Picture a sentinel in an old stone watchtower, perched high up on the cliffs of Punta de la Mona. He can see for miles out to sea and along the coastline, with mountainous lands jetting right into the sea. He is there protecting the castles and the nearby villages. There’s nothing but the rocky cliffs with the sea crashing below. He has means to communicate with the neighboring watchtowers along the coast, via light signals. This was the life of a watchman back in the 1700’s.
Faro de La Herradura
Faro means lighthouse in Spanish, so Faro de La Herradura is the La Herradura lighthouse. It is also referred to as the Faro de Punta de la Mona, torre de Punta de la Mona, the Punta de la Mona watchtower, as well as the Punta de la Mona lighthouse. Phew, how’s that for a few different names?
The Punta de la Mona tower (Torre Punta de la Mona) was originally built as a watchtower in the 1700s and was converted to a lighthouse in 1992. It was built as a reinforcement of the coastal defenses, which was manned by religious Islamic warriors. At the time the location was perfect, due to the ease in communication between the Almuñecar castle, the La Herradura castle, and Torre de Cerro Gordo. It was also used to guard the bay of Los Berengueles during that time, now named La Herradura.
The La Herradura lighthouse has a conical shape, with a circular plant of 8.70 meters in diameter and 10.50 meters height. The lighthouse shows a white flash every 5 seconds and can be seen at up to 15 nautical miles out to sea. It can even be seen at night, from the Balcon de Europa in Nerja.
Though you can’t enter the lighthouse, it is a great spot to get in touch with nature and enjoy spectacular views of the Granada coastline. You can look to the east and see the Marina del Este, Cotobro, Almuñecar, Salobreña and Motril. To the west you can see bits of La Herradura bay and Cerro Gordo National Park, but there are a few trees preventing sweeping views to the west. Off to the north are beautiful mountain vistas and to the south is the deep blue Mediterranean Sea. This would be an ideal location to do some yoga or perhaps catch an amazing sunset.
How to get there
The Punta de la Mona watchtower is accessed from La Herradura (Almuñecar) by the Camino de la Ermita an then on to Camino de la Torre. If you are approaching from La Herradura, you would make a right hand turn just before the Hotel Best Alcazar. Following this route, you will have the opportunity to stop along the way to see the small hermitage (Ermita). This is a peaceful area, which is surrounded by pine trees and a just short hike to the Punta de la Mona watchtower.
You may also continue to drive past the Ermita, along Camino de la Ermita and follow signs to “La Aldea”. Continue to follow the signs to “La Aldea” until you reach the end. The tower sits at the northernmost part of the point right on top of the La Aldea community. There is very limited parking, so be prepared.
Have you visited the La Herradura lighthouse? What did you think?