The area of coast between Torrenueva and Castell de Ferro offers one of the steepest landscapes of the province, place that was used by the successive settlers to install watchtowers. In the route the traveller will be able to contemplate rests of these fortifications, raised by Arabs and Christians to prevent the danger coming from the sea. Nowadays they conserve its majestic silhouette trimmed on steep cliffs.
- The route from La Rijana, admiring the cliffs of the area, to finish at the coastal town of Castell de Ferro.
- The location Castell is 22 kilometres away of Motril and La Rijana 5kilometres from that one. They can be accessed by the N-340.
- Stops Beach of La Rijana; Tower of the Condenada, the Arrayán or the Raya; viewpoints along the N-340; Castell de Ferro, where you can visit the church and its fortress, whose origin goes back to the XIII century.
The main character of this route is the coast of Granada in its steeper version. This coast has majestic cliffs – pretty unknown - who served as bastion against pirates, Berbers or Christians, depending on the domination of each moment. Chapters of the military history of the province have been written from here, mainly, because the defensive importance of the fortress of Castell de Ferro, which was here even before the settlement. Dukes, pirates and Moorish have admired these views that, in addition, extended the message of danger that came from the sea.
The traveller can start admiring the cliffs once he passes Torrenueva, if he has the chance to have a look from a boat. But if he travels in terrestrial transport, after the magnificent view from the N-340 where he can see Calahonda, he should not miss any detail of what is going to happen in front of his eyes in a few moments.
Following the mentioned road, the first stop of this route is the Beach of La Rijana, which belongs to the Gualchos-Castell de Ferro district. About 5 kilometres away from this last town you will find the tower of the Condenada, the Arrayán or the Raya, names that it has received throughout its history. It was built in the XVI century with the target to watch the harbour that was located at the cove of La Rijanilla and the boulevard that ends at it, as well as to serve as bridge between the tower of Calahonda or of the Zambullón and the fortress of Castell de Ferro. It is located in a rocky spur that goes into the sea, to the east side of the beach of La Rijana and to the left of the Zacatín Ravine.
The name of the Tower of the Arrayán, abandoned at the end of the XVIII century, comes, according to some history experts, from the abundance of these bushes at the time. There is also proves that at the cove that is under it they lodged five centuries ago up to 60 ships of small size. The beach of La Rijana, well known by the tourists in the summer, is worth a visit, not only because of its beauty but as well for being a calm place and remote at this time of the year. It is necessary to keep an eye for the little signs, so you do not leave it behind.
The next stops are marked by the viewpoints that follow one another throughout the N-340 before arriving at Castell de Ferro. It is also worth to take a path that goes around the mountain that is immediately before arriving at the mentioned town, where imposing views can be observed, with Calahonda as background. Although it usually blows a strong wind, it is impressive to see the gulls fly over with great skill.
At the following viewpoints you can also see the cliffs before arriving at the last curve before going back to Castell. At this view the fortress raised majestic over the town that it presides, with the beach of Castell underneath and, next, a coast that has no end, with the cities of Almeria as background.
The route finishes 22 kilometres from Motril, in Castell de Ferro, whose settlement is not as old as the fortress upon it and that it played an important strategic role because of its location. It served as defence of the boulevards that surround it and that serve as natural access to the area of the Alpujarra, inhabited mainly by Moorish, as well as to watch the coast of the Granada Kingdom in case of disembarkation and attack of Turks or pirates, something quite normal from the XVI to the XVIII century. It was indeed at that time when it was safe to live at the coast and for that reason some inhabitants of Gualchos and other inner areas moved to join to the ten houses that were at the beach until that date. Its marine origin gave way later to another based on the greenhouse agriculture.
Its beach, the church, which dates from the last century and that was built by the persistence of a nun called Doña Teresa, and the fortress whose origin goes back to the XIII century are some of the most interesting places.
CASTELL OF FERRO
A town repopulated by Catalans
Castell de Ferro was called Castil de Ferro during the time of the Catholic Kings, but it changed to Castell, apparently, because the repopulation of the Catalans. As far as the ferro present in its name, there was a natural harbour where this mineral coming from the Lújar Mountain range was embarked. The castle or fortress located at the town presents bigger dimensions than a watchtower, but smaller than a alcazaba. Its shape is different from the ones found on the area. It got to house one hundred people. An historical curiosity: on the 42nd board of the chairs of the choir of the cathedral of Toledo the surrender of the castle of Castell de Ferro to the Catholic Kings is represented.