If we talk about the beaches of Andalusia, we immediately think of Cádiz and it’s never ending coast, the beautiful landscapes of Cabo de Gata or the luxury- or semi luxury- of the Costa del Sol.
But beyond these Andalusian classics, the coast of Granada discreetly awaits among its great neighbors with corners and coves that are just waiting to be explored.
In this post, I won’t talk about the urban beaches of the touristy places like Almuñécar, Motril and Salobreña. There are several unknown corners that are worth exploring along The Tropical Coast, measuring a little more than 70 kilometers (43.5 miles) in length. Among them, there are four that especially stand out and, from my point of view, are ideal for disconnecting and enjoying crystal clear water and perfect sunsets.
These are the four best beaches to enjoy the sun on the Tropical Coast of Granada.
Playa de Cantarriján
Located on the border between Granada and Malaga provinces, we find Cantarriján Beach at the west end of the province.
This small cove, divided in two by a humongous rock, has a nudist area and non-nudist area. Out of all the recommendations in this post, it is the most popular because it has two nice bars available within walking distance.
It is accessible from highway N-340. If you are coming from Almuñécar, just after passing the dark tunnel of Cerro Gordo, you will see a small parking space on the left with an old sign saying «La Herradura. Costa Tropical». In high season you have to leave your car in the parking lot and take the small shuttle that goes down to the cove. In low season you can access the cove with your car by a steep slope that leads directly to it.
Playa del Muerto
This next beach is located near a popular and touristy beach so it may have a lot of people present, but its tranquility and peacefulness are worth highlighting. La Playa del Muerto is the most western of all of the beaches in Almuñécar.
To get there, we must go first to Playa de Cotobro (Cotobro Beach) and leave the car there and head west along a small walkway made of stone until we reach the small beach with a sinister name.
Despite being a nudist beach, most people are covered and one of the most endearing features is its small chiringuito (beach bar) run by very friendly people. The chiringuito has a strange schedule so you might go and find it closed during your beach day.
The waters La Playa del Muerto are also the most crystalline and peaceful of the entire coast of Granada, which makes this little beach even more attractive.
If you want your beach day to begin from the moment you start driving, I recommend taking La Cabra road, one of the best and most spectacular road trips you can do in Andalusia.
Cala de la Rijana (Rijana Cove)
It was not until 2015 that the construction of the Mediterranean motorway (A-7) was completed on the Granada coast. In fact, of all the Spanish Mediterranean coasts, this was the last one to have a high capacity road built, which previously resulted in the sight of constant heavy traffic from the quiet Rijana Cove.
It is located just down highway N-340, about two kilometers east of Calahonda. Going along this road, you will easily recognize the parking lot where you can leave your car (thanks to a sign from the colleagues from the Provincial Tourist Board of Granada). Afterwards, you have to descend through a steep pedestrian path that goes under the road until you reach the beach.
The beach also has a secluded beach bar and spectacular views. You can take a little climbing trip (with caution) to the cliff to see one of the best sunsets on the coast.
Also, one can find the remains of an old Arab tower overlooking the beach, which adds a bit of cultural value to a day full of sun and sea.
Playa de la Joya
I’ve saved the best for last: La Joya Beach (Playa de la Joya). It is my absolute favorite because it is the most isolated of all the beaches with its calm waters and serene views. This «jewel» (joya in Spanish) of the Tropical Coast is my favorite place to spend a peaceful day at the beach.
A few years ago the access to the beach was dangerous and embarrassing to look at but this last winter the Town of Torrenueva stepped in and fixed the old and dangerous steps to the beach and installed railings.
In order to access this small cove of just over 300 meters wide, we must drive down the N-340 from Torrenueva. Shortly after a lane begins for slow vehicles, and after about 600 meters from the last roundabout, we have to quickly divert through a small path on the right that leads to the parking lot.
After leaving the car we can begin a long descent down the stairs to the beach. Try not to forget anything in the car since you’ll have no desire to return up the steep steps once you get down to the beach.
The beach does not have any services so you should take your own food and drink. Of course, the landscape is incredible. The fruit trees and the Mediterranean vegetation surround the beach and, from time to time, a small group of mountain goats visits the area to contemplate the beach goers.
The beach is nudist friendly but like the others mentioned above, each one decides whether to undress or not. Usually the people are split fifty-fifty. The only bad side to this nudist beach may be that you see some peepers lurking at the top of the stairs.
Some other details I’d like to highlight about the landscape are the large geometric cubes that hang from the slopes and give the beach a very original oniric aspect.
Do you know of any other beaches in Granada that aren’t among my favorites? Tell me about them in the comments below!
Translation: Layne Ivy