Almunecar lies on the coast 40 minutes from Granada and less than an hour from the Sierra Nevada. It was settled by Phoenicians, Romans and Arabs whose remains and monuments can be seen around the town. During these eras, and for more than 2,500 years, Almunecar was an important strategic centre and busy trading port. These days, the beaches and promenades have a very classy feel, and the town has lots of character.
Almunecar is situated at the foot of a beautiful and lush tropical valley that, in itself, is the last stretch of the most wonderful, winding scenic route down from Granada. Do not take this route if you have an aversion to heights! – at times it is literally like looking down from an aircraft.
Positioned between the Rio Verde and Rio Seco river estuaries, now silted up, Almunecar stands on a promontory separating two alluvial flood plains, whose coastlines comprise the principal beaches of Playa Puerta del Mar and Playa San Cristobal. These beaches are breached by cliffs, which support the Arab quarter, and several large rock formations leading out to sea forming interesting coves. The largest of these rock formations, El Penon del Santo, once held an ancient shrine and was accessed from the castle by a bridge. There is now a large cross on top, illuminated at night.
The layout of the old part of town is typically Moorish with steep winding streets leading from the central square, the Plaza de la Constitucion, where the town hall stands, towards the castle and highest old quarter called Barrio San Miguel.
Sightseeing in Almunecar
The Castillo de San Miguel – a Moorish castle. Originally a Roman castle in the 1st century BC, it was rebuilt by Moors in the 10th century and became an impressive fortress.
The Castle Museum – housed in the Castillo de San Miguel.
The Archaeological Museum – not far from the castle. It is located in the cellars of a Roman construction known as the Cave of the Seven Palaces. The museum houses some interesting finds from the area, including a 3,500 year old Egyptian vase.
The Parque de Majuelo – close to the castle, with shady botanical gardens and a colourful display of exotic plants. In the centre of the park there are remains of Roman fish salting pits.
The Aqueduct – 7 kilometres in length, built by Romans, much of which still stands.
Excavations near the new Plaza Mayor – recent finds of Roman water channels and hot baths.
Loro Sexi Bird Park.
Aqua Tropic Water Park.
Combined discount vouchers are available from tourist information points to visit the Castle, Loro Sexi Bird Park, the Archaeological Museum plus have a ride on the Tropical Express tourist train.