Sun cream (lots of), swim suit, a long gypsy skirt or two (essential) with a couple of small tops that'll do for day or dress up with some jewlery for evening, comfortable walking shoes for those cobbled streets (i find espedrills give me blisters on those cobbles), a shawl which will protect from the sun, take off the chill of air-conditioning and will also act as a sun shield when draped over a sun umbrella - and most important - a very large sunhat.
An Arab hilltop castle atop a whitewashed village
"A silhouette shaped like a cruise liner"
The whitewashed village of Salobrena is a sight to behold when approaching from Granada or Almeria. It's often said to resemble the shape of a cruiseliner ship with the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the background. These mountains are snow-topped virtually all year round, despite all year round sun on the coast which makes for an amazing contrast and perfect alternative if the sun and beaches ever get boring.
Not being overly tourist-friendly can be a huge plus if you have experienced the offerings of over-developed concrete towns studding other parts of the coastline of Spain. Salobrena has so far snubbed its nose at the come on of mass-tourism, preferring to go the way of Frigiliana and Competa although offering a fairly low key - to - dull beach for the British kids (Spanish kids love it though). Another fairly secret benefit has to be a very pleasant winter sun of 22 deg C. on the beach all the while driving for 45 minutes beyond Granada offers the skiing and apres ski culture if a change is needed.
"Avocados, Lemons, Olives & Almonds"
Even more enticing, Salobrena is in the Costa Tropical which offers a sub-tropical mico-climate conducive to growing virtually all fruits imaginable, including Mango and Banana. Grapes grow but due to the intense summer heat, the wines produced here tend to be sweet and fortified (so watch out for hangovers when getting friendly with the locals!).
Driving out of Salobrena for 10 mins towards Granada brings you to Los Guajares, a hilly range (the Guajares), dotted with 3 whitewashed villages which can be walked from one to the other over a day, so I'm told. A Scottish man and his dog live amongst the largely local community in Guajar Faraguit and after I had exchanged doggy treats from my bag with his Lab and he'd given me a sack of freshly picked avocados, he explained that he escorts hikers in this region, passing through ancient Arab ruins and collecting avocados on the way. I must come back and do this another time - the tranquility and height would give a completely different sense of Spain.
Turning right off the road to Granada from Salobrena takes you into Las Alpujarras and more whitewashed villages, fresh air, mountain walks and nature. Las Alpujarras offers cooler temperatures and less tourism in the summer. A car is essential though.
"The Sierra Nevada"
Check out the skiing in the winter if the beach gets boring. We were there in April and as this picture shows, there was still some skiing to be had. It's within an hour's drive of Salobrena and for an evening in the city driving for 15 minutes brings you to Granada. All-in-all a perfect holiday combination.
Salobrena: I Could Live Here!
"Sun, Rest, Sports, Beauty"
Saolbrena was an accidental find that turned out to be a dream come true. When our oldest daughter married, our whole family went to England for the festivities. Afterwards, we (extended family minus bride and groom) decided to have a family reunion in a warm place. An internet search of the Costa del Sol turned up a spectacular rental villa at the top of a winding road, overlooking the sea. We could sit by our own pool, drive down to the sea, play golf, go shopping, whatever we wanted. A week of no business, no fast food. We shopped at a local grocery, went to the local barber, met lots of nice people and took a thousand photographs - no foolin'! There are Moorish ruins, there is an intact Moorish castle, there are little winding streets all the way up the the town - one of the white villages. Few tourists, fewer touristy things. It was a wonderful experience, one I'd do again in a heartbeat.