The nearest beach is in Motril which is about an hour from the cortijos. Motril is an industrial town and port and consequently not ideal for swimming. However, the port area has many sea food restaurants and midday menu is highly recommended. Only a few kms away is the town of Salobrena with a very long sandy beach ideal for families with small children. Here when you get to the beach turn right and you will find many restaurants serving fresh seafood.
Also, in Motril, the big supermarket El Campo has a branch just off the main road.
Apart from Salobrena beaches, some 20 minutes away is La Herradura. Herradura lies between Tunel Punta de la Mona and Tunel Cerro Gordo, a small town with excellent seafood restaurants all along the beach. A highly recommended restaurant is to the left of the beach (as you approach the coast) called Chambao de Joaquin and serves excellent paella during the weekends. Also, if you walk on past this restaurant, away from the main beach, either along the beach (you may get wet) or along the road, you will come across another beach which is a tiny cove. We often go here, it’s really nice and the rocks give lots of shade. If you prefer smaller beaches, just a few minutes after the Tunel Cerro Gordo, (leaving La Herradura) on your left you will find a small sign (barely visible) signposted Cantajirran and Playa Naturista (nudist beach). Drive about 1.4 km on a bumpy road and you will get to the beach. More recently there have been restrictions on taking cars down to the beach, but national park mini buses charge one euro and take you down There are 2 restaurants on the beach.
Just beyond this point and several hundred meters away there is another beautiful beach also belonging to the National Park which is called “el Canuelo”. Here again the National Park mini buses operate lifts to the beach. There is one restaurant on the beach which is not really very good. You are better off to take a cool box with food and drinks.
Approximately 20 km from Motril is the town of Almuñecar. It has a long sandy beach, hotels and restaurants and is relatively well built up. In the summer it gets packed with families with children as the beach is sandy. However, if you continue from this beach walking along the front you will get to the beach of Cotobro. This is a pleasant walk from Almuñecar beach and has fewer hotels and no shops. You can also get to this beach from the main road after the turning to Almuñecar driving from Motril. Just keep your eyes open for the sign to Playa Cotobro.
This shingle and sandy cove to the west of Almuñecar has great rocks for climbing at the far end. Although the “beach of the dead” is officially naturist, in the Summer and at weekends you’ll probably find more textiles than naturists. To get there drive along Almuñecar paseo maritime (sea front) for about 2 km until you reach Cotobro beach. Park nearby and follow the walkway around the headland to the next cove. From the beach you can see, perched high on the cliff the aptly named Eagle Peak naturist apartment complex.
If you continue your way from Almuñecar towards La Herradura you will get to Tunel Punta de la Mona. Immediately after the tunnel there is a beach called Marina Del Este. You can also go this way to get to La Herradura beach. As soon as you come out of the tunnel you follow the signs which will make you turn around in a safe way. This must be the local mecca for divers and snorkelling. There are a lot of natural warm pools amongst the rocks and a school of diving in the port itself. However, the restaurant on this beach is overpriced, bad service and they make you wait for hours. You can walk from the beach to the little port where there are loads of bars and restaurants. It is like a small version of Puerto Banus. If you find this beach overcrowded you can come half way up the hill, past the lighthouse/faro on the left and then turn left downhill towards La Herradura instead of coming back onto the main road.
The nicest beach is towards the end of Calahonda (about 20 minutes from Motril) right at the end of the beach there are some nice restaurants and it is ideal for families with children.
Just beyond Calahonda there are many small and isolated beaches. If you like snorkelling there is a nice beach with one restaurant and nothing else (restaurant not very good). To get there, drive on the main road up the windy hill and carry on for two more miles. Then from the road you will catch a glimpse of the beach and the restaurant down below. To drive to this beach is rather complicated and rather dangerous. I suggest you drive past this beach and turn round somewhere safe and come back. Just opposite the beach you will find a small road on your right. Drive gently into this road and you can park your car in the carpark and then walk down to the beach.
This is a small beautiful beach near Motril heading towards Almeria. It is 7 km from Motril and rather hard to get to and lies between El Cabo de Sacratif and Peñon de Jolúcar. There is a succession of coves of different sizes that are collectively known as La Joya (The Jewel). They are all sandy beaches with beautifully clear and normally calm seas. You can reach the beaches by car except for the last 500 metres which is on foot. There are no services or restaurants on these beaches.
One and a half kilometres before the seaside resort and beach of La Rabita near Albuñol you’ll find another secluded nudist beach, Playa El Ruso. Like many out of town nudist beaches this one has no services or amenities. What it does have is loads of peace and quiet and deep blue crystalline waters. Access is on foot from the N-340.
If you want to see more wild beaches and see things beyond Almeria and Cabo de Gata National Park, the recently opened motorway which goes from Velez de Benaudalla will give you an option to go to Motril and the deserts of Cabo de Gata which have excellent wild beaches. You can also join the same motorway being built by leaving the cortijos and going to Trevelez and continue towards Ugijar.
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