Phoenician and Roman route
Phoenicians, Punic, Carthaginians and Romans settled for several centuries on the Costa Tropical, attracted by the wealth of agricultural resources, fishing and the facilities for coastal shipping that took advantage of the ports and natural anchorages for maritime trade in oils, wines, salted fish and other derived products.
The proximity of the mouths of rivers, hills or mountains near the coast and areas of refuge for their boats were three essential elements to determine colonization.
The bays and maritime shelters of many towns along the Costa Tropical allowed a constant relationship with the natives and facilitated the settlement of numerous communities, some of them of extraordinary importance in their time.
Colonies, small rural settlements such as Ceres or Selambina, and even true Roman cities such as Sexs, which conserve public facilities, cemeteries, columbariums and numerous decorative elements of Roman villas, which together with numerous pieces of extraordinary value can be admired in the Archaeological Museum of Almuñécar.
The Necropoli de Laurita and Puente del Noi deserve special attention in the Route, for which guided visits organized by the municipality of Almuñécar are recommended. The Roman bridge of Cotobro, Cueva 7 Palacios, Salting factory, the Roman thermal bath complex of La Carrera, and the section of the great Roman aqueduct on its way through the area of the Cercado de Santa Cruz with another one of great interest in the crossing of Torrecuevas. You can download the “Route Guide” that will facilitate the location of these and other spaces of your interest.
Route of the Castles, towers and Watchtowers
The coast of Granada is dotted with forts, castles, towers and watchtowers from different eras, witnesses of the history of these lands. Its status as a border area of the Nasrid kingdom of Granada, together with the proximity to North Africa, made these coasts very insecure. Both Muslims in the Middle Ages, and Christians from the sixteenth century, were forced to strengthen the surveillance of the coast, which was constantly incurred by privateers, pirates, thieves, who often fleeced the local population. The conquest of Granada by the Christians, 1492, and the defeat of the Turkish squadron at the battle of Lepanto, 1571, caused the increase of piracy on the coast.
The itinerary allows you to visit the towers, castles and watchtowers of the Costa Tropical that are in a better state of conservation and accessibility. Some buildings are visitable, others not. All are of great historical interest, and landscaping. In many cases the natural environment in which they are located deserve your attention.
Castillo de la Herradura (s.XVIII).
Located a few meters from the beach. In 1764, Carlos III decreed the construction of a defensive castle-fort, Castillo de la Herradura that communicated with the watchtowers of Cerro Gordoy of Punta de la Mona.
Castillo de San Miguel, Almuñécar (s.XIV).
Visitable. Muslim and Christian fortress; It houses Roman remains. Located in the neighborhood of San Miguel.
Castillo de Salobreña (s.XIII).
Visitable. Fue residencia veraniega de los reyes nazaritas de Granada, prisión de reyes destronados, y fortaleza militar cristiana.
Castillo de Carchuna (s.XVIII).
Visitable when an event or exhibition is performed. This castle is a fortification of type “defensive front”, and its situation is not independent of the system of watchtowers of the coast. Inside there is a large rectangular patio that served as a parade ground, around which the rooms are distributed.
Castillo de Castell de Ferro (s.XIV).
Acceso a pié desde el centro del pueblo. Vistas panorámicas excelentes de la bahía.
Castillo de la Rábita (s.XIV).
In very good condition. It is located in the center of the town.
Torre de Cerro Gordo.
On the cliff, this tower is reached by a path that starts from the main road.
Torre de Punta de la Mona (s.XVIII).
Today it is the lighthouse of Puerto Marina del Este.
Torre de Defensa de Galera (s.XVIII).
Defensive tower for artillery, next to the beach of Tesorillo. It is privately owned.
Torre de los Diablos (s.XVIII).
At 70 meters above the sea and with access from the national road, it crowns the mountain that protects the beach of Curumbico.
Torre del Cambrón (s.XIII).
Visitable. Of Nazari origin, it is the oldest and most slender of those we will find on the coast. Located in the gardens of the Salobreña Best Western hotel.
Torre de defensa de Baños (s.XVIII).
Artillery tower, very well restored. In the core of the population. Access from the national highway.
Torre de Cautor (s.XVI).
Access of land from the national highway. Good panoramas
Torre Vigía de la Rábita (s.XVIII).
Access on foot from the center of the town.
Torre de Melicena (s.XVII).
Built by Christians over another of Nazari origin. Its objective was to guard the coast of Sorvilán from the dangers of the arrival of pirates and enemy ships.
Route of the historical and singular Gardens
If you like gardening and history, you’re in luck. Botany and history go hand in hand in each of the spaces that are part of this itinerary. The El Majuelo Park, next to the great Phoenician Phoenician fish salting factory of Sexi in Almuñécar, is surprising because of its location at the foot of the walls of the medieval castle. Plants from many countries of the world and numerous marble sculptures are worth a visit. Free access.
The magical world of bonsai has its place on the Costa Tropical. The bonsai garden of Almuñécar offers a beautiful tour of an open-air enclosure where you can recognize and admire hundreds of bonsai specimens of species from Japan and other countries. Open all year long.
In Vélez de Benaudalla the Nazarí Garden, known as Generalife Chico, is a singular example of gardens-gardens of the Nasrid culture; in it, water and vegetation join the imposing vertical garden above the river. Do not forget to visit the natural caves created by the water on the travertine cliff. Check schedule and rates.
The Romantic Garden Casa de los Bates, between Salobreña and Motril, surrounds the elegant building of the s. XIX that gives its name and that is currently rural accommodation. Its staircases, fountains and spaces offer the possibility of enjoying ancient trees: araucarias, magnolias, cypresses, cedars of Lebanon and different types of palms such as kentias, washingtonias, date palms, etc. Bougainvillea, jasmine, celindos, gerberas and other plants fill this space with color. Check schedule and rates. Prior reservation is required.
Surrounding the Sanctuary of the Virgen de la Cabeza, where according to legend the residence of Queen Aixa Alhorra, the mother of Boabdil, last sultan of Granada, was built, you will find a viewpoint and at your feet the Park of the Peoples of America with a variety of species of the American continent that completes this visit. Free access.
In the municipality of Jete we propose the visit to the unique Kitty Harri Sculpture Garden, where more than a hundred sculptures are joined to different species of palm trees, shrubs and tropical trees, creating a very special artistic space. The viewpoints over the Rio Verde Valley are spectacular. Chamber music concerts are frequent. Prior reservation is required.