Spanish Road Trip 2023 - Day 2

Spanish Road Trip 2023 - Day 2, 2nd November San Pedro del Pinator to Mojaca - 175km via Puerto de Mazarrón, (Murcia), Vera, (Almería), Garrucha, (Almería)

After a good nights sleep in San Pedro del Pinatar, we set off on our second days journey, exploring the Spanish countryside along the way, traveling off the major roads provides a more authentic experience, so we avoid them where ever we can.

The Spanish countryside is filled with hidden gems, from historic landmarks to local markets and scenic viewpoints, we found a great look out point at the Sierra de la Muela, Cabo Tinoso y Roldan Natural Park, with stunning view across to Puerto de Mazarrón.  Stopping at spots like this not only provides a welcome respite from the driving but also showcases the beauty of the different landscapes.

Spanish Road Trip 2023 - Day 2

A quick drive around Puerto de Mazarrón to get an idea of what is here for future road trips, this looked like a charming coastal town which is known for its picturesque setting, sandy beaches, and relaxed Mediterranean atmosphere. Here are some things to look out for if you visit Puerto de Mazarrón:

Beaches: The town boasts several beautiful beaches, including Playa de la Reya and Playa del Castellar, where visitors can enjoy the warm Mediterranean waters and soak up the sun.

Scuba Diving: The clear waters off the coast make Puerto de Mazarrón a popular destination for scuba diving enthusiasts. There are opportunities for both beginners and experienced divers to explore the underwater marine life and ancient shipwrecks.

Historical Sites: Puerto de Mazarrón has a rich history, and remnants of ancient civilizations can be found in the area. The Roman salt fish factory, known as the Factoría Romana de Salazones, is one such historical site.

Promenade and Marina: The town features a pleasant seafront promenade lined with restaurants, cafes, and shops. The marina is a hub for boating activities and offers a charming atmosphere for a leisurely stroll.

Cuisine: As with many coastal towns in Spain, Puerto de Mazarrón offers delicious seafood. Visitors can enjoy fresh catches at local restaurants, where the Mediterranean influence is evident in the cuisine.

Sierra de las Moreras: Nature lovers can explore the nearby Sierra de las Moreras, a mountainous area that provides hiking opportunities and stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

Whether you're seeking relaxation on the beach, underwater adventures, or a taste of Spanish coastal life, Puerto de Mazarrón has something to offer. It's a great destination for both a relaxing beach holiday and exploring the natural and historical attractions of the region.

Continuing with our drive we decided to revisit one of our old favourites, Vera which we first visited on a previous road trip in 2020. 

Spanish Road Trip 2023 - Day 2

Vera: Located in the province of Almería, in the autonomous community of Andalusia, southern Spain. Here are some  of the best areas of Vera:

Beaches: Vera boasts several Blue Flag beaches, including Playa El Playazo and Playa de Puerto Rey. These beaches are known for their fine golden sand and clear waters, making them popular destinations for both locals and tourists.

Naturist Zone: Vera is recognized for having one of the most important naturist zones in Europe, known as Vera Playa. The nudist beach area has hotels, apartments, and facilities catering to naturist tourism.  I think this is what attracts Derek...... as it's quite a strange concept...

Historical Heritage: The town has a rich historical heritage with remnants of its Moorish past. The old town features narrow streets, traditional architecture, and historical landmarks such as the Church of Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación.

Agriculture: The surrounding area of Vera is characterized by agriculture, with the cultivation of fruits and vegetables. The local economy has historical ties to agriculture, contributing to the town's identity.

Golf: For golf enthusiasts, Vera offers golf courses like Valle del Este Golf Resort, providing an opportunity for outdoor recreation against the backdrop of the region's scenic landscapes.

Sierra de Almagro: Nature lovers can explore the nearby Sierra de Almagro, a mountain range that offers hiking opportunities and stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

Vera combines the appeal of a coastal town with historical charm and a range of outdoor activities. Whether you're interested in relaxing on the beach, (with or without clothing), exploring historical sites, or enjoying outdoor pursuits, Vera provides a diverse and welcoming destination.

Spanish Road Trip 2023 - Day 2

Our next stop was Garrucha, who could not stop here with a name like that!

Whilst in Garrucha, visit:

Fishing Port: Garrucha is historically known as a fishing town with a bustling port. The local economy has been closely tied to fishing and maritime activities for many years. Strolling along the waterfront, you can observe the activity of fishing boats.

Spanish Road Trip 2023 - Day 2

Beaches: The town is situated along the Costa de Almería, and it has several sandy beaches, including Playa de Garrucha and Playa del Descargador. These beaches are popular among locals and visitors, offering opportunities for swimming and sunbathing, but where very quiet during our visit.

Spanish Road Trip 2023 - Day 2

Seafood Cuisine: Given its fishing heritage, Garrucha is an excellent place to savour fresh seafood. The local restaurants and chiringuitos (beach bars) often serve a variety of dishes featuring the catch of the day.

