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Almuñécar, memories from half a century

Almuñécar is a paradise that has long been a popular place for foreigners to both visit and to settle on. Already around the year 800 b.C. the Phoenicians (from the area of present-day Lebanon) came here and founded a trading post. But when did the first foreigners come to Almuñécar in more recent days?

In the late 1950s, the Costa del Sol started to become a popular destination for Scandinavian tourists as charter trips got underway. On October 20, 1959, the charter line “Ruta del Sol” was inaugurated when Finnish Kar Air flew from Helsinki, via Bromma (Stockholm) and landed at Málaga Airport. The charter trips, the wonderful climate, the exotic environment and the exciting culture, including flamenco and bullfighting, attracted the Northerners. The sunshine coast was quickly expanded with the towns of Benalmadena, Estepona, Fuengirola, Marbella, Puerto Banus and Nerja. The whole Costa del sun flourished from being a poor fishing and agricultural area. But how was Almuñécar affected by this?

I have tried to find written facts about the first Scandinavians who came to Almuñécar, but not succeeded. However, I have been told that in the late 1950s a small number of Swedish artists found their way here. In 1963 I know that our Swedish neighbors bought their house here in Torrecuevas and in 1965 my parents-in-laws came to visit for the first time.

Do you know more about Scandinavian history here in Almuñécar?Have you, your parents or maybe your grandparents been here since the ’50s, ’60s or ’70s? In that case, it would be great if you would also like to share memories or stories from that time.

Rolf Bönström Hedberg, Almuñécar. In the summer of 1968, I made my first trip to Spain. We flew charter and stayed in a hotel in Torremolinos. After a couple of days, we rented a car and travelled east towards Almuñécar to visit our newly purchased house.

The old coastal road from Malaga went through all the villages along the coast, which took its time, so we had a coffee break in Torre del Mar. Last part of the road from Nerja to Almuñécar took just over an hour – thirty kilometers with 360 curves, partly not wide enough for passing traffic.

There was a lot of traffic with both trucks and buses and that road railings were missing probably discouraged many from driving further east after Maro. The poor road can be one of the reasons why Almuñécar has been a little behind in the tourist development and thus also preserved much of the genuine that is so unique to the city.

After a total of three hours of travel we rounded the curve after Cotobro where we got a first look at Almuñécar (the old road). It was a breathtaking view of the city, the sea and the plantations around it.

Cotobro, 1968
Almuñécar & playa San Cristóbal, 1968

Almuñécar was then a small village that made a living from fishing and agriculture.

playa San Cristóbal, 1968

The last sugar mill in town – Azucarera San Rafael – remained next to the Palacete de la Najarra (today’s tourist office). Along the playa San Cristóbal there were very few buildings, there were plantations all the way down to the beach. Where Avenida Juan Carlos is located there was the city limits, the entire “P4” area was cultivated land. The first high-rise building at Velilla had been built, but there was no road along the water beyond the green river.

When my parents bought our place in 1968, the plot was measured at half of what it is today. Exactly the same plot as today, but from what I have heard, it was then “traditionally” measured according to the estimate how long it took for a donkey to plow the ground! When we got here there was no road to the house, no water / sewage, no electricity, no cultivation terraces. About 80 almond trees were on the plot and these did not need irrigation. The farmer we bought the house from went with his mule to a well along the aqueduct in Río Seco to fetch water for household needs.

1970 – Together with several neighbors, a water pipe was pulled more than a kilometer from a source in the Río Verde to the plots of our area. A permit had to be obtained by a landowner who then lived above Rescate. The road there was barely navigable by car at the time – exciting for a Swedish Volvo Amazon (and those on board)!

Since then I have made quite a few trips here to Almuñécar and have had more than 50 years of wonderful experiences in this paradise!

Jenny Sydhoff, Ekerö. 50 years ago, my parents, Christel and Sven Thomsen, bought a “cortijo” with chicken coop and donkey stable on the hillside above Playa Cabria. The purchase contract was signed with a thumbprint.

The goats went off and grazed over the plot, and on the gate, we hung a cloth bag of pesetas, which in the morning had been changed to fresh “pan”.

