Overlooking the crystal clear waters in a stunning horseshoe-shaped bay the pretty village of La Herradura is one of the main resorts on Spain’s Costa Tropical.
History of La Herradura
With a history dating back to prehistoric times, the area around La Herradura has hosted several civilizations, including the Moors who cultivated grapes to be made into raisins that were said to be the best in the Islamic world.
La Herradura’s claim to fame, however, was a major disaster that took place after the Reconquista when in 1562 when King Philip II of Spain gathered a fleet in Málaga to relieve Spanish-held Oran against an Ottoman Turk siege.
In command of 28 galleys, Captain General of the Spanish Armada Don Juan Hurtado de Mendoza y Carrillo decided to protect his fleet from an unexpected storm by sailing into La Herradura Bay. Suddenly the wind changed direction, forcing the Spanish ships onto the rocks around Playa Berenguales and Punta de la Mona. In all, 25 ships were lost with the death of around 5,000 men who were on route to break the siege.
Some years later Cervantes echoed the misfortune of the Spanish fleet in his masterpiece Don Quixote when he wrote: “… who married in Mrs Mencía de Quiñones, who was the daughter of Don Alonso de Marañón, Caballero del Hábito de Santiago, who drowned in La Herradura …”
Things to see in La Herradura
Today the village of La Herradura is street after street of apartment buildings with the only place of architectural significance being the church of San José. All the goings on in the village are centred around the seafront where you will find shopping opportunities and attractions.
Seafront and best beaches in La Herradura
With Punta de la Mona to the east and Cerro Gordo to the west, the beach at La Herradura is a two kilometre long stretch of pebbles and dark sand backed by a seafront promenade.
The beach in front of the promenade has no construction on it except for the usual chiringuitos that you find on most popular Andalucia beaches.
At the Nerja or the west end of the beach is the firmly established Chambao de Vincente restaurant which together with Chambao de Joaquin at the opposite end of the beach are perfect places to go for a traditional grilled fish dinner.
Now run by Joaquin junior, Chambao de Joaquin offers diners a lunchtime special of Paella cooked on an outdoor wood fire. The restaurant is extremely popular during the summer months, so make a reservation to avoid disappointment.
Near La Herradura – Marina de la Este and Cerro Gordo
Travel along the seafront in the direction of Almuñecar until you come upon Marina de la Este what was once the prettiest marina in Andalucia where you can enjoy an al fresco meal looking at the sailboats coming and going from their moorings.
If you are going in the direction of Nerja skip the motorway and drive along the old N340 road over the Cerro Gordo, the road is hardly used these days but was once busy in both directions. If sunbathing nude is your thing the Playa Cantarrijón on the other side of Punta de la Mona is a naturist beach.
Hotels in La Herradura
Most people who visit our La Herradura choose to rent an apartment, but there are hotels with both La Caleta Bay and Sol Los Fenicios occupying premium locations with sea views.
In La Herradura you will find two popular campsites that include Camping La Herradura adjacent to the beach.
Festivals in La Herradura
Just like every other town in Andalucia the citizens of La Herradura enjoy a fiesta with the most popular being the sailors Virgin del Carmen fiesta on July 16th.
Buses in La Herradura
Buses run on the main road from Marina del Este and Almuñeca several times per day.
Watersports in La Herradura
During the summer you can rent water sports equipment on the beach or visit one of the dive centres in Marina de la Este who organise trips around Punta de la Mona.