Escape to a slightly bigger city and experience a day trip from Almuñécar with many things to do in Motril Spain. Motril is the second largest city in the Granada Province, with a population of more than 60,000. Yes, this isn’t a big city by most standards, but it is the biggest on the Costa Tropical. Many of us know it as the place to take care of our paperwork as foreigners, but there is so much more to the city. We want to share with you some of the things to do in Motril you can do as a day trip or combine with your trip to the Foreigner’s office.
Table of Contents
- Where is Motril?
- When to go to Motril
- Things to do in Motril
- Museums and Culture
- Teresa Cactus and Succulent Garden
- Shopping in Motril
- Motril Rastro – Saturdays
- How to Get From Almuñécar to Motril
- Where to Eat
- Just in case you want to stay overnight:
- More Day Trips From Almuñécar
- More about hiking in Spain
Where is Motril?
Located less than a 30 minute drive to the east of Almuñécar, the bigger city of Motril is waiting for you on the coast. Of course with glorious beaches, but you also have a ferry port, several museums and parks to experience. This was once the land of sugar cane and there are many culture activities revolving around sugar. It is at the gateway to the Sierra Nevada mountains and offers some stunning views of both mountain and sea. We explain how to get there via car or bus later in this post. Read more about the history of Motril.
When to go to Motril
It’s a city, so you can go anytime you like! The weather in Motril is pretty much the same as other locations along Costa Tropical. It is in a microclimate, hugged by mountains on one side and the Mediterranean Sea on the other. It has mild winters, but by no means are they warm. The weather is likely an average of 10’c in the winter and 29’c in the summer.
Things to do in Motril
There is plenty to do and see, but it is also a great shopping resource for those in Almuñécar & La Herradura.
Museums and Culture
Motril offers many free and low-cost museums to help educate you about the history of the Costa Tropical area and the significance of sugar. Costa Tropical was well-known for its sugar cane production for more than 1000 years and Motril was at the hub.
Click here for more free and cultural activities in Motril.
Preindustrial Sugar Cane Museum in Motril Spain
The sugar cane museum is very interesting and one of our favorite things to do in Motril, when we have visitors. It gives you a peek into the people living in Costa Tropical long ago. Sugar in Spain was big business in the Costa Tropical area and there are many sugar factory ruins as well. This factory was restored and tells a great story of how it all came to be. The can give you a tour in English too. It is very close to where you would hop off the bus (near the McDonald’s).
José Hernández Quero Art Center
The José Hernández Quero Art Center, located in the Palace Ruíz de Castro (17th Century), houses part of the extensive work by one of the most prominent Grenadinian artists of the second half of the twentieth century, José Hernáñández Quaro. Don’t miss the artist’s permanent collection, nor the temporary exhibitions that usually houses one of his rooms.
The access to the center is located on one side of the palace, opposite the north gate of the Municipal Market, and is open Monday to Friday from 10:00 to 14:00 hrs. Free entry.
Museo de Historia de Motril
The Museum of History Motril displays interesting artefacts and documents found from the past. It is located in beautiful “Casa Garcés” in the centre of town, the museum gives visitors some new insight into Motril, from its historic past to the present day. It connects the Plaza de Canalejas in the commercial center of Motril, with the upper part of the city and north facade of the Iglesia Mayor de la Encarnación.
Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 10:00 to 13:30, 17:00 to 20:30, excluding holidays
Calle Cardenal Belluga 14
958 603 224
Ron Montero Rum Distillery
This is one of the tastiest things to do in Motril! Visit the Ron Montero Bodega (Rum Distillery) was founded in 1963 by Francisco Montero Martin, who can be best described as a gentleman with a refined taste for quality spirits and a never- ending desire to achieve the “perfect rum” characterized by an exquisite taste and fine aromas. They offer free tours and tastings! Read more about the Motril rum distillery here.
Casa Condesa Torre-Isabel
The original building, of the house of the Countess Torre-Isabel, was built in the late 17th century. It was renovated in the late 19th century and updated in the year 2000 by the City Council of Motril, to become the cultural center and museum. It’s just nice to see how beautiful the building is. More info.
Hours: 08:00 to 15:00 Monday to Friday, excluding holidays
House of the Countess Torre-Isabel
Plaza de La Libertad, s / n
18600 – Motril (Granada)
958 838 450
Exhibition room “Sugar store”. Pilar Factory
A magnificent temporary exhibition room with more than 800m2 (8,611.13 ft²) located in the Ntra. Sra. Del Pilar Sugar Factory. On the same site there is a highly rated restaurant called “Museo del Azúcar”.
