17 June 2016

A day trip to Garrucha

While on holiday at one of the HPB Spanish properties, El Pueblito de Alfaix, we took a day trip to Garrucha. The grandparents were babysitting that day, so we were officially footloose and fancy free!! 

White, sandy & remote beaches
It's a 20 minute drive from the HPB property through beautiful mountain ranges and well worth the journey (in my humble). We'd heard that Garrucha was a big fishing port and worth a trip to try the local fresh red prawns, although we were warned it was "very touristy".

Well, we went in June and the place was very remote, very quiet and an absolute idyll. The fairly large town has a lovely, long promenade lined with palm trees and dotted with interesting bars and restaurants. And, there was hardly a person on the beach and only a handful of people in the port.

At one end is the port and the other the beach.

The working port of attractive
but not pretty
The port is reasonably attractive, although clearly a working port rather than a pretty marina. And, most of the bars and restaurants seem to be overlooking the port.

However, towards the beautiful beach is where Garrucha truly comes into its own. The long, wide, sandy beach is located on the harbour and the water is very calm due to the break water. We'd been to Playa Agua de Amarga the previous day, which was very beautiful but the water was quite choppy.

My view from lunch. Not
a person in sight!
And the best bit? The beach was practically deserted. 2km of promenade and golden, sandy beach with barely a sole on it. Apparently it is the only beach in Europe with a blue flag in town beach. The water is azure blue and the sand seems to stretch on forever. 

There was a huge amount of choice of bars and restaurants. We chose to stop in one at the end of the port, over looking the beach. When we sat down, we were the only people in the place. Touristy? I don't think so.

Our De Alberto white wine
with a very intriguing cork!
The restaurant, Chiringuito El Jardin de la Paella had a few plastic chairs outside and, although pretty, was certainly not chic dining. However, the service was prompt and friendly and we had a delicious meal of "raciones" which is sort of like a large serving of Tapas. We had a large plate of calamaris, some mussels in tomato sauce and some garlicky swordfish. 

To round it off, the waiter recommended a bottle of white wine that was very scrummy. Interestingly, nearly all the restaurants we visited in the area only offered Spanish Wines. Can you imagine a restaurant in England only offering English wines? The Guti Verdejo from de Alberto wines that he recommended was crisp and dry and went perfectly with our seafood platter. It also had a white, plastic cork which I found very delightful.

Overall, we had a lovely day trip to Garrucha. It wasn't over crowded and had a natural and remote feel to it, but with a great mix of bars and restaurants. We found during our stay to Almeria that the wind picks up as the day goes on and, certainly in Garrucha we noticed that after lunch it got very blowy. And, further down the beach it appeared that the sand was being blown up the beach a little. So perhaps more suitable to the mornings. 

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