Known as an antidote to the busier, more populous resorts dotted around the Spanish coast, Costa Tropical is the perfect place to escape the humdrum hustle and bustle of everyday life. Located within the culturally rich region of Andalucía, this small coastal resort has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to beachfronts, calm waters and luxurious accommodation. This spot is one of the best places to find a mixture of tourist treats and Spanish authenticity. Still relatively untouched by the huge business of tourism, Costa Tropical still has a quintessential Spanish feel, which is more than a little difficult to find in 2019.
The climate in Costa Tropical is one almost entirely separate from the rest of the Spanish coast. Sheltered by the Sierra Nevada Mountain range, the region remains warm throughout the year. Venerable forests featuring both palm and pine trees are dotted all over the region and they provide some amazing trails for all holidaymakers to discover. All this talk without even mentioning Costa Tropical's crowning jewel, its magnificent beaches. The coastline, which belongs to the province of Granada, stretches across a number of whitewashed villages and a mess of tropical fruit trees are dotted all around them. In a few words, it’s how most people would imagine paradise.
At a glance
- Time Zone: GMT +
- Average flight time: 2h 55m
When to go
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A huge attraction in the region is of course it's many beautiful beaches, but more on those later. In addition to those sandy treasures, there are a number of worthwhile attractions in the area. Keen photographers and wannabe historians can come together and rejoice at Castillo de San Miguel, or San Miguel Castle, this amazing site found above a beautiful botanical garden providing some amazing views from its lofty vantage point. Despite being a traditional and historic castle, the exhibits within have been spiced up with some modern technology and they remain a good source of fun for all visitors. Families will enjoy a trip to the huge water park of Aqua Tropic, while tourists who enjoy a social aspect with their history lessons will enjoy visits to the old distillery of Ron Montero.
More classical fans of history will find a lot of fascinating lessons to be learnt in the archaeological museum of Cueva de Siete Palacios. Accessible with the same ticket bought for San Miguel Castle, this museum shows off some authentic Roman caves and showcases the unique blend of culture which has been built up over a number of centuries.
The food in the Granada province is as varied as its beaches and there are a number of regional favourites you simply must try. Is a visit to Spain really complete without some specially selected tapas? The options in Costa Tropical are made with simple ingredients and produced to take your taste buds on a journey of discovery. Make sure you try the local favourite of pescaito frito while on the region's sands for the immersive Costa Tropical experience. If tasting the local delicacies gets a little much and you're hankering for a more international array of food, then there are more than enough options available. From Japanese to American hamburgers, there's something for everyone.
Costa Tropical’s many beaches are perfect for a family day out, with the kids paddling and learning to swim, the parents setting up a nice picnic and a whole bunch of memories waiting to be made. If a more active day out is what you seek then local waterpark Aqua Tropic is the place to visit. Opened around twenty years ago, the park has gone on to become a staple of Costa Tropical. With everything from thrilling slides to baby pools, it certainly has everything you could need for a family trip. Another great idea for those with children is Andalusia’s first interactive museum Parque de las Ciencias, this science museum is huge and would require a couple of days to really cover it all. With seven permanent exhibition halls and various temporary spaces too, there is so much to learn here. A perennial favourite is the ‘Journey into the Human Body’ section which takes you on an interactive guide into the origins of mankind.
Action & Adventure
With so much amazing scenery dotted around the region, it would be a waste to not use so much of it for some outdoor activity. The Sierra Nevada Mountains are perfect places to explore and there are a number of different hiking trails available with all manners of difficulty. Meaning you can find something to suit you whether you’re a casual explorer or a seasoned pro. Los Moriscos Golf Course is also a favourite amongst visitors and it’s easy to see why. This amazing 18-hole course is set against breath-taking scenery and embraces everything that goes into the name of the resort; palm-trees, golden sand, green grass and crisp blue oceans, truly tropical.
Now for the main event, Costa Tropical's beaches. Calahonda is a beach known equally for its amazing sands and reputation for delicious seafood. With a colourful fishing fleet bobbing in the horizon, this beach still has a traditional vibe for you to soak in. When you're done with sunbathing, be sure to try the culinary delights at El Ancla Restaurant. For an alternative beach choice, try La Rijana. Accessible from a small car park a few minutes way, this cove is a hidden gem in the area. The snorkelling here is fantastic, but perhaps remember to pack some snacks as the refreshments on offer aren't as plentiful as on other beaches. If those two don't quite take your fancy, there are plenty more options with Castell de Ferro and La Mamola being two more favourites.
A big part of life in Granada is the concept of 'El Tapeo', a traditional method of bar-hopping. With a vibrant scene which only really gets into gear around 11pm, the area has a number of bars and clubs to cater for all manner of night-time mischief. Clubs in the area can stay open till past 6am on weekends and if the bar-scene isn’t exactly your thing then there are funfairs, circuses, open-air cinemas, street festivals and a bunch of other events which are bound to keep you interested. A regional favourite of the area are the many beach parties that go on in the summer. What better way to while away the evening then with a cocktail in hand on some sandy shores?
Couples seeking some solace to rekindle romance could find many a worse place than Costa Tropical. Less than an hour’s drive away you’ll find Embalse de los Bermejales, a true gem of Andalucia that still remains relatively unhidden. Far removed from the tourist circuit, this amazing man-made reservoir stretches over 28km. With amazing water quality and a mess of fish to feed, it really is picture-perfect. There’s even a campsite here meaning that if you wanted to turn an isolated picnic in the sun to a sleepover under the stars, then it is entirely possible. Aside from this amazing spot of natural beauty, there is an abundance of charm and romance to be found in the surrounding Sierra Nevada Mountains. And when you’re done with all that fresh air, make sure to take in a flamenco show to really soak up that Granadan flair.
Discover the true passion of the region by taking a flamenco lesson. While you may not completely master the art-form, you can certainly pick up a few helpful pointers as you learn from the masters themselves. A passionate and expressive dance, flamenco uses body language, facial expression and a whole host of flamboyance to convey a rainbow of human emotion. There are a number of different venues which offer classes and all are suited to teach the most basic of beginners, so there’s no need to be embarrassed. The vibes of Costa Tropical centre on a family-oriented feel and the quiet resort still adheres to the traditional siesta. This tradition still takes place today throughout much of Spain and Costa Tropical is no different there.