C / Azucarera de San Fernando, s / n
18600 Motril (Granada)
Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 11:00 to 14:00, 18:30 to 21:30, excluding holidays
958 838 450
Access to the Exhibition Hall is free.
Enjoy a day out bird watching at Charca de Suárez in Motril. This is the most important wetland on the coast of Granada, with over 160 species of birds, as well as wildlife and numerous plants and vegetation. This 15.6 hectares (almost 40 acres) environmental site has plans to double in the future, which is critical for the endangered bird species in the area and their survival. This is the ideal refuge for many species in addition to a strategic location for migration. Read more about the wetlands, Charca de Suárez.
Teresa Cactus and Succulent Garden
There is also a new succulent garden to tour around and explore. You will discover a large collection of Cacti and Succulents, with more than 1,000 different species. The Teresa cactus and succulent garden collection, is managed by the Motril city council and is located in the southeastern area of the enchanting Parque de Los Pueblos de América.
The name, “Teresa” was suggested by Manuel Soler in memory of his wife, María Teresa Ortiz Vázquez, who died in a traffic accident in 2001. She was the mother of his three kids and the one who taught him to appreciate the beauty of these types of plants. He shared almost thirty years of life with her with the first 20 years as a cactus collector. Link to more information and the Facebook page.
Shopping in Motril
There are many high street shops in Motril and you will also find sporting goods, DIY hardware and more. We have a full article on Shopping in Motril.
Mercado municipal Motril
The Municipal Market is place for the traditional shopping in Motril. You will find the butchers, fish markets, green grocers, coffee shops and other types of shops. It was opened on 29th November in 1955. Outside, in the adjacent plaza, you will also find many stalls with fresh flowers. It is open from Monday – Saturday from 09:00 to 15:00.
From strip malls to hypermarkets, Motril is the commercial center of Costa Tropical. You will find the big hypermarket of Alcampo, which is similar to Walmart or Tesco. There is also an AKI home and garden center for the DIY goods. Across the street is Sprinter, Kiabi and Worten electronics.
You can also walk down the main street to the city center for more high street or international brand shops and stores.
Click here to read more detailed information about Shopping in Motril.
Motril Rastro – Saturdays
Parks and Outdoor Things to do in Motril
Pueblos de América Park
This park is home to more than 50 types of exotic and subtropical trees and bushes brought from different American countries, each one displayed with its explanatory board. Near the entrance you will find the Tourist information office and the Sugar Cane Interpretation Centre headquarters. It is the perfect place to stroll and relax. It also offers playgrounds for children, as well as open air concerts and events. You may also visit the Nuestra Señora de la Cabeza Sanctuary. The Sanctuary was built upon the ruins of a Nasrid palace, which was the residence of the Queen Aixa Alhorra, Boadbil’s mother. Read more info here.
Motril Playa (the beach!)
Of course it is Costa Tropical, so that means it is the coast with beaches! You can always spend the day at one of the many beaches in Motril. From small charming coves located at the foot of a cliff with the privacy that the Mediterranean Sea offers to large beaches with a family atmosphere and a wide range of activities for enjoyment on the seashore. Naturist beaches exist in harmony with ideal spaces for practising water sports. Click here for the tourism boards listing of Motril Playas.
We can’t forget about golf! Motril has the one and only golf club in Costa Tropical. Read more on golf in Costa Tropical Spain.
Motril Port (Puerto de Motril)
If you enjoy watching ships, ferries, loading shipping containers, cruise ships and more, then make your way to the Motril port. This port has been in operation for more than 100 years and is the gateway between Europe and Africa. The Port of Motril is in the path of the products arriving from the Far East that travel through the Suez Canal, the Mediterranean Sea and the Strait of Gibraltar to Europe. Motril has a privileged position on that crossroads, because they are only 90 miles away from the African coast. Most of shipping lines entering or leaving the Mediterranean Sea pass up to 60 miles away of our coastline and they have a strategic position in a net of terrestrial and maritime communications.
You can take ferries over to the African continent to the Spanish city of Melilla, as well as the Moroccan cities of Nadar, Al-Hoceima and Tanger. There are also many cruise ships now making Motril a stopping point on their itineraries. The coast of Granada is the perfect place for many land excursions with the beautiful towns of Almuñécar, Salobreña, as well as the city of Granada and the Alhambra.
