Soñando Sunday: Motril
Transport options to arrive: Car, Bus, or Boat.
Motril is located on the coast of Granada and is easily reachable by car or bus from most cities in Andalucía (if you are looking to fly as close as you can, we recommend checking out the Granada, Almería, and Málaga airports). However, if you are coming from the other side of the sea, you can also catch a boat from Ceuta or Melilla—Spain’s two autonomous communities in Africa.
Recommended time of year to visit and length of visit: Motril is known in Spain for its 300+ sunny days a year and an average temperature of around 20ºC (68ºF). This means that almost any time of the year is a good time to visit. Consider checking out the beach and try a chiringuito (local beach grill). You will probably only need a day to see the beaches and eat good food, but you won’t regret it if you stay for the weekend. However, keep in mind that the rainy months are March and April. In addition, during the summer, the beaches will be full of people tanning so you are going to want to get up early to get a place.
[Fun] Fact: Motril entry point for people coming from Africa. This means that there is a constant fight to make sure they are taken care of (in fact, just making it to Motril itself is often time a feat for these immigrants) while dealing with all the paperwork and political inputs that are going on regularly. It is not an easy thing to take on, but it is something that we should be aware of. See this article to see just how common this kind of thing is.
Top three must-sees:
1.) Santuario de nuestra señora de la cabeza: Known by Motrileños or people from Motril as “Cerro de la Virgen,” this home is considered the resting place of the Patron Saint of Motril. The building was originally constructed during Moorish times in Andalucía and was the home of the mother of Boabdil, the last Muslim king of Granada. It was partially destroyed during the Spanish Civil War and restored at the end of the last century.
2.) Casa de los Bates: A hotel and restaurant from the 19th century, the Casa de los Bates boasts beautiful 18th century gardens. It is well known for the views of the sea and the wedding that it hosts. While it is not a museum, you can stay here for the night or stop by the restaurant for a meal.
3.) Museo preindustrial de la caña de azúcar: All throughout Motril you will be able to see the impact that the sugarcane industry had in Motril. There were originally eight sugarcane factories in the city and this “Pre-industrial Sugarcane Museum” you will be able to learn more about the cultivation of this plant and the final products that were produced in the city.
Note: While it no longer uses locally produced sugarcane today, there is a traditional rum factory that makes pale rum in Motril, one of the products that the city is known for.
One thing to eat: Fresh tropical fruit and vegetables. Due to the climate in Motril you can find locally grown mango, avocado, guava, bananas, chirimoya, tomatoes, etc. that will be delicious at a very reasonable price! We recommend hitting up a local market and cooking for yourself (even just a fresh afternoon snack) while in Motril.