La Herradura is a small coastal town located 50 minutes from Málaga airport. This traditional town is to the East of Málaga and part of the province of Granada on the Costa Tropical. It is special in so many ways; La Herradura means The Horseshoe and this striking bay resembles its name.
Traditionally this hidden gem relied on fishing and farming for its revenue and thankfully although there has been expansion over the years, the charm of the town remains.
There are many traditional tapas bars, the province of Granada is the only province where you are guaranteed a free "tapa" with a glass of wine or beer, an old tradition of serving food with a drink which may be fresh fish, ham, cheese, or meats etc... Equally there are restaurants in La Herradura to cater for all tastes, there are the "chiringuitos" (beach restaurants) specialising in fresh fish and shellfish. There are a number of Italian restaurants, a Chinese and some other cosmopolitan options catering for all budgets.
The bay is spectacular and unique and there are many water sports available. The area is synonymous with diving and snorkelling with many sites both in the main bay of La Herradura and Marina Playa which is just 5 minutes further to the East.
Other water sports include kayaking which allow access to some of the tiny coves and beaches that can only be reached by water, paddle boarding (the technique of standing on a surf style board and using an oar to paddle across the waves), Hobie Cats, sailing, surfing and much more.
The mountains that sit just beyond this pretty town have many pathways for keen walkers, cyclists and for horse riding, all amongst the most stunning scenery.
Depending on the time of year that you may visit, there are many local fiestas.
In March we have La Herradura’s patron saint day of San José with a funfair, traditional Flamenco dancing, horse show, bull fighting and horse racing on the beach.
There is also an annual "Romeria", a traditional weekend where all the local horsemen, women and children ride around the town in their traditional costumes.
San Juan, June 23rd, is a national fiesta when many people camp on the beaches and for that night only are permitted camp fires and at midnight everyone cleanses themselves in the sea.
For those seeking the sunshine and an experience of traditional Spain within easy reach of Málaga airport opt for East rather than West and visit the beautiful village of La Herradura.
The city of Granada, an historic Moorish city with the famous Alhambra Palace is just an hour from La Herradura by car with the ski slopes of the Sierra Nevada approximately 20 minutes further.
One of few places where one can have breakfast on the beach in the sun, go skiing all day and return for a sundowner on the beach in the evening and witness the amazing sunsets in this special bay.
The headland of Cerro Gordo Natural Park
Topped by a Moorish watch tower provides several fascinating local walks with fabulous panoramic views west to Malaga and east to Salobreña. There is a wide variety of wild life to be seen, which includes mountain goats, deer and even wild boar.
Just to the other side of the Cerro Gordo, is one of several naturist beaches in the area and has two excellent restaurants.
West of La Herradura
The coastline towards Nerja is stunningly beautiful, offering unique mountain vistas; a wealth of fascinating flora and fauna; and numerous secluded coves and beaches to explore.
Nerja itself is famous for its underground cave system, the largest in Europe, which hosts an exciting programme of concert performances in its subterranean auditorium during the summer months. The Balcon de Europa forms the focal point in Nerja and is a favourite place for everyone to gather in the long summer evenings, with its many street artists, performers and musicians. Tours of the town can be taken by horse drawn carriage or by the local road train, much loved by the children.
Frigiliana, a charming traditional ‘white’ Andalucian village, lies in the hills above Nerja. With its steep patterned cobbled streets, craft shops and stunning views to the coast it attracts many visitors. There are several traditional restaurants with balconies giving stunning views towards the coast.
Marina Del Este
A short drive to the east of the village of La Herradura, provides stylish mooring for the yachts of the rich and famous. On the quayside there are several art galleries to peruse and many excellent restaurants for that romantic night out.
Pena Escrita Natural Park
Pena Escrita Natural Park is a short, but steep, drive into the mountains above the village. There is a wide variety of animals to be seen here in the zoological park, including hippos, bears, monkeys and kangaroos. Indigenous animals, such as the local deer, can also be seen roaming freely on the hillside. Log cabins are available for overnight or weekend stays. There is a large outdoor pool/lido open during the summer and a restaurant offering many local delicacies. Mountain bike hire and horse riding are also available.
The Alhambra Palace, Granada. It is said that a man who dies without seeing the Alhambra has seen nothing. The Alhambra is the most visited cultural site in Europe and is a rewarding excursion. Due to its popularity it is recommended that tickets are pre-booked through any branch of the BBVA Bank.
The city of Granada is well worth visiting, its beautiful cathedral, the Albayzin and ethnic quarters are all of interest. The best exterior views of the Alhambra are from the Plaza San Nicolas.
The Alpujarras. The mountain area made famous in Chris Stewart’s " Driving Over Lemons " lies to the south of Granada and is easily reached from the coast. The three most renowned villages, Bubion, Pampaneira and Capileira are a magnet for tourists and walkers alike, with their abundance of tiny shops selling local crafts and delicacies.
The local Tourist Information office can advise on all activities available in the area.