For me it was playan that applied, well lubricated in olive oil and with lemon in the hair…

Guardia Civil stood on the post on the hills and served as a morality policeofficer. Life was exotic, and a bit scary for a teenager who was used to Swedish 70’s.

During the last 20 – 25 years my parents lived most of the year in Almuñécar. They moved towards the end to an apartment on Paseo Reina Sofia. That’s where my husband and I, as new retirees, are starting to spend more and more time. We discover all the beauty that Almuñécar has to offer us tourists. At the top are lovely produce, hikes in the team of good friends and the fantastic skiing in the Sierra Nevada.

Playan? Today it is nice to walk on!

The above text in Swedish: Almuñécar, minnen från ett halvt sekel
The above text in Spanish: Almuñécar, recuerdos de medio siglo


Almuñécar, a multinacional town

The fact that Almuñécar still feels like a genuinely Spanish town is appreciated by many foreigners who choose to come here. But, did you know that in Almuñécar – La Herradura live people from over 90 different countries? Of the total 26,514 people registered here in 2019, we were 4729 (=21.6%) coming from another country. The largest proportion of Almuñécar’s immigrants come from another EU country and the most from the UK (1022), followed by Belgium (388) closely followed by Germany (385). From the Nordic countries most people come from Denmark (252) then Sweden (171), Finland (33) and Norway (27). Source: Junta de Andalucía

In addition to all of us foreigners (extranjeros) who are resident in Almuñécar – La Herradura, and thus included in the official statistics, there are many, many more who regularly stay here and enjoy paradise for a shorter or longer time.

What about us extranjeros in Almuñécar – La Herradura, have we adapted to Spanish society or do we continue to behave, talk, and think in exactly the same way as we did /do in our home countries? Is integration as important for us immigrants here in Spain as to anyone who for example immigrates to Sweden?

Integration is about feeling a sense of belonging in society. This means that everyone should feel part of Swedish society. Integration is about different groups in society meeting and having an exchange with each other.”

Source: informationsverige.se

Felicia Sanchez Hermansson is married to a Spanish man and they have two teenage children. She was born and raised in Sweden and has lived in Spain for several periods and years, most recently here in Almuñécar.

Here we get to take part of Felicia’s thoughts on integration.

For our family, it does not matter where we live, some of us will always be immigrants. As an immigrant, I once had an interesting conversation with another Swede when I pointed out that we were immigrants, to which his reaction was “But I pay taxes”. We are all people with the right to see and interpret things differently, but one thing is for sure, if you live in a foreign country you fit in under immigrant whether you pay taxes or not. Immigrants have a very negative tone in many people’s heads, which I think is sad, there are immigrants of all kinds – both with desirable behaviors and attitudes and less so.

When I moved to Spain in 2002 with minimal Spanish in my vocabulary, I had no idea what a Moroccan looked like or how they spoke, nor did I know that a South American could be a little “less worth” in the eyes of Spaniards. I got a group of friends from all over the world but the more Spaniards I got to know the more I became aware of different types of immigrants – I belonged to the “elite” and was accepted in a way that my friends were not, but I was still an immigrant.

When Alberto moved to Sweden, the same thing happened, everyone could say “una cerveza por favor” and thought he was a “good” immigrant once they found out where he came from. In some situations, he was treated differently depending on whether his nationality was known or not. He belongs to the “elite” of immigrants in Sweden – those who do not have to but who has immigrated for one reason or another – just like me in Spain.

The problems with and behind immigration can be summed up with the term integration. In the 90’s, a Swedish TV program “Kalla Fakta” made a documentary about immigrant Swedes on Costa del Sol and it was interesting how many chose not to even try to integrate into their new country. How the principal of the Swedish school demanded from the police chief in Fuengirola that they must have English-speaking police who answer the phone because their students could not speak Spanish. How many people only hung out in circles with other Swedes, a small community within the community was created. The radio documentary Fucking Suecos also pointed out the problems with the integration of us Swedes in Spain. The Spaniards saw the Swedish society as something negative. It may not be perceived as a problem from within, but from the outside it is interpreted as a problematic situation.

