Explore Lecrín Valley Villages – Neighbouring Saleres
What to Do on Holiday in the Lecrín Valley
Situated at 560 m. above sea level, the small village of Saleres lies just up river from Restábal on the banks of the River Santo. The Salereños call their river the Albuñuelas as that’s where it comes from. It flows under the trees past the old water mill, just below the village on it’s way to Restábal. Where, in turn, it’s known as the River Saleres! The River Santo, or Holy River, is so named locally because it always has water even if it’s just a trickle in the height of summer.
About 165 souls live in here, amiable and hard working people, dedicated mainly to the cultivation of citrus fruits, almonds and olives. The village’s Arab past is proudly present in its narrow, steep streets and alley ways. Follow these to the upper part of the village to enjoy splendid views over the river valley.
A tranquil place with no bar or shops, however this to me just adds to its special charm. Look out for the interior patios, some of them boasting interesting agricultural and domestic artefacts inherited from the owners’ ancestors. Situated at the foot of the sierra offering excellent routes for walkers, trails to places like the Spring of the Seven Years. Visit the village church, dedicated to the Apostle Santiago – St. James. Built in Mudéjar style with the tower decorated in tiles, like the church in Melegís. A village with deep rooted and singular customs, where, even today, locals still use words that have their own significance. Words such as “entangarillao, prevelicao or tapirojo”! One has to ask a Salereño/a what they really mean.
Another interesting monument, the Saleres Watchtower stands witness to the Valley’s history at an altitude of 1.011 metres. Find it near the road that runs from Albuñuelas to Cozvijar. Built during the Nasrid dynasty it used to connect visually with a similar tower in Cónchar as well as the castles in Restábal, Murchas, Mondujar and the Venta (Inn) de la Cebada on the coastal road. Forming a veritable chain of defence against marauders and invaders.
For a really special, summer hike, why not try the Barranco de Luna. Very close to Saleres and Restábal, the walk takes you through a narrow gorge. A certain amount of scrambling is necessary to overcome the fallen boulders but it’s a refreshing route for summer with water running through the canyon. Remember to take plenty of drinking water, a hat, sound boots or shoes and preferably a stick. And don’t mind getting wet! A short, circular route, 2,5 km but it is classed as difficult due to the slippery rocks one has to clamber over. We should always recognise our limitations when walking in this area. After all there’s no hurry, you’re on holiday. Zip line and Via Ferrata are available.
From Restábal it takes about 5 minutes by car. On foot, take the path leaving from the upper part of the village, passing through the terraced fields and arriving down by the river. This takes about 25 minutes. A pleasant saunter with a prize on arrival – one of the most charming villages in the Lecrín Valley.