The countryside of the Costa Tropical is very green all year round and has many small, white villages scattered across the valleys. The areas closer to the coast are filled with kilometres of exotic and subtropical fruits – like avocados, mangos, cherimoyas, loquats, papaya, guava and kiwi – and vegetation. You can see how the previous landscape changes when getting more inland. Subtropical trees are replaced by pines and aromatic bushes, such as thyme and rosemary, giving the environment a peculiar aroma. The area is the perfect place for an excursion on foot to enjoy nature. There are many hiking trails or you could even go canyoning (so called “barranquismo”), which will take you to small waterfalls and natural pools where you can bathe.
Vélez de Benaudalla
Close to the coast of Motril and Salobreña, you will find Vélez de Benaudalla, a typical old Moorish village with whitewashed houses and narrow streets. The ruins of an Arab castle and a 16th century church are preserved here, as well as the beautiful garden “Jardín Nazardí”.
A bit further to the west of Vélez de Benaudalla, you will enter the Sierra de Los Guájares. Los Guájares consists out of three white villages, Guájar Faragüit, Guájar Alto and Guájar Fondón, situated in the first mountainous area from the sea, with ravines covered with lush vegetation and subtropical cultivation.
Molvízar & Ítrabo
The villages of Molvízar and Ítrabo are located very close to each other, situated in between Salobreña and Almuñécar. The surroundings are mountainous, yet they are just a short drive from the coast (approx. 10km). Around these pueblos there are many hectares of vineyards that produce exquisite wine. Molvízar has won national awards (twice) for its municipal beauty, as it is very well taken care of by its residents.
Valle de Río Verde
When travelling up from Almuñécar, you will arrive in its tropical valley, following Rio Verde (hence the name). The Carretera de la Cabra, or the road of the mountain goats, leads to the Sierra Chaparral, passing through the three small pueblos of Jete, Otívar and Lentejí and offers some magnificent scenery. The three towns are nestled in the mountains and arose as a result of the fish route, linking them to Almuñécar along the Carretera de la Cabra.
The valley is an ideal place for hiking and nature lovers, with several signposted routes and spectacular views. The main attraction in this area is the Junta de los Ríos, which descends into the depths of the valley, taking us into a unique spot where two ravines come together to give rise to the Río Verde – a beautiful, crystal-clear green coloured river, ideal for barranquismo.
The Peña Escrita National Park, situated high in the hills in the utmost western corner of the Costa Tropical, is reached by following the Rio Seco. Here are more excellent views and opportunities for hiking or horse-riding.