When several people gather in one place with the same culture, traditions, language, and attitude, it is difficult to try to integrate, it is comfortable and feels “at home”. For example, we like to have dinner at 6 pm and not 9 pm. The fact that a traditional Spanish kitchen does not really open until 8 pm is no problem because they can adapt to us – we are paying costumers. Many of these small changes are common in tourist areas, but with each adaptation, a little of what is genuine for each place is lost… A detail that many people really appreciate and want to keep. What is the situation with integration in Almuñécar – La Herradura? Who adapts to whom? Do you feel integrated or has a society been created within the Spanish society? Are we trying to integrate, or do we think it is enough that we help by spending money? As I mentioned before, we belong to the “elite” of immigrants, does that mean we do not have to try? Or do we choose in which areas we want to be integrated (perhaps paying in cash to avoid VAT)?

For integration, language is the most important thing! But it is not entirely easy even though you speak the language flawlessly. My old bosses often told me that ”I am Spanish dressed up as Swedish”. Then you might think that I have succeeded in integrating, but I often end up in situations where I am treated in English because of how I look – I am judged because of my appearance and then my language skills do not matter. Our children who have dual nationality and are bilingual do not fit in anywhere, they must live with nicknames such as the Spaniard or el sueco. They feel more Swedish than Spanish, but physically they look more Spanish, which resulted in our oldest son, at a very young age, wanting to change eyes.

Will you ever finish integrating? The longer you live in one place, you get used to things a little at a time and in the end something that you previously thought was a bit weird becomes completely normal. There are many things that are different, but the more you see and experience these things, the more “normal” they become. That children are up half the nights in the middle of the week or that you order a vegetarian dish and have it served with tuna. Maybe we are integrated, maybe we never will be…


Almuñécar, the city of friends!

Many people who come to Almuñécar experience that they have a much richer social life here then in their home countries, and find it so easy to make new friends. The reason for this can only be speculated on. But, to some extent I think that the wonderful climate which makes it possible to meet outdoors almost all year round is an important part of it all. The main reason is probably that there is a large variety of activities and that there are so amazingly nice people who choose to be right here in Almuñécar. Or, what do you think?

What is known, however, is that there is a strong link between health and being part of a community. So, the community that we have here in Almuñécar with our friends is extremely important for us to feel good!

In Almuñécar there are many places and ways to meet. Whether you are here by yourself, with a group, with your partner or family, you are always welcome to participate in joint hikes, at the “knitting club” and knit to premature babies, to play boule or padel, to join a pleasant trip or simply have a nice dinner together with friends.

Developmental biologists believe that our capacity for community and cooperation is a great advantage for us to survive at all. The Stone Age man who was part of a community was more likely to survive than the one who walked around alone on the savannah. Man is simply made to be part of a community!

There are several different explanations as to why social relationships are good for health. In addition to the fact that it is simply (usually) very nice to socialize with other people, the researchers have, among other things, found that there is a direct physiological impact on the body by heart rate and blood pressure decreases in positive social relationships and that the immune system is strengthened.

For those of you who are staying in Almuñécar, or may long to come here, then there is the opportunity to become a member of the Facebook group Almuñécar vänner (Almuñécar friends).

The group was founded by Bosse Essén and Frida Hansson on October 13, 2013 and is celebrating its 7th anniversary. The purpose of the group, which today has 3148 members, is “to spread information about Almuñécar, to make new friends and important/pleasant information about our dear Paradise through the internet and to feel welcome here.”

Almuñécar vänner have meetings at 11.00 in Chinasol, from the first Tuesday of October to the last Tuesday in March. From April to the end of September, the meetings take place at Heladeria Isla de Capri at San Cristobal.  Almuñécar vänner have so far had 169 “Tuesday meetings”! The meetings are cancelled in the autumn 2020 due to Covid-19.

Almuñécar vänner has a library at Heladeria Isla de Caprihas where you can borrow, or leave books, and read the group’s information binder.

Many people who come to Almuñécar the first time say that they chose to come right here thanks to all the nice things they read about the town in the group.

Being a member of Almuñécar vänner is free.

