Garrucha is primarily a small fishing village and an industrial port in the east of the province of Almería in southern Spain, making it an excellent base for exploring the area. I’ve never seen a place that amalgamates these two features with a holiday location so successfully. It could be said that Garrucha grows on you, but I feel that a better description would be that you grow into Garrucha.
The city’s main beaches overlook the industrial port. This sounds horrendous, but you really don’t notice it’s there and the local authorities keep the place just as it should be. The fishing port is in full view and a pleasure to behold while fishermen repair their nets and generally tinker about; it really adds to the ambiance of the village. I should add that all the photo’s were taken on an ordinary winter’s morning in January!
On Fridays, Garrucha holds its weekly market in the streets just off the seafront, where locals purchase fresh fruit and vegetables of every description from local growers. In addition, there are fresh flowers, honey, clothes, olives and nuts amid a myriad of other things, with the hustle and bustle all being part of the experience.
The Waterfront Promenade
It’s very relaxing to stroll down the Paseo del Malecón, especially in the evening when all the restaurants are open and everyone is out and about on this waterfront promenade. It’s reputed to date to the 1860s and have over 150 palms along its length—the small gardens are always a joy to see. There are also monuments along the promenade, such as one dedicated to local fisherman, and the white marble balustrade that lines much of the walk is another special feature. There are various exhibits at certain times of the year and, of course, the fiestas are something that cannot be missed, with music and dancing going on well into the night. Like many things in Spain, there is no charge and all visitors are made to feel as welcome as the locals.
Refreshments and Dining
There are many bars and restaurants throughout Garrucha, but the vast majority are Spanish, a feature that maintains Garrucha’s identity and charisma. It knows what it is and is proud of it, and quite rightly so. It’s all too common to see the identity of a small Spanish village lost to rows upon rows of English bars and ‘greasy spoon’ diners. Garrucha is known for its seafood and there are many establishments where you can eat excellent food at sensible prices.
El Castillo de Jesús de Nazareno now houses the Maritime Museum. There’s only a small entrance fee, and it’s extremely interesting. Once inside, you can go to the top of El Castillo and enjoy the commanding view. The building, which is just as interesting as the museum itself, once defended this coast from pirate attacks, was the home of the Customs Officer and later the Guardia Civil.
Garrucha also has a strong mining background being, involved in silver, iron and lead. Evidence of this can be seen all around the village and in the immediate surrounding area. Exploring the local countryside will uncover many interesting buildings, tunnels, shafts and caves; the good weather making this just that little bit more enjoyable.
Garrucha is very Spanish and to be able to speak a little Spanish eases the way enormously. Visitors nowadays seem to expect everyone to speak English, and this often comes across in their manner resulting in frustration. It may be worth remembering that you are in someone else’s country and it is, if nothing else, polite to make an effort. You will find the Spanish extremely polite and if you make a little effort with their language, you will find them accommodating and helpful.