Spain’s beautiful Costa Tropical

It might rub shoulders with the Costa del Sol, but the Costa Tropical is a lot more laid back than its famously lively neighbour. But it’s not just the tempo that feels different here. The Costa Tropical even has its own micro-climate, thanks to the high Sierra Mountains that lie directly behind it, with the Mediterranean Sea in front. This climate makes it perfect for growing tropical fruit, hence the name, and you’ll see acres of mango, custard apple and avocado trees in place of the citrus orchards and olive groves you might expect to see along this stretch of southern Spanish coast. It also means that at certain times of the year you can drive one hour in one direction and go skiing in the mountains. Or drive one hour in the other direction and go sunbathing on the beach.

There’s a unique blend of Spanish and Islamic architecture on the Costa Tropical, best seen in the magical city of Granada, home to the breathtaking Alhambra, and in the mountainous countryside of the Alpujarras, where traditional houses perch on hillsides. There are also some wonderful Moorish castles and gardens, like those in old Almuñécar and Generalife in the spectacular city of Granada.

Whether you want to explore the mountains and countryside of the Sierra Nevada or just soak up some sunshine on the beach, there are some lovely places to find on Spain’s Costa Tropical.

This spectacular mountain range provides the rugged backdrop to the Costa Tropical. Rising to over 3,000 metres, the mountain tops are dusted with snow almost all year round. While it’s a popular ski resort during the winter months, walking and rambling are popular summer pastimes, especially in the foothills which are dotted with old Spanish villages surrounded by orchards and olive groves fed by the meltwaters from the snow.

Spain’s last Moorish city is famous for its Islamic architecture. The exquisite Alhambra Palace is Granada’s number one must-see, along with Generalife, the summer palace of the sultans whose gardens provided shade and tranquillity over the hottest months of the year.

Almuñécar, with its handsome Moorish castle, is set on a small hill between the mouths of two rivers, the Río Seco and the larger Río Verde. It's a lovely place on a summer’s day, with its palm-tree shaded park and its twisting narrow alleys and steps leading to the bustling town square. 

The Costa Tropical is a narrow stretch of coastline lying between the high Sierra Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. It’s the proximity of these mountains that give the region many of its characteristics. They catch rainwater and irrigate the surrounding farmlands, and they provide protection from northerly winds. The result is a tropical microclimate with very mild winters and comfortable summer temperatures.

The Costa Tropical has ideal conditions for fruit farming, especially tropical fruit like papaya, mango and lychee. It’s also one of the few places in Europe where sugar cane is grown.

Yes. The Costa Tropical has an average of 320 days of sunshine a year, making it an ideal winter sun destination. Summers are warm, but not too hot, with temperatures in the high twenties, and winters are extremely mild at around 17-19oC.

You can fly to three airports on the Costa Tropical: Granada, Malaga and Almeria. Most Saga holidays will fly to Malaga Airport. The flight time from London is approximately 2 hours 50 minutes.

The Costa Tropical is one hour ahead of the UK.

Major credit cards are widely accepted on the Costa Tropical there are ATMs in the larger towns and cities if you want to withdraw cash. The local currency is the Euro.

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