In Almuñécar you can also become a member of the association  Los Nordicos. The association is non-profit, non-religious as well as culturally, socially, and politically independent. The aim is to promote mutual knowledge and friendship between Spaniards and Nordics, carry out activities that reflect the different Nordic cultures and help and inform the members.

As a member of Los Nordicos, you are part of a community. The association creates meeting places for socializing and between different parts of Spanish society. You may get help and advice through others in the association and through the association’s various programs with many different activities, such as boule, bingo, golf and excursions.

During the period October – March there are member meetings at Chinasol on Wednesdays (17.00 mingle, 17.30 – 19.00 entertainment and lectures). The member meetings are cancelled in the autumn 2020 due to Covid-19.

Expedition for Los Nordicos, open on Tuesdays 14:00 – 15:00 at Chinasol in the premises next to the ATM. Information about the association’s activities can be found at Chinasol’s check-in desk. Library at Chinasol is open Tuesdays 14:00 – 15:00.

Membership in Los Nordicos costs 20€ per year. As a member you get discounts in several shops, on “Wednesday meetings” and at golf courses.

Count your garden in the dimensions of flowers,
never in the leaves that fall.
Count days in golden hours only, and the clouds

– forget them all.
Count nights in stars not shadows.
Count life in smiles not in sorrows you get.
And every year that you turn count your age in friends, not years.

These wise words Queen Silvia of Sweden said in her speech to her husband King Carl Gustaf on his 50th birthday (in 1996).


Almuñécar – a paradise!

Paradise, a wonderful little word that makes me think of a place where body and soul are in balance, where you are at peace with yourself and your surroundings, a place where you feel as good as you can!

The word paradise originates from the Persian word pairidaeza, meaning garden. According to Wikipedia, paradise is a place of satisfaction, but not necessarily a land of luxury and idleness.

I think that description fits very well for one of my favorite places here on earth, Almuñécar, and I know that many people are willing to agree with me.

Photo of Almuñécar: Mats T Karlsson

Lennart Olofsson, Kristianstad (has lived almost all my life in the north of Sweden, in Västerbotten). For the last ten years, my wife Lisa and I have shared our time between Kristianstad and Almuñécar, 6 months in each place.

During our Andalusian six months we go hiking in the mountains, play golf and hang out with good friends. It’s amazing that we only have a little over an hour to the mountains of the Sierra Nevada. We also devote a lot of time to our Nordic association, Los Nordicos.

Lisa Olofsson, Kristianstad (lives half the year in Almuñécar).

My husband Lennart and I first went to Almuñécar in 2001 to visit good friends. It was love at first sight for the place and the people.

A rich social life means a lot, but above all the opportunity to play golf and hike makes this is where we want to live as long as possible.

Tomas Svärd, Östergötland. What I think is best about Almuñécar is the climate, the climate and the climate. It is a moderate Spanish small town with functioning business apart from tourism, so it does not take over in the cityscape.

The fact it is just over an hour to the Sierra Nevada forest area was the decisive straw for us to put down our nest piles in Almuñécar.

Britt Ogenhall Svärd, Östergötland. I first came to Almuñécar in March 2018 and now I spend half the year here and half in Sweden.

I think the best about Almuñécar is the wonderful climate and that the city feels genuinely Spanish.

Here we always find something to do, we participate on lovely hikes, playing paddle and boule etc. It is also great fun that we meet so many nice people here in the city.

nature water drops of water liquid english

Water in Almuñécar

Managing drinking water and sewage treatment is a major challenge for many tourist resorts around the world. How does municipal drinking water and sewage treatment in Almuñécar – La Herradura work?

Text: Rolf Bönström Hedberg

Drinking water

The importance of access to water even the Romans knew since they built the aqueducts to Almuñécar. However, when the Romans were pushed out by the Western Goths in the early 400s, much of this infrastructure fell into disrepair due to lack of maintenance. When the Moors took power in most of Spain in the early 700s, there was severe drought and crop failure in the country.

The Moors not only repaired but also expanded the water supply to be able to grow the soil with better and several harvests per year. Tunnels and covered waterways were also built to reduce evaporation. Special water tribunals were established where elected members of the farmers decided how the water would be distributed. Such a tribunal still exists in Valencia – over a thousand years later!

