South Coast has its own tropical micro climate and a wide variety of fruits growing in this area.
La Herradura (‘horseshoe’) is situated in a spectacular bay on the foot of the Alpujarra mountain range. Some 70km east of Malaga and 90km south of Granada, this small but lively town has a 3 km stretch of beach and boulevard, several restaurants and it offers diving and other water sports activities. It has 3 good beaches in the vicinity. On the east-side there is a small harbor.
Punta de la Mona, the green spit of land on the east side of the bay, has a light house, a restaurant and is a villa area. La Torre is situated at the very south side of the Punta, 15 minutes on foot from the centre of La Herradura and its beach.
La Herradura is lively all year around. In the winter many pensioners stay there to enjoy the weather, which is the best of all continental Europa. With more than 300 days of sun shine and an average temperature in winter of close to 20oC, the climate in La Herradura and its surroundings are even better than the rest of the South coast. In summer it doesn’t get all that hot because of the light sea-breeze. In the summer La Herradura is very lively, but since it has a limited capacity and no high rise, it never attracts the mass-tourism like on the Costa del Sol.
The surroundings of La Herradura
Only 7 km east from La Herradura is Almunecar, a typically old Spanish seaside town, dating back to Roman times. It is overlooked by the remains of an old Moorish castle. The maze of narrow streets in the old quarter are crammed with a variety of shops, bars and restaurants which come alive at night. There is an excellent indoor market selling (cheap!) wonderful freshly caught fish and seafood and an amazing variety of exotic, locally grown fruit and vegetables.There are tropical gardens and parks to relax in, plazas with tapas bars and restaurants offering alfresco dining. The palm-lined promenade stretches several kilometres with many excellent restaurants and lively bars.There is also a large Aqua park with flumes and rides, which is open June until September.From here a road leads into the rough and spectacular mountain range and Rio Verde. It is a magnificent mountain area and offers great hiking opportunities. One hiking trails leads into the beautiful gorge of the Rio Verde. It is only a 25 minutes drive away from La Herradura.Granada (approx 90 km) is only a good 50 minutes away. Granada and the world known Alhambra palace is about an hour inland with many beautiful villages nestling in the Alpjurras en-route. Granada itself is a beautiful city with an historic centre and is a pleasant town to go shopping.
Just south of Granada are the Nevada mountains. The highest mountain is 3400m and it offers great skying opportunities in the winter and hiking is possible all year round. At the south side of the Sierra Nevada valleys and gorges form las Alpujurras. Villages like Trevelez (known for their ham) are really worth visiting.
West of La Herradura (10km) one can find the old and pretty town Nerja. It is the start of the Costa del Sol. It is a 10 minutes drive on the motorway or 20 minutes by the winding coast road. Nerja is a more developed resort, more typical of the neighbouring Costa del Sol, with sandy beaches and the beautiful Balcon d’Europa promenade and pedastrianised shopping area.
In between La Herradura and Nerja are grottos that people can visit all year. Land-inwards from Nerja lies Frigiliana, a town of white houses and narrow streets nestled in the mountains.
Wining, dining and others
La Herradura has a great variety of bars and restaurant both on the beach as well as on and behind the boulevard. Next to the local dished and tapas, there are Italian restaurants, a steak and hamburger house and a Chinese restaurant. Most restaurants are of good quality and offer a wide range of dishes.The small, exclusive marina has some beautiful boats to drool over whilst enjoying a meal or tapas at one of the several excellent restaurants. There are also several art galleries and shops.The adjoining Playa de los Berengueles is a small natural bay ideally suited to diving and snorkelling in the crystal clear waters. It has a lively beach bar where you can enjoy a meal or drink and also hire parasols and sunbeds.
Malaga airport is 80km to the west with motorway to within 5km of the apartment giving a commute of around 50 minutes.Granada airport is also about 80km but with less motorway taking around an hour. However, the airport is much quieter and the drive is spectacular with the towering SierraLeisure and Sport activities
There are three 18 hole golf courses within half an hours drive. Athough none of these are championship courses they are in beautiful surroundings and considerably cheaper and less crowded than some of the more popular ones around Malaga.
Baviera golf is 20 minutes drive west toward Malaga close to Nerja.
Campo de Golf los Moriscos is 20 minutes drive east along the coast near Salobrena. This is a new 18 hole course with a green fee of 40 euros. Tee times can be booked with their English speaking staff and clubs can be hired.
The third course Motril-playMoa is another 10 minutes further on from Salobrena.
Skiing in Sierra Nevada
The Sierra Nevada mountains are about an hour and half away with Spains best skiing and highest peaks. The main resort Solynieve is Europes sunniest ski resort and at 2200m also one of the highest, guaranteeing one of the longest ski seasons from early December to late April.
It is a surprisingly large resort with 23 lifts and 80 kilometers with good intermediate skiing and excellent nursery slopes for beginners. There are many hotels and bars and the resort successfully mixes the Alpine apres-ski with traditional Spanish tapas. From the top of the Veleta at 3400m, you can on a clear day sea across the Mediterranean sea to the Atlas mountains of Morocco.
Prices are considerably cheaper than most Alpine resorts.
Water sports/ leisure
La Herradura offers plenty of water sports and other activities (such as paragliding). On the beach of the village, kayaks, water scooters and pedal boats can be rented, while a lot of people enjoy windsurfing or sailing.
The marina is a short drive from the villa and has several excellent restaurants and bars, art galleries and a dive centre. Adjacent to the marina is a small, sheltered shingle beach with safe swimming and some of the best diving and snorkling in Southern Spain.
Almunecar has several large beaches, a water park, restaurants and many other facilities.
One of the most beautiful beaches of the South of Spain is only 2 km westwards of La Herradura surrounded by a national park. It is a nude beach and on the beach there are 2 restaurants.