The jewel of the Costa Tropical, Salobreña is a whitewashed township clinging to huge lump of rock just back from the shoreline, topped by a Moorish castle and surrounded by lush sugar cane plantations.
|The peñon splits Salobreña's beach into two, Playa de la Guardia and Playa de la Charca. The white village itself is on the hill just inland.|
A mere 45 minutes from Granada, and just over an hour to the Sierra Nevada, Salobreña is also ideally situated for exploring the Alpujarra, some forty minutes away. From October to April, you could be in the happy position of being able to ski during the day and return to sunbathe on Salobreña's long, clean beach in the evening.
|Salobreña, with its moorish castle, sits on a hill above sugar plantations.|
Salobrena has witnessed 6000 years of human history, thanks to its privileged position and benign climate. Its Moorish castle was built in the 10th century, and its Mudejar 16th century church, Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Rosario is built on top of the old mosque. Roman remains turn up everywhere.
|Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Rosario, Salobreña.|
|Salobreña, a picture postcard village.|
In the heat, it can be an exhausting climb to the top of the old town, but it's well worth the effort. From various viewpoints, you can drink in the rugged landscape of the Sierra del Chaparral which cradles the town to the back, while under the cliffs are orchards of sub-tropical fruit trees and expanses of sugar cane spreading to the shoreline. The tiny village of La Caleta directly to the west houses the last sugar factory in Europe.
The best way to get to know the town itself is on foot, perhaps joining in one of the Tourist Office's excellent guided tours. The flower-filled streets contain centuries of history, some of it captured in the town's spotless new museum in the former Town Hall building in the old town.
Beneath the old town on the rock, spreads Salobreña's modern development, low-rise, attractive apartments to house its increasing population (10,500) You'll find plenty of bars and restaurants to slake your thirst and regale you with the enticing tapas which come with every drink. You'll be offered anything from prawns and clams to morsels of juicy fried fish, slices of jamon and wedges of cheese.
The Zoco de Artesanos, a craftsmen's market, is the place to see how glassblowers, carpenters, ceramicists or toy makers work and create. Plaza del Antiguo Mercado. Tel. 660 955 007
The Parque de la Fuente, well known for its twice weekly night-time markets, holds various cultural exhibitions in the summer.
Avenida del Mediterráneo.
The last functioning sugar factory in Europe, the Fábrica de Azúcar, has a small museum with exhibits and a model of the whole process of refining sugar cane.
Located outside the town at Playa de La Caleta.
Salobreña enjoys a lively cultural scene, with year round concerts, plays and films. In summer, outdoor shows are held in the Arab Castle, and other activities take place in the Old Town and Parque de la Fuente. It also has colourful annual fiestas and ferias.
Golf, tennis, football, mountain biking and fishing, along with air and water sports are all within easy reach. A real treat for snorkellers and divers is the artificial reef built two years ago off the Peñon rock to shelter and encourage sealife, now showing remarkable results.
where to eat
After practising all this activities you can enjoy of the Mediterranean cuisine in El Rincón Gaditano Restaurant, a friendly little restaurant near the beach with good fish & seafood. Closed Sunday evenings & Mondays. Urb. Mare Nostrum Paseo Maritimo, 23. Salobreña. Tel: +34 958 610 327.
Another great restaurant located in the old town, affording stunning views over the church and all the way to the sea, is Restaurante Bar Pesetas on Calle Boveda, 11, 18680 Salobreña. Opening hours: 12pm-4pm and 7pm-midnight. Closed on Mondays and througout January. Tel: +34 958 610 182.