Aqueducts in Torrecuevas

Parts of the aqueducts in Almuñécar are still in use today, today they are now supplemented with new wells (Pozos) in the river valleys. The Rio Verde and Rio Seco rivers also exist today, but mostly the water flows 30 – 40 meters below ground level.

Closer to the coast and in Almuñécar, however, the water flows much closer to the surface. Several newly built garages and parking spaces under Paseo del Altillo and San Cristobal therefore have bilge pumps that continuously keep the water level below the floor surface. There is a thought that this “fresh water” could be returned to the ground for irrigation a few kilometers upstream instead of just pumping it out into the sea, but it costs…

Due to the uneven availability of water here in southern Spain, large water reservoirs are required to ensure the water supply all year round. In the mid-1980s, after the very dry summer of 1983, there was a project to build a dam in Rio Verde. But, like many projects, none of it happened.

The larger dams in use in the vicinity of Almuñécar are Beznar (56 hm3, completed in 1935) and Rules (111 hm3, completed in 2004). The water in both dams comes from the Sierra Nevada mainly via Rio Guadalfeo. Rules was built as a water reservoir for agriculture that consumes about 70 % of all fresh water. However, almost 17 years after completion, the fitting of water pipes to supply the growers with water has not begun. Like many large projects, the budget was already consumed, and the money was not enough. Today the dam is probably the world’s most expensive windsurfing pool!

Rules dam

However, the water from the Sierra Nevada that has ended up in the Rules dam is used today for drinking water. Pipes from the dam go to a water works (=una potabilizadora) in Molvizar. It treats the water to become municipal drinking water in Almuñécar – La Herradura. The water is filtered, purified from organic matter and microorganisms and added chlorine. The water is quality assured by daily water analysis and then led in pipes via Salobreña, out into the sea to Playa Cabria and on to Almuñécar and La Herradura. The water capacity is normally about 80 litres/second (which means 6.9 million litres/day! Max 200 litres/second) and is sized for up to 220,000 people.

Sewage treatment

As late as the 1950s, latrine etc. was left at the riverside of Rio Verde, roughly below today’s Centro de salud in Almuñécar. One can only imagine how it smelled and how well fed that earth became! In 1970, a town network for the sewer was completed with a pipe that went straight into the Mediterranean, similar to the solution that Nerja still has!!! More about Nerja’s lack of sewage treatment plants can be found here…

The existing Almuñécar treatment plant was put into operation in 2004. The treatment plant was built with 60% funding from the EU, the rest has been paid through the water bills.

All municipal sewage in Almuñécar is linked to a common pumping station located next to the bridge over the Rio Verde (at las Gondolas). From here, the water is pumped to the treatment plant, which is about 1 km up, along the Rio Verde. The Almuñécar water treatment plant = la Depuradora (EDAR: Estaciones Depuradoras de Aguas Residuales) handles 1400 m3 of wastewater/hour and is one of six treatment plants on the Costa Tropical. La Herradura has its own wastewater treatment plant.

The Almuñécar water treatment plant

The treatment of wastewater takes place in several stages to filter out solid particles, microorganisms, sand, fats and organic waste. Organic waste is dried and used as fertilizer  in the agriculture*

The purified water is analyzed daily by three independent parties: internally, externally and by the Junta de Andalusia. The purified water runs in pipes, via Rio Verde, one kilometer out into the sea and flows out at a depth of 50 m. 6000 m3/day, and up to 8000 m3/day in summer.

95 % of all wastewater in Almuñécar is treated through the municipal treatment plant. Small villages and single country houses are not connected to the treatment plant. However, there are requirements that these should also have approved private sewage systems, e.g. three-chamber well with biological filter

* Regarding the use of residues from treatment plants as fertilizer

In Sweden, the government investigation “Non-toxic and circular recirculation of phosphorus from sewage sludge” has been submitted to the government in early 2020. The study proposes a ban on the spread of sewage sludge and, as an alternative, exemption for the spread of good quality agricultural land.

