Cruise Port Atlas | Motril, Spain Day Trips | Attractions

Motril, Spain Day Trips | Attractions

With limited time in port, planning is the best way to make the most of your time. Should you strike out on your own? Should you hire a local guide? Or should you book a shore excursion offered by the cruise line or an international tour company? Below we have listed the attractions and activities that many other cruisers have enjoyed. This information should help you plan.

The advantage to cruise line tours is that they are timed for your visit and give you flexibility to change your mind after your trip begins. The advantage of using a large international firm is that tours are often less expensive than cruise sponsored tours. The advantage to using a local tour company or guide is that prices can be significantly lower or you may be able to get a customized trip just to see the attractions that interest you most.

Cruise lines that visit Motril: Star Clippers, Oceania, Paul Gauguin, Holland America

Key Attractions: Motril Town Hall, Church of La Encarnacion, Sugar Museum, Countess Torre-Isabel House, Playa Granada, Poniente Beach, Torrenueva Beach, La Joya Beach, Calahonda, Alhambra Palace, Generalife Palace and Gardens, Grenada Cathedral, Royal Chapel, Charterhouse, Albayzin, Sacremonte, Gibralfaro Castle, Alcazaba Fortress, Malaga Cathedral, Picasso's Museum, Malaga Bullring, Roman Amphitheater, Atarazanas Market, Almunecar, Velez de Benaudalla, Nazari Garden, Pampaneira, Guadix, Alfarnate

Motril Attractions

Motril Cruise Dock to Motril - 4-5 KM, 7-9 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

The port at Motril was not a suitable location for a city because of the pirates that combed the nearby waters for centuries and ending only in the 19th century. So the city's center was built 5 kilometers inland. The fertile land around the city is a major agricultural area of southern Spain and the port serves a large fishing fleet whose most famous harvest is sardines and anchovies. In the past, the most important agricultural product was sugar (from cane) and one of the city's most popular attractions is a museum dedicated to sugar and a well-preserved 16th century sugar mill. Other historic attractions within the city are the 17th century Town Hall, the 16th century Encarnacion Church and the Countess Torre-Isabel House.



Photo of Motril by MAZINTOSH

Motril Beaches

Motril Cruise Dock to Poniente Beach - 1.6 KM, 3 minutes
Motril Cruise Dock to Playa Granada - 2.6 KM, 7 minutes
Motril Cruise Dock to Torrenueva Beach - 8 KM, 10 minutes
Motril Cruise Dock to La Joya Beach - 10 KM, 12 minutes
Motril Cruise Dock to Calahonda - 15 KM, 19 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

The beaches around Motril are not as developed as those in Malaga, but have a quiet charm. Nearest to the port are the beaches at Poniente and Playa Granada which, like other area beaches, are near farms. Situated in a small bay the waters are calm and there is a mix of volcanic sand are pebbled. Poniente has many restaurants and bars along with its sailing facilities. Torrenueva Beach offers 2 kilometers of black sand and a few restaurants within 10 minutes of the port. The gravel beach at La Joya requires a hike of about ½ kilometer and offers naturists a secluded setting. Calahonda Beach has golden sand and is the most popular beach in the area with some waves and a selection of bars and restaurants.



Photo of Motril Beach by Mariam m

Alhambra (Red Palace)

Port to Alhambra (Granada) - 67 kilometers, 1 hour 5 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Begun in the middle of the 13th century by Ibn Nasr, founder of the Nasrid Dynasty, the Alhambra was the last and greatest flowering of Moorish architecture. Built on a hill in the city of Granada, the complex is a series of quadrangles surrounded by colonnades with intricately carved arches leading into the palace’s rooms and chambers. The exterior of the palace is plain, but the interior contains stunningly ornate carved ceilings and arches. Within the courtyards are gardens dominated by pools and fountains, the most famous of which is the Fountain of the Lions. The entire complex has a reddish glow, reflecting the red clay on which the palace was built. After the re-conquest of Spain in 1492, the palace was used for some state functions by Ferdinand and Isabella, including perhaps their audience with the Italian ship captain, Christopher Columbus. The Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, built a large palace on the grounds of the Alhambra in the 16th century.

Adjacent to the Alhambra is the Generalife Palace and Gardens. The formal gardens contain a large variety of flowering trees and bushes, with hedges trimmed to form arches and towering walls of foliage. Palm trees and enormous cypresses border paved paths edged with irrigation channels. After centuries of neglect, these gardens were entirely overgrown until they were re-designed in the mid-20th century in Andalusian style.



