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Motril is the second largest town in the province of Granada, with the sea at one end and the province of Jaen at the other. It is a communication hub linking the coast with the interior.

The main tourist attraction of Motril is a combination of its history and its excellent beaches. The town has a tropical microclimate. It is located on the southern slopes of the mountain ranges of the Sierra de Almijara, the Sierra de Lújar and the Sierra Nevada, thereby protected from the cold north winds. In the summer many tourists come here to swim and to enjoy its many and varied beaches. There are beaches for families, hidden coves, beaches that offer all kinds of activities and even nudist beaches.

Motril has many places of artistic and historical interest. The oldest construction known in this town is the Iglesia Mayor de la Encarnación, which was built in 1502 by Cardinal Mendoza. Next to it is the town hall, built in 1631. Walking along the Calle de la Puerta de Granada, the former entrance through the city walls, crossing Ramblas del Manjón, you will arrive at the old Moorish suburb. Here the streets are steeped in tradition and you will see palaces dating back to the 17th century as well as a lot of Moorish architecture. Other places of worth seeing are the Castillo de Carchuna Castle, the Casa de Palma with its Pre-industrial Sugar Cane Museum, the Ermita de San Antonio, the Iglesa Nuestra Señora de la Cabeza, the patron saint of Motril and the Teatro Calderón.

The Los Moriscos 18-hole golf course and the marina are both located in Playa Granada. The commercial port of Motril is booming and more and more cruise ships use it as a base for trips and excursions around the province of Granada. The port also has a mooring area for boats.

The towns of Calahonda, Carchuna and Torrenueva have become major tourist attractions in recent years. They used to be small fishing villages.

Coins and other archaeological remains found in the town testify that the area was inhabited at least since the Bronze Age and later by the Carthaginians and the Romans. During the Middle Ages, Motril was a farmstead belonging to the Emir of Granada and fell under the jurisdiction of Salobreña. It was referred to by some authors as Moctril or Metrel.

Like the other places along the coast, Motril surrendered to the Christians in 1489, and suffered from severe depopulation. In 1510 Juana la Loca exempted the town of Motril from taxes and distributed its land between 500 Christian families. Since then it grew in importance and even overtook the neighbouring towns of Almunecar and Salobrena.

The town’s prosperity was due largely to the Christian settlers, who fearing invasion by the pirates, left the coast and settled in the mountains and grew crops. As the number of pirate attacks dwindled, the settlers moved slowly towards the coast of Motril, the longest of the entire Granada coast. It continued to grow rapidly until the mid-19th century when it had more than 12,000 inhabitants. It became the commercial and economic capital of the region, reaching its peak with the success of its sugar cane industry.

Today it is a modern city with about 60,000 inhabitants. It is continually being developed due to its commercial port and the cultivation of tropical fruits. It is agriculturally and industrially important, and its tourist industry, thanks to its historical legacy, is also very successful.

The waters of the Río Guadalfeo and the mild temperatures throughout the year have ensured that Motril has been an excellent place to grow fruit, vegetables and crops throughout the ages.

Although for centuries the main focus here was the production of sugar cane, which monopolized most of the land, the area around Motril grows potatoes, beans, peppers, tomatoes in green houses, as well as cereals and almonds. Many tropical fruits such as cherimoya, avocado and mango are also produced here. The specialities of Motril always include some of these delicious ingredients.

Motril is the main fishing port of Granada and supplies excellent fresh fish to the entire province. The shrimps, white prawns and lobsters are delicious as is the sea bass, snapper, bream and other sea fish. Two local specialties are dried octopus and the Moraga de sardinas.

The Torta real is a pastry that is worth a try and is best enjoyed with a bit of locally produced rum made in the Bodega de Francisco Montero. It is surprisingly good even though this part of the world is so far away from the Caribbean.


Information about the Municipality

Region: Costa Tropical
Poblaciones del municipio: Calahonda, Carchuna
Postcode: 18600
Distance from Granada (km): 69
Number of inhabitants: 56605
People: Motrileños
Web: Acceder a su web
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Museo Preindustrial de la Caña de Azúcar


Explore the ancient link between Motril and the production of sugar cane. It is a process that is now abandoned but that was the economic engine of the town for many centuries. The Museum of Preindustrial Sugar Cane focuses on [...]

Calderón de la Barca Theatre


Dating back to 1880 this theatre is an Italian-style theatre built in neoclassical style. It has been fully renovated and retains its original appearance. Of particular interest are the ceiling frescos, which depict the muses of the arts. A number [...]

Calahonda Beach


This tourist beach next to the urbanised area of Calahonda offers a good number of facilities and is very popular amongst visitors. It is about 1200 metres long and 40 metres wide. It has a small natural harbour to one [...]

Granada Beach


This is the nearest beach to the city of Granada and has been awarded the Blue Flag certification status. It is very popular with bathers as it is located in an ever-popular tourism area, which is quickly expanding and already [...]

La Chucha Beach


This quiet beach is surrounded by small developments. It is almost 1 kilometre long and 40 metres wide. The beach is a mixture of sand and gravel and has access for the disabled.

Poniente or El Pelaillo Beach


This is one of the busiest beaches in Motril. Along its seaside promenade there are a number of relatively tall buildings. It is quite a large beach, over 2 kilometres long and 80 metres wide, and offers a number of [...]

Puerto Deportivo de Motril


The marina is located in the Port of Motril and offers full facilities including a control tower, docks, a boat storage area, a towing service, maintenance facilities and the possibility to rent boats and crews. The Real Club Náutico de [...]

Celebration of San Cayetano


Very early, the villagers do a romeria to the abandoned village of Jolucar, at the bottom of the Lujar Mountain range, where the hermitage of San Cayetano is located.   

Romería of San Antonio


In June the inhabitants of Motril show their devotion to San Antonio going in romeria to its hermitage.

The Crosses of May


In May the town of Motril celebrates the celebration of the Crosses. This way, many villagers build their floral monument, which will compete in beauty with the rest. To wonder around the streets of the town with the crosses in [...]

Celebration of the Virgen de la Cabeza


The patron celebrations of Motril, in the middle of August, are celebrated in honour of the Virgen de la Cabeza. The celebration program offers a great variety of events, the religious traditions, the cultural activities and the concerts standing out [...]

Celebrations in honour of the Virgen del Carmen


At the end of the second week of July many villages of the Spanish coast celebrate the celebration of the Virgen del Carmen, patron of the sailors. Motril organizes this day in a very colourful way, through a marine procession [...]


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