Nerja’s lack of wastewater treatment plants

have so far cost their taxpayers EUR 4.37 million in fines to the EU! Construction of a treatment plant in Nerja began in 2014. Since then, it has suffered from recurring problems and delays. Now the construction is said to be completed, but electrical installations are still missing. Until these are in place, the treatment plant cannot be tested. Operational start-up can hopefully take place before the end of 2021.



Now it’s finally time to start harvesting mango here on the Costa Tropical. Is there any fruit that tastes as heavenly as a perfectly ripe mango or two?

Mango is a stone fruit, i.e. it contains only one kernel, and its Latin name is Mangifera indica. Mango originated originally from northern India, where it grew already in prehistoric times, i.e. more than 4000 years ago. From there, it was the Portuguese who passed the fruit on to parts of South America, the Caribbean, and the Canary Islands about 500 years ago.

Mango began to be grown commercially here on the Costa Tropical as late as the 1980s. The Agricultural School La Mayora in Seville began to test some 40 different kinds of mangoes in the early 1980s to produce the most suitable varieties that would best suit the climate in southern Andalusia. Today, the variety Osteen accounts for about 75% of the mango grown here, the other 25% consists mostly of the varieties Keitt and Tommy Atkins.

Tommy Atkins has a sweet and mild taste. Mature it weighs between 450 – 600 grams. Picked during the period September to October.

Osteen has the most flavor and aroma. Mature it weighs between 300 – 700 grams. Grown only in the provinces of Granada and Malaga. Picked during the period September to November.

Keitt is more acidic and lacks stringy fibers. Mature it weighs between 500 – 2000 grams. The variety is originally from Florida. Picked from mid-October until Christmas.

Many farmers here in Almuñécar have in recent years gone from growing avocados to growing mangoes. The reasons for this is that mango trees require less water than avocados and they produce greater yield per surface area.

In addition to tasting delicious, mango contains plenty of A, C and E vitamins, minerals and a mixture of antioxidants that are good for our health and strengthens our immune system.

Mango is great to eat natural but also suitable for use in cooking and baking.

Mango cupcakes, 12 pcs

  • 75 gr butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1.5 dl granulated sugar
  • 2.5 dl wheat flour (or 2 dl almond flour for gluten-free)
  • 2 dl fresh or frozen mango, cut into ~1.5 x 1.5 cm pieces
  • 1 dl grated coconut
  • and yes, that’s right – no baking soda!
  1. Start by turning on the oven at 225 degrees and fill a muffin plate with paper molds.
  2. Bring out a saucepan and melt the butter. Then remove the pan from the plate.
  3. Pour the sprinkle sugar into the melted butter and stir with a ladle (do not whisk!).
  4. Then crack in the eggs and pour on the wheat flour (or almond flour) and stir with the ladle to a smooth batter.
  5. Distribute the batter in the muffin molds (I usually use a sauce ladle).
  6. Then press 3-4-5 pieces of mango into each form and sprinkle with grated coconut.
  7. Bake in the middle of the oven for 12 – 15 minutes, the muffins should be a bit compact and barely baked, they should have become a bit light golden yellow on top.
  8. Let the muffins cool and enjoy them with some vanilla ice cream.


Once in Almuñécar – always Almuñécar!

Imagine, around the world there are so amazing many great places but is there any place that we love as much as Almuñécar?

I myself first came here in July 1998 together with my boyfriend, now husband, who had been here regularly since 1968. Since then we have spent basically all our holidays here, we used to go here at least 2 -3 times a year. We enjoyed the wonderful nature, culture, weather, atmosphere, food and all wonderful, locally grown fruits and vegetables. Every time we felt so sad to pack up and leave from here, we often asked ourselves “do we really have to go back to Sweden?”. In the end, we decided that “no, we don’t have to”. In 2013, we left Sweden and moved here to our paradise full time.

What is it then that is so special with Almuñécar and why do so many of us long to come back here as soon as we leave? I have put that question to a number of people who come here as soon as they get the opportunity.

Birgitta Löwstett, Stockholm. I came to Almuñecar in 1979 as a tour guide for Trivselresor. Then I had lived and worked in other locations in Spain since 1970. I immediately fell in love with Almuñécar! There was Spain, which I had learned to love, for example Mallorca 10 years earlier. After all, things have changed enormously since then – and unfortunately not everything for the better – but part of my heart is always there. My son’s father has his roots there and thus parts of his family, which of course means a lot. Then I lived (from 1979) in Almuñécar – “full time” – for about 4 years. I have since then always returned, at least twice a year.

