Salobreña is so picturesque that it is referred to as the jewel of the Costa Tropical of Granada. A stroll through its steep and narrow streets will reveal its Moorish past with more than 6,000 years of history. Salobreña has 8 kilometres of coastline, and is divided into the old town and the new town. The municipality has less than 13,000 inhabitants which are spread among the many beautiful, hillside communities like Monte de los Almendros, Costa Aguilera and Alfa Mar.
The whitewashed, old town of Salobreña is built upon a hill. It is crowned by a strategically placed fortress 105 metres above sea level that dates back to the 10th century. This is the Moorish castle that can be seen from the surrounding hillside communities, especially from Monte de los Almendros. The walk up the hill is well worth it to see the castle. The views are awe-inspiring. You will see 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.
Just below the castle is a Mudejar church, called La Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Rosario. This iglesia was built on top of the old mosque and dates back to the 16th century. The winding, flower-filled streets with the white-washed houses you encounter contain centuries of history. To learn more, visit the town’s museum that is located in the former Town Hall building in the old town. Here you will see that Salobreña was once practically an island before the river gradually deposited its sediment to form the rich delta. This, along with the climate, explains the abundance of crops such as sugar cane.
Beneath the old town on the rock, lies the new part of Salobreña. You’ll find plenty of bars and restaurants to enjoy a drink and the complimentary tapas that accompany the drinks for free. Salobreña isn’t a destination for nightlife. It is well liked by families and couples who want to enjoy its peaceful surroundings, enjoy the sunshine, beaches, and countryside.
Salobreña has two main beaches, Playa de la Charca and Playa de la Guardia, which are separated by a half-submerged rock in the sea known as “El Peñon de Salobreña”. Directly to the west of Playa de la Guardia, you will find the tiny village La Caleta-Guardia, which houses the last active sugar factory in Europe (that was closed in 2005). La Caleta was built near the old sugar factory in 1861 and is listed as an Asset of “Interés Cultural de Andalucía” for its rich industrial heritage. It is a quiet and pleasant neighbourhood with only around 700 inhabitants, steep streets and some nice, small bars. It is an ideal place for angling and the small bay “Cala del Caletón” is ideal for snorkelling, bird watching, and – if you are lucky – dolphin watching.
Salobreña enjoys a lively cultural scene, with year-round concerts, plays and films. In summer, outdoor shows and medieval dinners with theatre are held in the Arab Castle, and other activities take place in the Old Town and Parque de la Fuente. The area is a haven for sport lovers too. From golf to mountain biking, along with air and water sports, all are within easy reach. A real treat for snorkellers and divers is the artificial reef.
For more information about Salobreña, please refer to the Salobreña Tourist Office website.