Promenade: Garrucha features a pleasant seafront promenade where you can enjoy a leisurely walk, take in the sea views, and explore various shops, cafes, and restaurants.  Sadly this time of year many shops and restaurants were closed and major road works taking place along the promenade, so it was difficult to imagine what it would be like during high season. 

Port Authority Building: One of the architectural highlights of Garrucha is the Port Authority Building. This historical structure adds character to the town and reflects its maritime significance.

Marina: In addition to the fishing port, Garrucha has a marina where you can find pleasure boats and yachts. It adds a modern touch to the town's maritime infrastructure.

Garrucha offers a more relaxed and authentic atmosphere compared to some of the larger tourist destinations along the Costa de Almería. Whether you're interested in enjoying the beaches, savouring seafood, or exploring the town's maritime heritage, Garrucha provides a charming setting, sadly this time of year, it was very quiet with lots of roads closed due to out of season roadworks, possibly a place to revisit during the summer months.

Spanish Road Trip 2023 - Day 2

Onto our final destination of the Day - Mojacar, which is known for its whitewashed buildings, narrow winding streets, and stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea. 

What a let down it turned out to be! Despite the town's initial charm from a distance, our experience was marred by a lengthy detour caused by the closure of the main road due to extensive roadworks. 

Spanish Road Trip 2023 - Day 2

While our chosen hotel boasted a fantastic location, the downside of being in a hillside town quickly became apparent. Exploring the sights necessitated tackling steep inclines on foot, as no vehicles were allowed in the old town area.

Once we were comfortably settled into our hotel, we opted for a drive into the old town, going as far as we could to conserve our energy. Recognizing that we're not as spry as in our younger days. The steep hills seemed a bit daunting for us to conquer, given our current energy levels and physical capacities.

Upon reaching the car park, the moment we stepped out of our vehicle, the entire area succumbed to darkness, courtesy of a sudden power cut. Surprisingly, the locals appeared unfazed, leading us to believe that such occurrences were likely commonplace. After approximately 10 minutes, power was restored, and life resumed its usual course without much ado.

Some general information on Mojacar-

Mojácar has a rich history that dates back to ancient times, with influences from various civilizations, including the Moors. The town's architecture reflects its Moorish past, characterized by whitewashed buildings and labyrinthine streets.

Old Town (Mojácar Pueblo): The heart of Mojácar is its old town, perched on a hill overlooking the sea. The narrow cobbled streets, adorned with colourful flowers, lead to charming squares and historic landmarks. The Plaza Nueva and the Church of Santa María are notable attractions in the old town, just remember that a lot of walking is needed to reach any of these areas.

Moorish Fountain: A distinctive feature in Mojácar's old town is the Moorish Fountain, known as Fuente Mora. It serves as a symbol of the town's Moorish history and is a popular spot for visitors to take photographs.

Viewpoints: Mojácar offers breath taking panoramic views of the Mediterranean coastline from several viewpoints. The Mirador Plaza Nueva and the Mirador del Castillo are excellent locations to appreciate the beauty of the surrounding landscape, not that we ventured that far into the town.

Artistic Community: Mojácar has attracted artists and creative individuals over the years, contributing to its vibrant artistic community. Art galleries and craft shops showcase the work of local and international artists.

Gastronomy: The town offers a diverse range of dining options, from traditional Andalusian cuisine to international flavours. Sadly this time of year, most seemed to be closed, the only places we could find open to eat were in the costal area and  even here we had to resort to a kebab.

Beaches: The town extends to the coast, where you'll find a stretch of beautiful beaches, including Playa de Mojácar and Playa del Lance. These sandy shores provide a relaxing setting for sunbathing and swimming.

Mojácar is frequently lauded as one of Spain's most beautiful villages, although the source of such acclaim is not entirely clear. However, in all honesty, our experience left us somewhat disappointed. Having visited numerous villages that captivated us more, one example being Altea near Benidorm.

Mojácar didn't quite live up to our expectations. Whether our perception was influenced by the time of year or if we inadvertently missed key attractions, it's safe to say it's not a destination we'll be eager to revisit.

Night 2 Accommodation - Hotel Simon 52€ including FREE breakfast and parking.

Hotel Simon is located at the foot of the town of Mojácar, we did have a nice Mediterranean Sea view from our private balcony. The hotel has a bar-café serving snacks and drinks and this is where our breakfast was served, which consisted of coffee, juice, tostada con tomate and various cakes. There was also quite a nice swimming pool with views of the surrounding area, which was obviously not being used this time of year.

We were more than please with the room, which was a good size and it was nice to have the balcony, the only downside was the position of the car park which was a considerable distance from the hotel, although only at the back of the hotel itself, there seemed to be no back entrance to it, which meant quite a walk up the road to the hotel itself.

A bus stop is situated nearby for buses to the beach area.

Would we stay here again, yes if visiting the area and the price was right.

More photos 

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