The two former watchtowers stand proudly on their mountains overlooking the bay and the sea. Each of these monuments has been witness to centuries of change.
The village of La Herradura is situated in the Costa Tropical and only 80 km from the beautiful town of Granada (and Granada Airport) with its famous Alhambra, 72 km from the vibrant city of Malaga
(and Malaga Airport) and within easy reach of many other interesting towns, villages and
cities to explore. In Spanish La Herradura means ‘horseshoe’ and the village gets its name
thanks to the shape of this shimmering Mediterranean bay. La Herradura’s beauty can be found everywhere – on the ground, in the daily life of the Herradureños in the whitewashed little back streets; in the sky, where you often see the many paraglider enthusiasts creating a colourful display throughout the year circling one of the headlands before landing on the beach; and not forgetting on, in and under the water, in this crystal clear haven for swimmers, divers and snorkelers alike.
La Herradura is also steeped in history. No former digs have taken place since the 1990s, but artefacts have still been unearthed before and since – found over the years by people working the land. In most cases, these discoveries were simply kept by the finder and so remained in private hands – one of these being the biggest ‘Argaric’ sword ever found in the whole of Andalusia. Still, it’s from objects like these, that the region’s history can be traced like an evolutionary line from the Copper Age, to an Early Bronze Age and then to the Phoenicians, followed by the Romans and later the Moors. The Moors then were expelled by the Christians. After years of war La Herradura was completely abandoned and people were driven away from the coast. There wasn’t really a village near the coast until around the beginning of the 19th century when people arrived from Italy. These days, around 50 of La Herradura’s ‘original’ families have Italian origins.
A NATIONAL DISASTER
However, some of the bay’s past has been intentionally kept secret. In October 1562, La Herradura became the scene of an historic event which was kept quiet for many years and to this day has remained relatively unknown to the world, even to many people in Spain. This natural disaster, one of the greatest catastrophes in Spanish naval history, happened on the 19th of October and cost the lives of around 5,000 people.
A Tourist HAVEN
Palm trees growing on the beach, sunshine most of the year, plenty of wonderful restaurants, beach bars and cafes to choose from, a few campsites and also pensions and hotels, each with their own unique comforts, welcome those who like to get away for a shorter or longer stay. But La Herradura offers a lot more than that. There is always something cultural to experience. From classical concerts to
jam sessions in bars. From Flamenco to jazz. All in a pleasant relaxed atmosphere.
And there are wonderful spots to visit. From the Cerro Gordo National Park where you might come across a family of mountain goats and will be treated to spectacular sea views, to the Marina del Este leisure harbour.
Article by Renate van Nijen, artist and writer from La Herradura.
Reflections from La Herradura written by Renate is a book about La Herradura.