This week we took a short break down the coast, specifically to Almunecar (where we stayed) and to the caves in Nerja, Balcon De Europa and more – indeed we also visited various places along the coast including Salobrena and other, smaller towns and of course the trip would not be complete without a shopping excursion in Granada on the way back. (click on the map or any photo for a larger version).
The A92 is not at it’s best right now, there are a few patches detracting from a great journey but it’s no worse than the M6 and the view is a lot nicer. The motorway does however have it’s share of speed cameras and the sat-nav is virtually useless thanks to some over-enthusiastic reporting of camera locations.
The whole trip is nice – the But first, Almunecar – very nice – touristy – yes and certainly not somewhere I’d want to visit in July or August but now most of the tourists have cleared off for the summer – we’d definitely take another look.
So our first stop (after the obligatory lunch on the beach) was Hotel Casablanca on the sea front at the junction of Paseo De Las Flores and Paseo De La Caletilla in Almunecar – opposite the Penones de San Cristobal (see statue below, near the entrance). The hotel was inexpensive – and not the best pillows in the world but pleasant, well maintained, wifi, clean, cheap – excellent value for money.
When we arrived they clearly had figured they would convince us to take a balcony room and almost double their income – they didn’t seen to know what to do when we said no thanks – but I think we paid something like 40 Euros or so (remember this is off-season) for the room, it had air-conditioning and was clean with an excellent bathroom!
Others we know like this hotel so it looks like one to remember overall.
The location of the hotel could not be better – straight out of the door you are at the beach, it is walking distance along Paseo De La Caletilla to the old town (superb little backstreets, chocker full of bars, restaurants and shops – including some great stores full of wonderful stained glass lamps – can’t really explain why that’s interesting without showing you them and I didn’t take photos – flat phone battery).
We went for a walk and stumbled across a fantastic park which Google doesn’t even mention but here’s a link – it is free to wander around, with fantastic statues and various ruins (Majuelo Botanical Gardens – mainly a fish salting factory that dates to Phoenician times – fascinating) and so much more (the ruins are fairly obvious in the link above)– I didn’t take a note of it’s name but what an experience. Next to the park itself is a kind of mini-zoo – Park Botanico – we took that in as well.
After an evening in Almunecar, we set off down to Nerja to visit the caves and were not disappointed – some students I think discovered them late last century – just by accident – and they are MASSIVE – we took the un-guided tour and I really do recommend the place.
From Nerja we headed off via Maro, La Herradura to Salobrena – can’t say I felt any urgent desire to visit the latter again… and then up to Granada for some supplies and wood for my next project. Overall would we take this trip again – you bet. First opportunity – I reckon as the weather cools off it is probably viable for perhaps another month before the winter air starts to get in the way – September seems a really good time for this – not too many tourists, still plenty of sunshine.