Sightseeing scenic Salobreña from the top

An airport run for us is never a fast dash. A couple of hours cooped up in the car finds us welcoming a short break, a stretch of the legs and a change of air. Last month we stopped off at Salobreña, ostensibly to do a quick bit of shopping for a picnic lunch, and wound up climbing the hill first to take a look at the sights. Spectacular views await you in Salobreña, and the pretty pueblo is worth more than a few moments of anyone's time.


Where to find Salobreña

A bare hour from Málaga on the A-7, pass Velez Málaga and Nerja, the glistening Mediterranean on your right. Situated on the Costa Tropical, in the province of Granada, and holding a lofty position, you'll find Salobreña - a location of two halves.


Exploring the surroundings at Salobreña

Explore the New Town, sprawling at the lower level and towards the pretty beach, a resort that's bustling in and out of season, attracting as many local Spanish as it does tourism from abroad. Restaurants, café bars abound, and the chiringuitos in summer are always worthy of a good plate of fish for lunch. But the Old Town is far more interesting....



Parking up

With a colourful history stretching back 6000 years, you shouldn't miss a modern day exploration of the old quarter. We parked along one of the side streets below the impressive Moorish castle, easy to do out of season - better to stick with one of the designated car parks in busier times. Early winter it might have been, but there was no obvious sign of it as we peeled off our mountain layers and noted the temperature of 22 degrees. In fact it doesn't fall below 12 degrees even in the darkest depths of winter, which I think you'll agree is terribly civilised! As good a reason as any to consider Salobreña holiday homes for a ray or twenty of winter sunshine.


The rock

The beaches of Salobreña are pleasant to visit in any season. A point of note, is the natural landmark of El Peñon, or the rock. Effectively separating the two main beaches of Playa de Charca and Playa La Guardia, it once had a more sinister job as a prison. Today it's a great meeting place, and an ideal "If we get lost..." point. There are five Salobreña beaches in all, all clean and well serviced in season, peaceful pleasant walking places out of season. All of the beaches in this area are fine pebble, rather than sand. Neighbouring Costa Tropical beaches are within easy reach.

el penon


Up to the castle

The castle seems an obvious place to start, and offers the best views in town. The climb is steep and might feel a more arduous in the heat of July or August - but this is a perfect time of year for it. All the way up there are photo opportunities, the dazzling white houses with showy pot and planters still in full and glorious bloom. Cobbled pathways and steps take you right to the castle where you can finally stop and catch your breath. Inside, a couple of euros gain you entry across the ancient portal.


A small complaint

One quibble, entry fee includes the Museum on the way up to the castle - but this was well and truly shut when we went (on a Friday) although the website had stated it was open for business. Actually, two quibbles! Restoration work on the castle - whilst I appreciate is totally necessary - means you only get to see some of it, many areas are blocked off by the many workman doing what they do best....! 


A 'ruin' with a view?

But the view from the top makes up for all of it. Take the mobile audio guide offered at the desk - it'll tell you at various marked, numbered points where you are, what you're looking at, a little of the history of both the castle and the town. It's not really a ruin either, this Moorish castle is pretty well preserved, and looking out from the towers will transport you back to another time. From the top choose a splendid view: the Mediterranean sea, the peaks of the Sierra de Chaparral to the back, the snow-capped Sierra Nevada in the far distance. All around the foot of the castle sprawls the town, old and new, and some very green fields of planted sugar-cane.

Sugar cane plantations

La Caleta

Stand facing the sea, braced against the wind. Look right to the little village of La Caleta clinging to the cliffs. A sleepy place, an empty bar or two, a yellow dog to greet us, an old lady in black sweeping her already immaculate step. You'll notice the old sugar-cane processing plant, which is recorded as closed down in 2006, but there's still action of some sort there, as smoke emerged from the chimney and the scent of something akin to treacle pervaded the salty sea air.La Caleta

A short drive

It was there we drove to - 5 minutes - once we had picked up the requisite items for lunch. Parking the car we took a breezy walk along the cliff's edge, a concrete path winds around with the waves lashing your feet.

*Be aware of the 'tide and tide wait for no man' adage here, it comes in fast and furiously, I wouldn't fancy anyone's chances up that slippery cliff face.

La Caleta

Time to eat

And then time to sit and eat that picnic lunch. Just some local crusty bread, a few slices of dry-cured, tasty Jamón, a hunk of local cheese. The sun still warming our heads and back, the taste of salt on our lips, the roar of the waves in our ears. No conversation required.

What could be better on a late autumn day in Spain?!

Further travel information and a video on Salobrena.