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 The A to Z of Rural Andalucia
Costa Tropical
 The Costa Tropical

The coast of ANDALUSIA goes from ALMERIA to HUELVA and is divided into four sections. The Almeria coast occupies the Province of the same name, The COSTA TROPICAL is located in the Province of Granada, the Costa del Sol is in Malaga Province and Huelva and Cadiz share the Costa de la Luz.

The coast receives more than 3000 hours of SUNSHINE a year and is one of the warmest regions in EUROPE. The temperature in the Mediterranean boasts hot dry summers and winters with mild temperature and rainfall irregular.
 Tarifa waves
The ocean and sea embrace the southern coast and the wild ATLANTIC breaks upon the coasts of HUELVA and CADIZ, while the calm Mediterranean partially bathes Malaga, Granada and Almeria.

There are numerous sailing and scuba diving schools with the Centro de Actividades Nauticas of Almeria & Huelva having expert instructors. CABO DE GATA in Almeria Province is popular with scuba divers and TARIFA is a windsurfers paradise.

It is possible to fish, row, canoe and kayak on the GUADALQUIVIR river and there are more than 60 golf courses on the Costa del Sol with the VALDERRAMA CLUB at San Roque a past host to the Ryder Cup.
 Almeria castle
HISTORY says that the Greek God Hercules separated Europe from Africa at the Straits of Gibraltar creating the Mediterranean Sea. Hercules son of Zeus became a special symbol and his image can be seen today on the coat of arms of the green and white Andalusian flag along with two legendary columns.

ALMERIA which means "mirror of the sea" in Arabic was one of the most important Islamic ports during the period of the Caliphate of Cordoba. The Alcazaba, a fortress built on the crest of a hill, is silent testimony to the grandeur once enjoyed by Almeria. At the foot of the fortress lies the old town, its Arab character reflected in the older neighbourhoods. The Cathedral was conceived as a fortress and has four massive towers and tiny windows, next to the Cathedral is the Bishops Palace and Convent of las Puras.

There are a number of good beaches in Almeria Province but the best surely has to be Playa del Zapillio.
 Cabo de Gata

CABO DE GATO NATURE PARK has 45 kms of nearly deserted coastline and presides over a volcanic landscape which records its highest point in the Sierra de Gata. Travelling dunes, salt marshes and hidden coves are in this semi-desert, and the most famous beaches are Genoveses and Monsul, as well as Arco in the town of Los Escullos and Penon Blanco next to the La Isleta del Moro.

The CABO DE GATA lighthouse next to the lookout called the Mirador de las Sirenas, rises over the southernmost promontory of the park that serves as the starting point for a number of itineraries. There is a bird watching observatory where it is possible to see a large variety of migratory birds.

The vast landscape of greenhouses growing fruit and veg dot the length of the ALMERIA coastline, and in the Campo de Dalias there are towns such as ADRA with a Marina which attracts thousands of visitors and has extremely fine beaches. ROQUETAS DE MAR, a town which proudly shows its visitors the tower of Santa Ana and castle.
 The park interrupts the coastal strip
The fishing town of AGUADULCE on the eastern coast is less populated and it is here that the park interrupts the coastal strip with its nearly deserted beaches and secluded coves.

The TABERNAS desert creates a curious contrast of vegetation of prickly pear, agae and palm trees and the area has been used in dozens of films of the AMERICAN WEST. The town of FAR WEST has served as many a film set. The desert Sierra de los Filabres is the site of the famed observatory, Calar Alto and opens the way to the desert, the only one of its kind in Europe.

The Sierra de Alhamilla is the last mountainous object before the desert and the Karsdt in the YESOS DE SORBA is a geological formation carved by nature.
 Marina del Este

The COSTA TROPICAL in Granada Province is particularly picturesque and not so crowded with mountains running right down to the sea and has many coves and promontories such as Punta de la Mona and Cerro Gordo.

In the protected cove of PUNTA DE LA MONA is the Marina de Este. The area has especially clear blue water and a wide variety of colourful fish, perfect for snorkelling.
 10th century Moorish castle

Nearby is the village of SALOBRENA, a whitewashed village clinging to a huge lump of rock just in from the shoreline topped by a 10th century Moorish castle and surrounded by sugar cane plantations, the small village of La Caleta to the west has the last sugar factory in Europe.

With the ALPUJARRA only 45 minutes inland so SALOBRENA makes an ideal holiday destination. A short drive along the coast takes you to ALMUNECAR an
attractive resort that is popular with Spaniards and foreigners alike. During the summer months has the famed LORI SEXI BIRD PARK with 120 different species on display and close by is the Parque del Majuelo botanical gardens containing the largest collection of subtropical plants in Europe. In the park are the ruins of the fish salting factory which was founded by the Phoenicians in the 4th century BC.

Climb up to the San Miguel castle for a stunning view of the town and coastline and the beautiful horseshoe beach of LA HERRADURA. 4 kms from the town is the Roman Aguaduct constructed during the first century and was still in use until a few decades ago.

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