You know what it’s like, you take your teenage kids out for a day of culture and beautiful scenery only to find their eyes glued to their phones, missing all the sights. Well, on a recent holiday to Spain, on a visit to the stunningly beautiful Andalucían town of Mojácar with teens, I found an ingenious way to use their dependence on social media as a way to encourage them to connect with the local area.
The trick was to hint at the ‘Instagrammable’ potential of the beautiful sights in and around the place. From selfies in the pretty Moorish squares and down quaint whitewashed streets to pictures of sunsets from vantage points that look out towards the Mediterranean, the lure of impressive photo opportunities was enough to get them hooked.
The sights and culture of the place were actually so impressive that after that I didn’t need to struggle to rouse the usually uninterested teens; they were ready and willing to come with us to find the next great Instagram picture to post.
If you happen to be heading here with your own young adults, here are my top tips for the best selfie-taking spots and Instagrammable sights in the area.
Like many Spanish coastal resorts, this one is divided into two distinct areas: the old whitewashed town which is set back from the coast and the newer coastal development (in this case Mojácar Playa) on the seafront.
While the kids might strain to get to the beach with its range of watersports and excellent sunbathing and swimming opportunities, try to persuade them (even if it’s just once) to have a look around the old town with its original Moorish houses and narrow shaded streets, perfect for photo-posting opportunities.
Plaza del Parterre
The Plaza del Parterre is the ancient Moorish cemetery which has been converted into a pretty town square, surrounded by stone-column arches. The town’s people have decorated it with pretty potted flowers and plants, making it a great place for a selfie.
La Fuente Moro
A source of water for the town dating back to the Moors, the fountain in the pretty centre is still used by residents today who congregate here with plastic bottles to fill up on a weekly basis. Above the 12 waterspouts is a plaque which remembers the handing over of the town by the Moors to the Christians in the fifteenth century.
Puerta de la Ciudad
Also dating back to the fifteenth century is the Moorish gateway to the town. Displaying Mojácar’s coat of arms with a sign of welcome inscribed in both Spanish and Arabic, the archway makes a great place for photo opportunity for the kids to post online.
Ayuntamiento de Mojácar
The perfect combination of café culture for the teens and historic architecture for you, the town hall is set in a pretty central square which is the terrace of the local café. Tourists and locals gather here to meet up, share a cool drink or shelter under the shade of the beautiful old tree which covers much of the square, making it a lovely spot to take a rest, and maybe for the kids to check how their posts are rating back home.
Mirador de la Plaza Neuva and Mirador del Castillo
For some truly jaw-dropping views that will have their friends back home going green with envy, take the family up to the two main vantage points: Mirador Plaza Nueva and Mirador del Castillo.
The Mirador Plaza Nueva is a viewing platform which has been added to the main square with its buzzing cafés and bars, which looks out over the local landscape giving a dramatic panoramic view of the Andalucían countryside. Another key meeting point in the town, your young adults will love hanging out here with the coolest of the local kids and visitors.
Rewards at the Beach
Okay, after all that sightseeing, your clan really do deserve a trip to the beach. A half-hour walk from the old town (or there’s a local bus that will get you there in five minutes) is Mojácar Playa with its vibrant restaurants, cafés and bars.
There are a number of great beaches within a short walk from the promenade but I would recommend the Playa del Cantal with its range of beach bars, watersports and great sunbathing.
How to Get to Mojácar
Getting to Mojácar couldn’t be easier as it’s actually served by four international airports: Almería, Murcia, Alicante and Granada. Flights take just under four and a half hours and there’s a great range of airlines flying here to suit all budgets including Ryanair, Thomas Cook Airlines, Monarch and easyJet.
The closest of the airports is Almería, which is just over an hour’s drive from Mojácar. My advice would be to avoid the hustle of taxi drivers and bus queues at the airport by booking a Shuttle Direct transfer online before you leave home. That way you can relax knowing a car or minibus will be waiting to take you on to the resort when you arrive.
Where to Stay:
Apartamentos Turisticos El Gran González – Enjoy your own private space with self-catering apartments at the Apartamentos Turisticos El Gran González. Designed in a Moorish style, guests at the apartments have use of a communal pool, terrace barbecues and a tennis court. A short walk from the beach, there are many shops nearby. And for those all-important Instagram posts, there’s free WiFi throughout the property.
Hotel Best Indalo – Impress your teens with the modern facilities, outdoor pool and free WiFi at the beachside Hotel Best Indalo. With its own beach loungers, table tennis and billiards the kids will keep themselves busy while you relax in the onsite spa.
Pierre & Vacances Mojácar Playa – Relax in your own space in the stylish, modern apartments of Pierre & Vacances Mojácar Playa. Set on the beach, with two communal swimming pools, sun terrace and garden.
About Shuttle Direct:
Avoid the tutting and complaining of impatient teenagers as you queue for taxis at the airport by booking a private or group airport transfer with Shuttle Direct before you set off. The leading provider of private and shuttle transfers in Europe and North Africa, this is by far the most convenient way to get your family from the airport to your accommodation.