The beginning of winter 2021 I did a self-experiment and moved for almost two months south to find the perfect workation destination: Almuñécar. I worked my master thesis and spend afternoons and weekends outside exploring my new home.
Along the Costa Tropical lies the small town Almuñécar. It belongs to the department of Granada, has approx. 25k habitants and is the perfect place to work, live and train. I combined it all and called it „workation“.
Almuñécar turned out as my workation and cycling paradise.
The quiet town is ideal to focus on the right work-bike-balance.
Cycling: besides the good infrastructure along the coast with low traffic and beautiful views over the mediterranean sea, Almuñécar’s famous local climb „La Cabra“ is right at the doorstep. This climb is absolutely magical. 35km long, 5 % average gradient, almost zero traffic and stunning views. The highlight of the climb awaits one towards the end: massive rock formations! You can find my routes on Strava or on Komoot.
Running: the local stadium, Estadio Municipal Francisco Bonet, has a track that one can use for 1 € entry fee. It is not busy at all and has long opening hours. People there are friendly and helpful and I can definitely recommend running there if you have interval sessions in mind.
Swimming: the local indoor pool, Piscina Municipal Cubierta de Almuñécar, has 25m lanes. The entry fee is 4 € for one hour. It is usually not very busy. Bring flipflops and a cap. I can definitely recommend it.
Work: Finding a small house in Velilla-Taramay (the hill north of the city centre) was the perfect choice for me. I worked on my balcony during the day. There is almost no noise from outside, so there is nothing stopping you from having productive day and enjoying the sun at the same time. Especially in winter the temperatures outside are perfect for working.
Housing: I found my accomodation on Airbnb. But you can also check the Spanish market on Idealista.com where you one can encounter economic monthly rents, too. My house was in a very quiet area and I could sleep and rest very good during the night. I had my own fully equipped kitchen, five beds, three toilets and a big balcony for 850 € rent + 40 € internet for one month. I could sleep very good during the night, as there was no light or noise disruption at all.
There are many beaches in Almuñécar and I can recommend you to go for long walks along both directions. In the south towards La Herradura and in the north towards Salobreña. All beaches here are worth exploring! Also Almuñécar was pure magic to me because you get both – sunrise and sunset – above the sea. It’s not only beautiful to watch, I also felt like it was good on my mood and my overall well-being.
Food: Try all kinds of tropical fruits you can find in the small shops! Mango, Cherimoya (custard apple), Pitaya, etc. That’s what the area is famous for and where it got its name from. If you are lucky, you find some avocados or mangos along the road. Also, I can recommend to try all kinds of cheese. The tapas in Granada are wonderful. The sweets from all the bakeries are delicious. Café con leche and bocadillo con queso are the best – especially in remote mountain villages.
Rental bikes: If you cannot bring your bike, you can check out Costa Tropical Cycling for rental road bikes. This place is owned by a lovely Danish guy called Jörn, who can help you with any sort of questions. He also knows good gravel & (e-)MTB routes and is a former bikepacker 🙂
Bus: Almuñécar is about one hour away from both Malaga and Granada. The bus company ALSA brings you to both places multiple times of the day. Prices are very economic. It is recommended to book the bus one or two days in advance as it is usually pretty busy and the only public transportation. Either online or directly at the bus terminal. Bikes need to be checked in separately, too. In a bike suitcase you do not need to pay anything extra. A taxi ride from Malaga airport to Almuñécar costs about 100 €.
Flights: Malaga has a big international airport. Taking a bike on the aircraft costs around 50 – 100 € depending on the airline (Ryanair 60 € for a bike). You need to pack your bike and therefore disassemble it. I can recommend you a hard cover bike suitcase like I had (unpaid advertisement/sponsored product). Inside your suitcase you will be able to pack up everything else needed for your stay in Spain. So no extra suitcase needed. Just a backpack with my laptop, the big bike suitcase and that’s it.
Conclusion: I enjoyed my time in Almuñécar A LOT. Climbing La Cabra was one of the most impressive places for me. The nature was breathtaking, the people I met in the area were very nice, the amount of sun and the calm environment were the perfect match for me. I caught myself a few times thinking „this is one of the best places I have ever lived“. I felt very happy and at home in this cycling paradise.