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Salobreña a wonder in Andalucia on the Costa Tropical

Salobreña the best things to see and do

Salobreña is a beautiful white village on the Costa Tropical, dominated by a hilltop castle from the Al-Andalus period.


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This small town is about 45 minutes from Granada and 1 hour from Malaga. It also benefits from being close to the Sierra Nevada, which makes it possible to go skiing in 1 hour’s drive, between November and April!

The city’s origins

The site has been inhabited since ancient times.

Its castle was first a Phoenician and then a Roman site. Then the Arabs built a fortress, which was then modified again after the conquest by the Catholic kings.


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In fact, the name of this small town reflects the periods of its history…

Salambina in Phoenician times became Segalvina in Roman times, and then Shalubānya under Al-Andalus. However, the name of the city was pronounced Shalubīnya in Andalusian Arabic. From this dialect, the city later became Salobreña!

What to see in Salobreña?

The fabulous fortress castle

This visit is a must, with a mixture of buildings from different periods. The remains of the Al-Andalus period, particularly the Nasrid period of the kingdom of Granada, are still very numerous.


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This fortress is made up of 3 defensive enclosures. The last two were built after the reconquest.

During the Al-Andalus period, this fortress served as a resting place for the kings as well as a prison for themselves!

Some examples of imprisoned kings:

  • Yusuf III, from 1397 to 1408 (who later became king, following a “legendary” chess game with a prison guard! )
  • Muhammad VIII in 1431, and executed by Muhammad IX…who had also been imprisoned there.
  • In the 15th century, King Sad al-Mustaîn (Ciriza) was thrown into prison by his son Muley Hacen who took his throne.

2 things to know about Muley Hacen:

  • He was the father of Boabdil who was the last king of the kingdom of Granada at the time of the reconquest by the Catholic kings in 1492.
  • From Salobreña you can see the Mulhacen, the highest mountain in the whole Iberian Peninsula with 3479 metres of altitude. According to legend, Muley Hacen asked to be buried on the highest point of the peninsula when he died, so that no one would set foot on it! The mountain that bears his name today.

In the castle you can still see an aljibe (water tank) and the floor of the old Arab baths.


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The remains of the circular oven can also be seen during the visit. It had two functions: to heat water for the hot and warm water room, and to heat air for the wet area.


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It is possible to visit the castle every day. The entrance fee is 4 euros.


The boveda

It is a passage with a medieval vault above.


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This passage linked the Albaycín neighbourhood to the old Medina, which was then the heart of commercial activity.


The streets of the historic district

A walk through the narrow streets of Salobreña is an invitation to travel!


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From some streets you can see the Sierra Nevada or the sea!


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Nuestra Señora del Rosario Church

This 16th century Mudejar-style church was built over a former mosque. 


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Its crenellated bell tower is a curiosity. In fact, the tower where the bell tower is located was part of the defence system against attacks by Berber pirates.


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The door on the southern frontage is in Arabic style,


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Salobreña’s beaches

This small town offers several beautiful beaches to its visitors. The one at the bottom of the town, with a large rock, is beautiful, with crystal clear water that invites you to swim!


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What to see around the city

The former sugar cane factory built in 1861, which closed in 2006, is a site of interest.

Sugar cane cultivation has been a powerful economic engine for centuries. It was the Arabs who imported it from Asia under Al-Andalus. This factory is now classified as a property of cultural interest in Andalusia.

A few kilometres away is Nerja with its beautiful beaches. There is also one of the most beautiful white villages in Spain: Frigiliana


The geographical location of Salobreña


Find accommodation in Salobreña


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If you’d like to see more of the beautiful sites, here’s a link to other blog posts about Andalusia.


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