Legend has it that when the Moors were finally conquered and kicked out of Granada, Boabdil, the last Moorish king of Al-Andalus, paused at the southern mountain pass for a last mournful look at his beloved city of birth, and sighed. His mother smacked him, saying “Now you weep like a woman over what you could not defend as a man!” Ever since, the mountain pass has been known as The Gate of the Moor’s Sigh (El Puerto del Suspiro del Moro).
From the spot, you get a lovely view of Granada, and it’s not difficult to empathize with poor Boabdil. But though it’s little comfort for those being expelled from their homeland, the route leading from The Gate of the Moor’s Sigh to the Mediterranean is incredible. Take the A-4050 south and you’ll be rewarded with a long, narrow road winding around cliffs, providing unbelievable mountain landscapes and vistas of the sea.
The road ends in the neat seaside village of Almuñécar, on the Costa Tropical. We marveled over the crystal blue waters, but unfortunately weren’t able to explore the city; a delicious and inexpensive meal on the beach was all we had time for. But with an immense castle near the ocean and history dating back to 800 BC, when the village was established by the Phoenicians, Almuñécar is certainly worth an entire day.