In 2015, my partner and I bought an apartment in “Cortijo Santa Cruz”. Until “corona” we have been here 3 –4 times a year, about a month each time. We really hope to be able to continue so soon!

Björn Axelsson, Stockholm. The best thing about the city is that it is still a small, fine Spanish city that – so far – is not so exploited. The nice beaches and alleys and not at least so many nice restaurants. My first visit was probably in 2006, with my partner. Since then I have visited Almuñécar several times each year and in 2015 we bought an apartment.

Felicia Sánchez Hermansson, Eskilstuna. The best thing about Almuñécar is the sun, the color of the sea, the view of Salobreña and Motril, the starry sky, the mountains, not to mention the tasty Alhambra beer. I first came here in 2016 and have lived here full time with my husband and two children the last 3 years. Now we are resident in Sweden, but we will continue to go to our wonderful apartment in Almuñécar, about 8 weeks per year.

Rolf Bönström Hedberg, Almuñécar. I have been to Almuñécar during more than 50 years. In the 1960: s, the city was 30 km and 360 curves “beyond reach”. The dangerous road after Nerja took over an hour and prevented many foreigners from getting all the way here. Almuñécar has, has thus been a couple of decades behind in the development but as a consequence also preserved a genuine atmosphere. The city’s 3000-year-old history and the old town is unique. The subtropical climate, exotic fruits grown here, the dramatic nature with countless hiking trails and cycle routes, the proximity to the Sierra Nevada, lots of attractions. A paradise!


Looking to buy a house?

This post is a collaboration with C&D Solicitors.

On the Costa Tropical there are plenty of brokers and many wonderful houses and apartments for sale. Maybe you have found your dream house and feel that you would rather move in tomorrow?

In that case, it is a good idea to stop and think about what you need to know to buy a property here in Spain:

  • What are the additional costs?
  • What documents do you need to complete the purchase?
  • How does registration in the Land Registry work?
  • What if you want to do an inspection of the property?
  • Are there different rules for a town houses and country houses?
  • How do you check if there are debts linked to the property?
  • Does the bill of sale have to be signed in front of the Notarius public?
  • Do you need to get help from a lawyer or does the broker arrange everything?

If you plan to spend a large part of your savings on a house purchase here in Spain, it´s recomendable to hire a knowledgeable lawyer who can help you through the entire buying process.

At C&D Solicitors there are English speaking lawyers who specialize in Spanish real estate law. They have their office in Torrox Costa, about 30 km from Almuñécar on the way to Malaga. The employees at C&D Solicitors have many customers in Almuñécar – La Herradura and they can make “home visits” if desired.

On the C&D Solicitors website you can read more and get answers to the above questions.



Almuñécar paradise for bikers

Overview of routes from Almuñécar.
Text & photo: Alberto Sanchez.

The Costa Tropical is one of the most desired areas in Spain for bicycle lovers. In this area there are unique features that make this area a paradise for those who love to go out by bike, sun, mountain, beautiful landscapes, and good temperature all year round. Perhaps what you can miss are routes a little flatter, however, there are some slightly flatter and less demanding routes that will delight those who want this type of routes. In this article I will make an overview of different road bike routes without going into much detail, in future articles I will focus on more specific routes. Remember that in winter, the further we move away from the coast and enter the interior, the colder the mountain will get. If we go up in winter, we sweat, and the descent can get very cold and we need winter clothes. In summer (especially July – August) it is important to remember that from 12:00 it can be extremely hot. Get out early if you are going to do a lot of miles.

As I mentioned before, the Costa Tropical, more specifically Almuñécar, belongs to a Tropical area full of mountains. If we leave Almuñécar we have three main options: turn directly towards the mountain climbing the beautiful “puerto de la cabra”, towards Nerja or towards Motril.

Views from the “puerto de la cabra”. Alberto Sanchez and Olle Hägglund.

