La Herradura Costa Tropical: Essential Tourist Guide by Locals

Enjoy our quick guide to La Herradura, a typical Andalusian village known for its whitewashed houses, a fine sandy beach that stretches for 2 kilometers, a 19km long coastline and an impressive promenade that’s perfect for an early evening pre-dinner stroll.

La Herradura is a haven for water sports enthusiasts with lots of businesses offering anything from water sports courses to equipment and gear for hire.

There are also good amenities such as restaurants, bars and shops.

Below we feature an expat interview with Maria Teresa Karcher of Inmobiliaria Karcher who covers the La Herradura area.

Specifically, we wanted to learn from Maria the many reasons why people should consider moving to this area and the value for money they can get once they decide to stay permanently.

Maria, thanks for helping our readers. I guess we should start off by asking what would you say would be the advantages to living in La Herradura compared to other Costa Tropical towns?

The advantage of living in La Herradura is that the village is right on the water and that it is not all built up. Although a small village (with a population ca 4.600) it is surprising that it is so international. As is it right next to the Natural Park of Cerro Gordo, the water is much cleaner and the beauty of the underwater world has attracted scuba divers from all over the world. Also paragliders and hikers love this area of the coast as it offers them a lot of possibilities to enjoy their sports. La Herradura is for those that wish to be near to nature.

Would the area not suit certain types of people, i.e. are there any possible downsides?

The area is not suited for those that do not appreciate nature and/or the fact that the lifestyle here is fairly casual in all respects.

What proportion of the local population are Spanish?

I have often heard it said that the Costa Tropical (which is in the province of Granada) is “still Spain”. The Spanish are certainly in the majority. (I don´t know the exact %-ge). Anyways there is no bigger concentration of a certain expat nationality. La Herradura is the home (temporary or permanent) of, as said, mostly Spanish and people from all over the world.


La Punta de la Mona – Photo by jlpino, Wikimedia Commons

What are your favourite things to do in the area?

My favourite things to do are to sit and watch the beautiful sunsets. To partake in all of the concerts that are offered in Almuñecar and in LH and surrounds. (LH belongs to Almuñecar). I also go hiking and meet up with friends to go to one of the bars/pubs here. There are so many restaurants (there are around 50) and pubs that are open all year round and that offer some of the best tapas around! There is also the Marina del Este from which one can hire a boat and have a wonderful view of the coastline with a stop at the naturist beach of Cantarriján. There are two beach restaurants in Cantarriján that offer one of the most romantic settings ever.

Almuñecar has a Civic Center that offers classical music concerts all year round and there is also a public Olympic-sized indoor pool. There are also many companies offering boat trips to Melía that leave from Motril. There are also plans for boats that will go directly to Bologna from Motril. As the mortorway is now ready, it is now an hour to both Málaga and to Granada. Granada offers skiing in the Sierra Nevada and there are numerous other activities such as hiking, mountain climbing and paragliding that are very popular in this area.

Can you give us some insider tips to the best bars or restaurants?

La Barrica, EL Salón and El Barbudo in the center of the village, Los Toneles and La Tapería on the beach front are gorgeous for tapas. El Baena and the Chiringuitos on the beach are ideal to enjoy typical Spanish kitchen and if you are looking for something more elaborate I would recommend the Bola Marina (Spanish and International kitchen) and Lemon grass (Japanese Fusion).

Are there many facilities such as doctors and dentists, shops etc?

La Herradura is a very small village but there are good doctors and dentist in Almuñécar. The little shops in the village are good but for a “real shopping experience” you can go to the bigger villages nearby, like Almuñécar, Motril and the shopping center in Vélez-Málaga, which also has a big cinema and offers the most recent movies (some of them in the original and subtitled version) and life transmissions of opera and ballet presentations from the best Opera houses in Europe several times per month.


Playa de La Herradura – Photo by Zangarreon, Wikimedia Commons

Are there smaller villages nearby that you might also recommend?

The villages in the Alpujarras are all truly worth visiting. And, going into Málaga Province are the villages of Maro and, of course, Nerja. The Nerja Caves are a real “must see” attraction. The coastline offers various coves that are true paradises.

What are the nearest international schools and how good are they?

Almuñecar has an International School from pre-school through to secondary. I think that there is a website that rates the International Schools. My own daughters attended this school until they were 15 years of age. They each then went to away (one to Madrid and the other to Sotogrande) as the one wanted further studies in classical music in Madrid and the other wanted to do the IB which wasn’t being offered here in Almuñecar).

Is crime an issue for expats?

Crime is not a problem by any means. It is only sometimes right before summer that there are some problems with some thefts. We always recommend to NEVER leave anything in a car that can be seen. For the most part La Herradura is a sleepy and peaceful village and the bit of crime here has never been with any kind of voilence. This does not exist here.

Coming onto buying property, what is the market like now in terms of prices going up, or down or staying the same?

The market is now picking up a bit. This does not mean that the prices are going up. In fact, the prices that are advertised are rarely achieved. Almost all buyers are listening to offers and having to go down from their asking price. But, in general, it looks like we are definitely coming out of the long crisis years.

Is this a good time to buy and are there any repossessions or very cheap properties still available to buy?

I do think it is a good moment to buy as there is a wide range of properties on the market and the prices haven’t started to climb again yet as in other areas of Spain. There are still some “bargains” on the market and also the banks have some interesting properties.


Bahia de La Herradura desde Cerro Gordo – Photo by jlpino, Wikimedia Commons

What urbanisations are there and can you describe each one and how they might differ from each other?

As La Herradura is a bay, the properties are either facing East or West. The Punta de La Mona is one of the most expensive areas for properties on the Eastern Costa del Sol. Many visitors are actually shocked when they hear the prices. Beside the special flair and lifestyle, the exclusivity of the Punta de la Mona and the limited urban land is the reason for the higher prices in our village compared to the surrounding coast. The area of the Punta de la Mona is famous for its villas but the closer you get to the Marina del Este area the more terraced houses and also apartments with gorgeous views along the coast line of Almuñécar and Motril.

On the opposite side of the bay there is the Cerro Gordo with many different urbanizations but all of them characterized by their proximity to the natural park of Cerro Gordo.

Right on top there is another exclusive urbanization of villas called El Nogal and moving down to the beach from there you will find many different urbanizations of terraced houses and apartments, all of them with green surroundings and beautiful views over the bay of La Herradura. And then the village itself – in its old part you can find typical Spanish village houses, enclosed in a labyrinth of enchanting little streets and the first beach line conquers many people with beautiful views and the possibility to have a swim in the “biggest pool of the world” just crossing the street.

How much are the typical property prices in La Herradura for apartments, villas etc?

There is actually no way to tell a “typical” property price as it always depends on the location, condition and equipment of each property. Generally you can get a very nice 2 bedroom apartment with nice views for around 200.000€, terraced houses can be found in the range of 300.000€ and villas start at 400.000€ – but these are only very approximate sums.

Any tips and advice to people looking to buy in La Herradura or surrounding area?

Get in touch with us.

Maria, thank you so much for taking the time to help our readers with your experiences in Spain. If you want to contact her, you can find her details below.

karcher Maria Teresa Karcher
Managing Director

Inmobiliaria Karcher
Paseo Andrés Segovia 20
E-18697 La Herradura (Granada)
Tel. 0034 958 82 78 11
Movil 0034 607 587 227
Skype: inmo-karcher


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