Enjoy the natural beauty and serenity of southern Spain by lingering in the gardens of a 19th-century mansion and then touring an idyllic coastal village.
From the pier, it's a brief, but scenic drive to the hilltop Casa de los Bates, a 19th-century estate that has become an exclusive boutique hotel and features two equally magnificent, yet very distinct gardens. Walking along the winding garden footpaths that surround the estate, you'll gaze upon a multitude of blooming flowers, centuries-old trees, graceful kentia palms, and meticulously manicured ornamental shrubs. Feel free to relax on a courtyard bench, a glass of sherry or juice in hand, and do nothing more ambitious than watch the dancing waters of a coral fountain twinkling in the sunlight. The serenity of the setting and views of the distant Sierra Nevada mountain range are spectacular.
Another short drive brings you to Almuñecar, a coastal village with steep, winding streets that were laid out in the Middle Ages. Small sunlit plazas are plentiful, brightly colored geraniums grace the residential balconies, and around every turn there's yet another magnificent view of the sea. Above it all looms the Moorish fortress St. Michael's Castle, parts of which were built by the Romans more than 2,000 years ago. The castle was used to successfully defend Almuñecar against Berber pirates and the city's coat of arms grimly reflects that period by depicting the turbaned heads of three Berber pirates floating in the sea.
Following an orientation walking tour of Almuñecar, you'll have free time to explore the village at your leisure before driving rejoining your coach and transferring back to the pier in Motril.