Garrucha is a resort and lively fishing port on the Costa de Almeria. The town was founded in the early 16th century when a group of fishermen built themselves a defensive tower overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. In 1518 the tower was destroyed by an earthquake. Garrucha has managed to retain much of its old character, and it has become an increasingly popular tourist destination in the last few years. Notable buildings in the town include the Hermitage de la Virgen del Carmen and the San Joaquin parish church. Watching over the coastline is the Jesus Nazareno Castle, built by Carlos III.
The busy fishing harbour is the focal point of the town. Every afternoon you can watch the day's catch being unloaded, and then auctioned on the quayside. A large part of Garrucha's revenue comes from the red prawns for which the town has become famous throughout Spain. Running alongside the seafront is a 2km-long promenade lined with palm trees and the occasional children's play area. The seafront is especially popular amongst the locals who like to gather here for their relaxing evening stroll. Next to the promenade are several excellent cafes and restaurants serving fresh fish, often caught within hours of arriving on the table.
In total, Garrucha has around 5 miles (8km) of sandy beaches. These are ideal for sports such as beach football and volleyball, as well as water-based activities including snorkelling and Scuba diving. Garrucha also boasts the only town beach in Europe that has been awarded with a Blue Flag.
A popular weekly event in Garrucha is the Friday morning market. There are usually a huge range of goods on offer, including leather goods, DVDs, clothing, rugs, spices and fruit and vegetables.
Several excellent golf courses are within easy reach of the town. The recently opened Valle del Este golf resort, notable for its amazing scenery, is situated just four miles from Garrucha. A couple of miles further away, next to the town of Cuevas de Almanzora, is the well-known Desert Springs. Founded in 2000, this was the first desert-style course to be opened in Europe.
Cuevas de Almanzora is itself worth visiting. The cliff-face on the edge of town contains hundreds of caves, many of which are permanently inhabited. There are regular tours that provide a fascinating insight into cave dwelling. Also within easy reach of Garrucha is the Parque Acuatico Vera water park.
Garrucha's main festival takes place in mid-August. The event is marked by four nights of music, dancing, eating and drinking along the promenade, and ends with a spectacular firework display. Another important celebration is the colourful procession of the Virgen del Carmen on the 16th of July. A statue of the Virgin is carried through the town by the local fishermen, before being placed on a boat, blessed and then sailed out to sea.
Garrucha is situated around 30 miles (50km) east of Almeria, and about 3 miles (5km) north of Mojacar. There are regular buses between Garrucha and Mojacar.