Puerto de Motril offers guided school and technical tours. They also have a fun travel Motril port guide in Spanish.
How to Get From Almuñécar to Motril
Taking the bus from Almuñécar to Motril
Leaving from the Almuñécar central bus station, you would just take an Alsa bus to Motril. Once you see the Alcampo on your right, you will go through a roundabout, with a McDonald’s on the far side. Ring the bell to get off here and walk back towards the shopping center. To take the bus back to town, go across the street (limited times of day).
You may book your bus tickets online now !
Sample schedules below Please click here to check schedule for your dates and times.
Bus from Almuñécar to Motril
Bus from Motril to Almuñécar
Driving from Almuñécar to Motril
From the Friday Market in Almuñécar, take Highway 340 East to Motril. The shortest distance and fastest route, from the center of town, is just to go east on the N340. From the N340, there are 3 exits for Motril and we have them listed below from west to east.
- The first exit is for Av de Europa and will take you to the Alcampo shopping area.
- The second exit will take you to the city center and the Foreigner’s office.
- The third exit provides and on/off ramp for the A7 as well as access to many of the car dealers in Motril.
You could also take the A7 highway, which will have you exit just before or just after Motril city center. It is a bit longer because the highway goes around the city.
Have fun! Feel free to comment and let us know what you think.
Where to Eat
There are so many great places to eat in Motril.
$$ – $$$
- La Ballena Azul – Seafood Mediterranean Spanish Vegetarian Friendly Vegan Options
- La Espicha – Seafood Mediterranean Spanish
- Zarcillo Restaurante – Mediterranean Sushi European Spanish Vegetarian Friendly Vegan Options
- Museo del Azucar – Mediterranean Spanish
- El Conjuro Restaurante – Mediterranean Spanish Asian Fusion Vegetarian Friendly Gluten Free
- La Flor de la Canela
- Heladeria Perandres
- La Nube
- PadThaiWok Motril
- Meson Medina
- Burger King
Just in case you want to stay overnight:
If you want to make a weekend of it or more than a day trip, here are some of the top reviewed places to stay in Motril.
Elba Motril Beach & Business Hotel
This property is 2 minutes walk from the beach. Elba Motril Beach & Business Hotel is located next to Playa Poniente in Motril, in Granada province. It offers an outdoor pool, hot tub and rooms with free Wi-Fi and a private balcony. All air-conditioned rooms at the Elba Motril feature tiled floors. They are equipped with satellite TV and the private bathrooms have a hairdryer.
Casa de los Bates
Set in an Italian-style building from the 14th century, Casa de los Bates features an outdoor pool. Located in Motril, it is surrounded by gardens and offers free Wi-Fi and free bicycle use. Elegant rooms and suites are air conditioned and overlook the beautiful gardens or the sea. They have a safe, mini-bar and coffee maker. There is a desk and wardrobe, and the private bathroom comes with a hairdryer and toiletries.
View current pricing and availability now!
Costa Tropical Oasis
All units are air conditioned and feature a dining area and a sitting area with a satellite flat-screen TV. Some units include a terrace and/or balcony. There is also a kitchen, fitted with a dishwasher, oven and microwave. A toaster, a refrigerator and stovetop are also featured, as well as a coffee machine and a kettle. Each unit features a private bathroom with a hairdryer. Towels and bed linen are available.
View current pricing and availability now!
More Day Trips From Almuñécar
- Spanish Sugar Mill and Rum Tasting – Motril
- Wine Tasting & Roman Aqueduct Tour – Almuñecar
- Spanish Fruit Tasting in Almuñécar – Almuñecar
- Make Ice Cream! Along with fruit tasting and demo– Almuñecar
- Málaga Food Tour – A Perfect Day Trip From Almuñécar – Málaga
- Otivar and Jete
- Vélez de Benaudalla – spectacular drive through a gorge, popular for rock climbing!
- Las Alpujarras
- Nerja Caves
- A Day Trip from Almuñécar To Granada – Things To Do
- How To Ride A Segway In Granada Spain
- A Day Out to Frigiliana
- Segway Malaga Experience – City & Gibralfaro, with amazing views
If you have something you would like us to add to “Things to do in Almuñecar”, just let us know.
More about hiking in Spain
Hiking In Spain – Awesome Guides In The Spotlight. Click here to read more.