Spain Savvy Destination Spotlight: Mojácar, Almería
The Spain Savvy family is back from our summer vacation and while it’s still fresh, we want to share what we discovered in this beautiful corner of southeast Spain during our six-day jaunt as a family (2 adults and 3 children – ages 7, 5 and 2). The Spain Savvy children are good little explorers and we were pleased to find this area to be especially family-friendly!
Here’s a beautiful little visual map (courtesy of this website) that will situate you geographically. Valencia and Barcelona are further north on the Mediterranean coast and we drove about 5 hours east from Seville to get there.
We rented this licensed touristic apartment in the Mojácar area managed by a nice Italian woman who we never got to meet but who was very responsive to a couple minor housekeeping problems we had on arrival, which she resolved immediately. The apartment was fine – it had everything we would need, was clean and modern, and had plenty of space for the kids to feel like they were at home. The best part was the terrace with its gorgeous views of the Macenas beach, including the historical 18th century Macenas Castle (pictured below) and Perulico Tower (built during the Nasrid period in the Muslim occupation). We were blessed with a full moon on our last night that was just spectacular!
We were located about a 20 minute drive from the village of Mojácar but just 5 minutes from the beaches and the apartment was in a private resort area called Playa Macenas Beach & Golf Resort (unfortunately it seemed a bit abandoned – no golf club and nothing in terms of entertainment at the resort – just private pools and a 24 hour security guard – but on the upside, very quiet and peaceful!) We were lucky that our apartment was just steps from one of the pools and the kids just loved splashing around every day after our daily beach trips.
On the day we arrived, it had been a long morning driving (one of those road trips where it seems like every 30 minutes, someone has to use the bathroom…!) , so we went right to lunch at Neptuno Restaurant on the beach for our first taste of the delicious local seafood before heading to check in at the apartment. The kids enjoyed the pool while we unpacked, got settled, and relaxed on the terrace with a light supermarket dinner.
The next day, we wanted to experience the beach we had right in front of the apartment and spent a lovely morning there splashing in the warm waters and playing in the sand. Lunch that day was at the closest chiringuito (beach bar) we could find and we liked the beach so much that we went back to our spot and spent the rest of the afternoon there, in and out of the waves.
We wanted to go out to dinner that night and stumbled upon a really great place called Marama Luz de Luna. The food and service were excellent and the kids had a blast playing near our table and even made some friends!
The beach nearest to our apartment had quite a bit of stones so we decided to look for a sandier beach the next day. We ended up in front of Tito’s Beach Bar and it was a hit! The kids were in the ocean all morning. Today was special because we went for lunch at Casa Egea (which coincidentally is our family name), and everyone agreed it was our favorite restaurant of the whole trip!
That afternoon we went back to the apartment early to go to the picturesque village of Mojácar for ice-cream-for-dinner (the best kind of dinner!). We had tried to go to check out the village (with fame as one of the most charming in southern Spain) the night before but ended up doing a panoramic tour from our car, as there was absolutely nowhere to park. Tonight was not much easier but we did manage to get a spot to get out and walk around a bit. It’s possible that it was a result of the time of year we came, but we found the village to be absolutely crawling with people – way too many people for our liking. There were also souvenir shops on every corner. We saw potential for charm – there were some lovely corners and the views over the Sierra de Cabrera were just gorgeous. Next time we will try to come during low season to explore more, and maybe have an actual meal (perhaps at La Candela which we had earmarked as a possible spot to try).
The following day we wanted to make a short excursion to another nearby beach. We had heard lovely things about Agua Amarga and it was close by (30 min) and had a kid-friendly beach so we decided to try it out. On our drive there, we unexpectedly hit the dense traffic for Playa de los Muertos, which we had also heard was amazing (consistently named one of Spain’s best beaches) but unfortunately not kid-friendly (long walk from parking areas and no services once you get on the beach). After seeing all the traffic, we’re glad we didn’t go!
We absolutely loved Agua Amarga. The beach was a little rocky but we loved the vibe – extremely family-friendly, chill, and not crowded at all. The village seemed really lovely and all the people we met were friendly and welcoming. We also hit the mark with a great lunch right on the beach at Los Tarahis.
After lunch we got back on the road back to the Mojácar area and the kids wanted more beach (!) so we went back to our spot at Tito’s for another swim and then had an early night at home with dinner on the terrace.
Next up was Playa de Lance Nuevo, just a bit further down from Tito’s which we had seen was also a sandy beach and had pedal boats with water slides for hire! We ventured out for a half hour ride (10€) and had a blast pedaling around the beach and jumping in and out of the crystalline water – it was quite an adventure for the whole family!
For lunch at Playa del Lance Nuevo, we hit up Ankara Beach Terrace on recommendation from our Airbnb host and had the best chocos fritos (calamari) we’ve ever had, anywhere in the world. Considering this is high on the list of favorite foods for the Spain Savvy kiddos, it was obviously a home run.
We headed back to the beach after lunch but it got a little windy so we packed up and headed back to the apartment for some extended pool time.
Since the next day would be our last opportunity for a beach day, we decided to go with what we knew and loved – back to Tito’s! We also hit up Tito’s Beach Bar for lunch and it was amazing – a tropical vibe, deliciously creative dishes and the kids ate up their yummy cheeseburgers right up. Here’s a great review we found online that convinced us to try this place out.
For our last day of vacation, we had a surprise in store that would also break up the drive home. We stopped about an hour from Mojácar in the desert of Tabernas at Oasys Mini-Hollywood. Tabernas is the site of the only desert in Europe, where all the «Spaghetti Western» films were shot in the 1960s and 1970s. There are actually three parks in this area – Fort Bravo, Western Leone and Oasys, but we chose Oasys for its added water and zoo offerings (which ended up being a fabulous idea – the water slides were SO fun for the kiddos!) They also offered a buffet lunch along with the entrance ticket which was perfect for us. The park is managed by the Playa Senator hotel chain and the food was pretty decent – who doesn’t love a buffet? We wandered around the Old West-themed recreated village, hiked through the zoo/nature reserve, and then spent a good hour in the water park before lunch and heading back out on the highway. All in all, a fabulously fun day for all!
We were so grateful to have the opportunity to discover this area of Almería on our family vacation and look forward to helping YOU plan your trip there with our tried-and-true recommendations!
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