Photo of Alhambra ceiling details by Liam987, Photo of Court of the Lions by comakut

Granada Attractions

Motril Cruise Dock to Granada - 67 KM, 1 hour 5 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Besides the Alhambra and Generalife Palaces, Granada has much to attract the tourist wanting to discover Andalusian culture and history. The stunning cathedral, built on top of the main mosque was begun as a Gothic structure, but was completed as a massive Renaissance building with Gothic touches. Adjacent to the cathedral is the Royal Chapel where many Spanish monarchs are interned. Besides its stunning architecture, the Chapel also houses an impressive collection of Spanish, Italian and Flemish Renaissance paintings. The other important religious and artistic monument of the city is the baroque Charterhouse, a monastery just north of the city center. Within sight of the Alhambra are two atmospheric and historic neighborhoods which offer visitors a journey into the past. The Albayzin is the old Moorish neighborhood, declared a UNESCO World Heritage site for its well-preserved homes and narrow streets. West of Albayzin is the Sacremonte, the gypsy neighborhood where some of the homes are cut into rock and the original Andalusian flamenco guitar can be heard as you walk through the streets.



Photo of Motril Cathedral by Pom2, Photo of Albayazin by Mihael Grmek

Malaga Attractions

Motril Cruise Dock to Malaga - 91 kilometers, 1 hour 5 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

The Moors ruled Malaga for over 750 years and left a significant mark on the city. Dominating the skyline and overlooking the harbor is Mount Gibralfaro and its Castle, which was a fortress from the time of the Phoenicians in the 8th century BCE. The Moors built the existing castle to protect the port. The view from the castle on a clear day is not to be missed. It is also a great place to start a walking tour of the city, as your walk will be mostly downhill. The castle is connected by the walled Caracha Passage to the Alcazaba Fortress at a lower altitude on the hill and has outer and inner walls enclosing the fortress buildings and defenses. Just below the fortress at the edge of Malaga's medieval center is the 1st century BCE Roman Amphitheater which is being excavated and was only recently rediscovered. Immediately to the west of the theater is the Picasso Museum. A block to the southwest of the museum is the massive Malaga Cathedral, a renaissance building that remains unfinished, but has a dramatic interior with classic art works, including Gothic and Neo-classical altars. Further to the west at the edge of the old district is the Moorish Atarazanas Market, which houses the city's fresh market. South of Mount Gibralfaro is the historic Malagueta Bullring, built in the Neo-Mudejar (Moorish influenced) style and houses a Museum of Bullfighting.

Home of Flamenco music and dancing, Malaga and Andalusia are the ideal places to experience a dramatic live performance!



Photo of Malaga Harbor by Jean-Marc Digne

Scenic Villages near Motril

Motril Cruise Dock to Almunecar - 20 KM, 23 minutes
Motril Cruise Dock to Velez de Benaudalla - 18 KM, 17 minutes
Motril Cruise Dock to Pampaneira - 48 KM, 53 minutes
Motril Cruise Dock to Alfarnate - 100 KM, 1 hour 45 minutes
Motril Cruise Dock to Guadix - 133 KM, 1 hour 25 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

The coastal village of Almunecar offers visitors not only a well-appointed beach area, but also a Roman Aqueduct and the medieval San Miguel Castle, along with excellent shopping and dining opportunities in a lively atmosphere.

Just to the north of Motril along the Lecrin River is the scenic village of Velez de Benaudalla, most famous for the serene Nazari Gardens that date back to the Muslim era. The scenic whitewashed town is also famous for its plazas and fountains.

In the high Alpujarras grasslands are a number of scenic white villages, the most famous of which is Pampaneira. It retains much of its Moorish character and looks not much different from many North African villages. The town is surrounded by terraces farmland irrigated as they were hundreds of years ago.

The mountain town of Guadix is famous for its stunning cathedral as well as manufactured and hand-crafted goods, particularly cutlery and earthenware. And in the area are several wineries offering tours.

Surrounded by verdant mountains, Alfarnate was named “flour mill” in Arabic. Surrounded by cherry, olive and almond orchards, the town features the white Moorish houses along with the 16th century Church of Santa Ana and a Moorish tower.



Photo of Pampaneira by Bergerie, Photo of Almunecar Aqueduct by NoelWaller

Interests Key:

Art Architecture Beach Children Wild Animals Local Cuisine Flora Gardens-Parks Geology

Diving UNESCO Views Wine Dance Music Shopping History Hiking

Walking & Wheelchair Accessibility:

No Walking Easy Walking Normal Walking Difficult Walking Accessible Limited Not Accessible