Almuñécar and La Herradura form the tourist capital of the Costa Tropical. This relatively unknown stretch of Spain's southern coastline belongs to Granada province in Andalucia. It lies between the more populous Costa del Sol to the west, and the coast of Almería to the east.
It's here that the continent of Africa is trying, and noticeably succeeding, to push its way under the mass of Europe. The dramatic results are what give the Costa Tropical its special geography and climate, so unlike any other coastline in southern Spain.
Almuñécar and its handsome Moorish castle sit on a small hill between the mouths of two rivers - the Río Seco and the larger Río Verde. The latter runs through Almuñécar's Tropical Valley, a fertile area of mainly subtropical fruit orchards that line the valley floor and climb the terraced hillsides. To the west of the town lies the Punta de la Mona, a pineclad headland sheltering the attractive Marina del Este sports port and home to a number of luxury urbanisations.
Beyond, is the pretty village and horseshoe-shaped bay of La Herradura and another large natural promontory, Cerro Gordo, which marks the end of the municipality and province. Inland, the approximately 80 km² municipality rises into the hills which form an impressive backdrop to the coast. Farmhouses and small hamlets dot the area overlooked by the Peña Escrita natural park.