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"Paul’s work on the international curriculum over 10 years ensured that Sefton was in the vanguard nationally in developing staff and student exchanges and study visits. His language skills were paramount in this as the department and Sefton schools expanded their links to include many countries in Europe and the world."
Bryn Marsh, Director, Children, Schools and Familes, Sefton Council, April 2005

Al, Sal and Big Mo PDF
Saturday, 15 January 2011 00:00

Al, Sal and Big Mo sound like a bunch of mafia hoods, but, in fact, they’re the main towns on the Costa Tropical in Granada province. And if you’re looking for a short (or long) winter break, this could be just the place to go. We spent a long weekend  there a few weeks ago and were very impressed.

Almuñécar is a town of around 12,000 permanent inhabitants set between two bays. Although there are several high rise hotels on the seafront, they’re not terribly offensive.  Overall, the town has a gentle, clean-looking feel. It boasts a delightful park with the remains of Roman salazones (salted fish stores), a modern aquarium with 19 tanks swarming with remarkable looking fish and other sea creatures, a rum factory, a fascinating sugar museum and a sumptuous spa, which is open to the public.

Round the corner to the west is Herradura with its exclusive yacht harbour, and the land round about is stuffed full with tropical fruits, such as avocado, mango and chirimoya, the main agricultural crops round here.

Salobreña, the smaller of the three main towns on this coast, is set inland on a rocky outcrop, in the middle of fertile farmland.  There is a small tourist development behind the beach, but it doesn’t trouble the eye too much.

The castle at the top of the old town is worth a visit. It’s well preserved and the views are marvellous in all directions. The narrow streets meander around the hill and small old inns and taverns beckon.

Motril is the largest town around here with 28,000 inhabitants.  The original settlement was set well back from the sea as a defence against sea-going marauders. Nowadays, Motril is a thriving, bustling centre, whose industry is based on fishing and agriculture. There is little tourism here. Visits to the wholesale fish market and a fruit packing factory are both fascinating.

So, if you fancy an escape from the cold weather at the moment, a trip to the sub-tropical micro-climate of the Costa Tropical (average winter daytime temperature 18ºC) could be just what the doctor ordered.

© Paul Whitelock

See also:

A1 SpanishLife: Travel

Tags: Al, Sal, Big Mo, Costa Tropical, Granada, Almuñécar, salazones, Herradura, avocado, mango, chirimoya, Salobreña, Motril, sub-tropical micro-climate Paul Whitelock,


Paul Whitelock

Paul is a Joint Honours graduate in Spanish and German, a qualified teacher (PGCE) and has a Member of the Institute of Linguists (MIL) qualification.

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