Routes direction “la Cabra” (old road to Granada): if we leave Almuñécar and go directly to the puerto la Cabra we have a total ascent of about 35 km, if we go up everything that can be climbed. We will go through the villages of Jete and Otivar first. What is the “puerto” itself starts in Jete and in total are fewer kilometers and has several parts, some with descents, however, the ascent itself is done with an average slope of about 7% (max. 10%) and approximately 20 km. It is an incredibly beautiful mountain pass with stunning views of the coast and the Sierras de Tejera and Almijara. It consists of three parts. The first has 22 km and you reach a viewpoint. One kilometer before we get to the top, we have a fountain where we can fill our bottles. If we continue, we will find climbs and descents until we complete 33 km, but we do not finish climbing until we complete approximately 35 kilometers. If we continue, and we are somewhat fit, a usual route is to reach almost Granada. Before we will deviate towards El Padul crossing the A44 motorway and then we will go down the N323 on the way to Motril-Almuñécar (approx. 130 kilometers).

Route to Maro – Cerro Gordo – Playa de las Alberquinas.

Routes direction Nerja: if we go towards Nerja we have several options and routes of different difficulty and distance. If we want to make a short route, we can simply go towards Maro (a few kilometers before Nerja) and there we can turn around completing about 45 kilometers. We will pass through the natural park and cliffs of Cerro Gordo where we can see a lot of natural beaches. On the return I recommend passing through Cerro Gordo (above the tunnel) and climbing a small climb, not so demanding, and with beautiful landscapes from where we can contemplate the entire coast of Nerja. On the slope this we can see the beautiful village of La Herradura (which belongs to Almuñécar). If we decide to continue towards Nerja along the coast we will have a very flat path to Torre del Mar (80 km approx.). For those who have strength I recommend climbing to the beautiful village of Cómpeta. To do this we can reach Algarrobo, there we turn right towards Cómpeta and go down the other side that will take us to Torrox Costa (110 km).

Routes direction Motril: if we leave for Motril we have several options. We can go along the coast all we want and turn around where we want. If we do not enter the mountain, we will find many plains and climbs not so long and unsy demanding. There is a very usual and not very demanding route (approx. 60 km) if we go towards Motril, turn left towards the port of Gorgoracha (approx. 8 km- 5% on average approx.) to Velez de Benaudalla (where many cyclists stop to have a snack) and we return towards Motril by the N323. The road from Motril to Velez de Benaudalla and very flat and is one of the preferred routes of cyclists. The road is really nice (large ravines to the sides that are used for climbing), with a large shoulder and practically flat. Pedaling along the coast there is also a very usual route if we shoot to Castell de Ferro, there we turn left towards the Gualchos. The climb is about 9 km and the port is more demanding than the Gorgoracha. Then we arrive at Motril to continue back to Almuñécar (approx. 90 km). Another beautiful and usual route is to pull directly towards Velez de Benaudalla, where we will turn to the right towards Órgiva-Lanjarón (Sierra Nevada) to go down again on the N323. We will find some climbs, the most demanding is that of Lanjaron which has approx. about 12 km (6.5 % on average approx.). It has exceptionally good views of the Sierra Nevada. The full route is approximately 110 km.


Collection & Thank You!

At the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, during the “state of alarm” we asked you, our visitors and friends to cooperate by donating a penny to those who need it most. € 4,370 was raised thanks to the beautiful hearts and generosity of 236 people. In collaboration with the Social Services in Almuñécar – La Herradura, this money was spent as follows.

👉894.87 euros went to food for a week for 7 families. This food was bought in from a small local shop so that it was supported at the same time.

👉375.00 euros went to school materials for several children in the compulsory school. This too was traded into a small “librería” in the central part of Almuñécar.

👉 3,100 euros went to clothes for 54 children between 0 and 12 years belonging to 32 families. The store that was chosen is owned by a single mother with 3 children who suffered from the crisis and received a little extra help in this way.

👉The 18 euros that were left over we donated to Cáritas in form of food. This food was bought in a larger store as it is closest to the collection point.


This initiative flourished in both the Spanish and Swedish press, which feels fun, but most of all we are proud of YOU who participated!