Granada: 24 hours in Motril, pleasures on the Costa Tropical | The traveler


In the rest of Spain, an avocado is an avocado. In Motril They grow, distinguish and appreciate four varieties: Bacon, Fuerte, Hass and Reed. In the rest of Spain, a pale person is someone white, a Swede, a monk or, at worst, a vampire. In this Granada city it is a rum. In the rest of the Peninsula it is cold in winter. Not here.

9.00. Morning of churros and patience

Take a number and sit down to wait on the terrace, because there is a queue to have breakfast the churros that they have made since 1946 in the Toledo coffee shop (Calle de la Victoria, s / n) (1). Give time to enter the neighbor San Agustín municipal market (2), if only to see how much the kilo of the much desired shrimp from Motril is. Sometimes it exceeds 100 euros and, before the crisis, it reached 300. We can also approach the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Head (3), where the image of the patron saint is kept and venerated. According to legend, a ship that came with it from the East in 1510 suffered such a storm that the sailors promised to build it a hermitage there where it would save them. The temple, on its hill, surrounded by Aleppo pines and palm trees, is the most beautiful and repeated photo of the city.

10.00. Memory of a wit

There was a time when the entire plain of Motril was planted with sugar canes, which were squeezed in gigantic wooden presses, like the keels of galleons. One of them is admired in the Pre-Industrial Museum of Sugar Cane (Zafra street, 6; 958 82 22 06) (4), in the Casa de la Palma, where there was a mill from the 16th to the 18th centuries. Montero (5) It has manufactured cane rum since 1963, although now with imported raw material, because planting does not make any income. “In Motril you don’t ask for a rum, you ask for a pale”, is their motto. And it’s true. There are tours in Spanish at eleven and twelve in the morning.

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12.00. ‘Kumquats’, lichis y papayas

Profitable exotic fruit crops have replaced sugar cane plantations in Motril and throughout the Granada coastline, known for this and for its climate as the Costa Tropical. Near Almuñécar, the ecological farm San Ramón (6), in addition to beautiful views of the bay of La Herradura, it offers guided tours and tastings to find out where they come from and what they know kumquats, lychees, avocados, babacos, pitahayas, mangoes, custard apples, papayas, guavas, carambola … Closer, matagallares (677 62 15 39) (7) It offers the same in Salobreña, a town nine kilometers from Motril so white and so crowded on a rock that it looks like an iceberg in a tropical sea.

14.00. Leave room for dessert

You can’t live on rum and custard apples, so for lunch we will try another local specialty: dried octopus. Dried in the sun, as in the old days on boats, grilled browned and served over a coleslaw, it makes the Galician octopus seem fluffy and tasteless. The bar Step (8) serves the best. Another option is the restaurant Sugar Museum (San Fernando sugar factory, 6) (9), which occupies part of the old Pilar sugar factory, with monstrous cogwheels and stratospheric chimneys. Dishes such as grilled mushrooms with blue cheese and cane honey or millefeuille foie, Quince, goat cheese and rum caramel will remind us where we are. For dessert, another very typical thing: curly milk from the Perandrés ice cream parlor (10). It looks like meringue milk, but it does not have egg white. Just milk, sugar, lemon and cinnamon. It is taken with a spoon and, when melted, with straw.

15.30. Late to sail

After eating he is on a vice sailing on a sailboat. We will see, in the background, Sierra Nevada; closer, the mountains covered with avocados and custard apples, and in the foreground everything that the sea bathes from the white Sacrative faro (11) until the neighbor Salobreña (12), even whiter. Swimming or paddling on a paddle surf board from the boat, you can go to the most secluded beaches, such as La Rijana or La Joya, where swimsuits are optional. Or to the rock of Salobreña, where the most daring jump into the sea from 20 meters high. The sailboat can be rented, with or without a skipper, in Marina Motril.

17.00. The refuge of the Moorish coot

A 15 minute walk from the port and we are planted in the Suárez pond (Road to Perlaíllo, 17) (13), the only wetland on the coast of Granada. Eight lagoons dot this 14.6-hectare space where more than 160 species of birds live, 51 of them threatened. Like the Moorish coot, which was about to become extinct; it was released here in 2013 and already exceeds 30 copies. It is black, with a white beak and red horns. Sugar cane, which in its day was the most important crop in the Motril plain, brought by Muslims from Southeast Asia, maintains an expanse here that sweetens the life of the southern frog and the song of the nightingale.

21.00. Dinners that sound like the sea

The restaurant’s fort Kisquilla (14), as its name announces, it is the local mollusk. A few steps away are the golf course The Moors (15) and the eponymous restaurant. From 10, the food. From 11, the smell and sound of the sea, there next door. Also nearby, in Playa Granada, is the beach club Hole 19 (hoyo19beachclub.es) (16), where everyone, whether they play golf or not, comes for a drink at the end of the day.

23.00. Rest between palm trees

If we want it all together (beach, dinner, fun and bed), the hotel Impressive (17) is a resort of two heights, Andalusian town style, with 50,000 square meters of garden, swimming pool, restaurant, spa and exhausting animation program. Five kilometers from the sand House of the Bates (18) It is a six-room accommodation in a century-old mansion with an incredible terrace (the Africa Lookout) and an even more incredible 18th century botanical garden at the back. “You are older than the Bates palm trees,” they say to those who are floats in Motril.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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