Almuñécar: The joy of a long walk

Almuñécar: The joy of a long walk

One of my favourite outings on our family holiday was our walk to the town of Almuñécar from La Herradura. It’s a bit of a hike, but the views are spectacular. 

I do love a long walk. When I lived in London, I tried to avoid jumping on the tube as much as possible. Which once meant a post-work stroll from Farringdon to South Kensington carrying a painting to hang at my exhibition. When I checked Google Maps later, I’d covered about four miles.

On occasional Sundays, my friend Karen and I would meet up and walk from the corner of Finsbury Park, up towards Crouch End, along the disused railway track before arriving at Hampstead Heath. Forget pubs and clubs. My favourite way to hang out with friends nowadays is a good stretch of the legs with a coffee stop thrown in. You could almost forget you’re in the city at all. Meanwhile, Catherine from Cultural Wednesdays writes about another London walk with a similar rural feel.

My friend herself was living in La Herradura and will no doubt remember this hearty stoat along the cliffs and shore. So when someone suggested a group outing to Almuñécar, I grabbed my walking boots and sketchbook.

THE WALK

Looks like this is the route we took here on this map I’ve linked to. Starting off in La Herradura, we walked uphill through residential streets and shady lanes before finding ourselves at the top of the town. Difficulty-wise, it was fine for a group of forty to fifty-somethings, in various stages of fitness, with a couple of teenagers and under-tens in tandem. But don’t forget your water – there’s nowhere really to buy a bottle en route. And we were soon thirsty, even though it was only a warmish spring day.

PLEIN AIR OPPORTUNITIES

White house on cliffs en route to Almunecar from La Herradura in Spain.

Pastel sketch created on walk from La Herradura to Almuñécar, Spain. By Emerald Dunne Glasgow artist.

Lots. The photo opportunities plus ones to fill up your holiday sketchbook are plentiful. Views of harbours and out to sea towards the north African coast. Not forgetting the sights of Almuñécar itself when you arrive. Or the surprise of strolling onto the nudist beach. Unavoidable if you want to walk along the seafront (just sayin’!).

This little white house at the top of a cliff made for a pretty photo. Sadly, we found out it’s scheduled for demolition since the hotel close by is planning to extend. What a shame! Wouldn’t it be the perfect spot for an art holiday, a small café and a few yoga mats?

We decided to tackle the walk down to the sea, passing a group of chatty German hippies who’d set up camp at the foot of the cliffs. From there it was time for a wee sit-down on the beach. Tony made a stone sculpture, Stephen did one of his sketches and the women and children had a natter.

And that’s when we realised we were on the nudist beach. Pointed out cheerfully – and audibly – by my seven year-old niece. Good luck to our less hung-up continental cousins (we’ll miss you)!

ALMUÑÉCAR ARCHITECTURE

Tourist centre in Almunecar, Spain.

After I sketched the coastline, we continued along the promenade before hitting town and signs of life. And following the scent of coffee.

Almuñécar – oh, what a beautiful town! And one more place I could certainly live in – far fewer ex-pats, hence chances to improve my Spanish. Plus coffee bars galore with bright colours to paint. I love the rich orange buildings, particularly vibrant against bright blue skies. There are hints of Dorne (Game of Thrones alert!) in the top photo – can you believe it’s a tourist information centre? A lovely post here by the Travelista who stayed here a little longer than I did.

The idea was to find one particular café, which is set in a little square overlooked by a church. What a shame it had just shut when we arrived, but there are plenty places to stop off for coffee and eats when you get here. Chances are I made everyone late, because I couldn’t resist a stroll in the gardens beneath the Castillo de San Miguel. A lush spot to take a wander with greenery, organic sculptures and more orange buildings.

After coffee the town was coming to life again after the siesta, with shops opening doors and local people out for pre-dinner strolls. I was all up for the long walk back. But little people and their collective feet were tired. And luckily there was a bus back from Almuñécar that took all of ten minutes. The road winds and rises up over the cliffs, and so we got a terrific view of our walk. And just as pretty as earlier now in the sparkling pink sunset.

Can’t wait to go back soon!

Have you been to Almuñécar? Let me know in the comment section below.

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