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Salobrena (Spain) versus Algarve Coast (Portugal)

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Jul 1st, 2012, 02:14 AM
  #1
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Salobrena (Spain) versus Algarve Coast (Portugal)

Hello,
Heading on a trip to Spain & Portugal in Sept/Oct and trying to figure out the best place to stay in a villa for a week (with pool & coastal views/access) for a week of 'putting the feet up relaxation'. The toss up at the moment is Salobrena in Spain or the Algarve coast in Portugal. We probably don't have time to stay in both places for R&R. Salobrena was recommended to us by a friend and would allow a day trip to Granada however bloggers have highly recommended the Algarve as well. We are travelling with two small children so need a nice beach and things for them to do.....

So the question is Salobrena or Algarve ????
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Jul 1st, 2012, 04:52 AM
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The main difference is that Algarve is the Atlantic and Salobrena the Mediterranean.

In terms of scenery, the Algave is much more spectacular. The beaches are better (wide sandy beaches surrounded by bizarre rocks), the waves higher.

Salobrena has a wide sandy beach (IMO somewhat boring) and is more touristy.

From the Algarve, you might drive to Sevilla and Jerez. In Faro, the marine museum might be interesting for the kids.
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Jul 1st, 2012, 09:04 AM
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"Salobrena has a wide sandy beach (IMO somewhat boring) and is more touristy"
I have never been to Salobreña but it must be very touristy to be worse than many places on the Algarve that I know.
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Jul 2nd, 2012, 04:01 AM
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Thanks Traveller1959 and TonyBishop for your feedback. Your comments made me think about water temp and whether the Atlantic or Mediterranean will be warmer (for swimming) in early Oct. Still trying to find info on the intranet.

Would love some additional input from other Fodorites?
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Jul 2nd, 2012, 05:14 AM
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The Mediterranean is always warmer than the Atlantic.
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Jul 2nd, 2012, 01:20 PM
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I haven't posted in years on this great forum but this post caught my eye.

We have a holiday home in Salobrena and obviously love this part of the Iberian penninsula. Beaches are, in general, more beautiful in the Algarve than in the Salobrena area, but the water is warmer and, in my opinion, this is one of the least touristy areas of the country. The "tourists" are mostly Granada city folk who travel down here for the weekend. There is certain a mix of, e.g. British and German expats, but it is by no means a Marbella or Torremolinos which is far from vintage Spain.

As for beaches in Salobrena, you'll either have black sand or rocks (probably the best one with chidren is Iguana Playa, which is a shallow black sandbar that stretches for quite some distance into the sea). There is not much of what I would refer to as white sand here. At that time of year, the holiday crowds will have died down so you'd have the beaches largely to yourselves in either place.

Salobrena will give you a good base to explore cities like Granada, Málaga and, a bit further afield, Baeza and Úbeda. I'm naturally biased, but don't think you could go wrong here. Not sure what you're looking for in terms of villas, but some friends of ours have some great places to stay here: cumbrevillas.com , but they may already be booked for that time of year. In any case, try to rent a place on the Monte de los Almendros, which is an idyllic mountain housing community that commands amazing views of both the Salobrena castle and the sea.

good luck in your decision. You cannot go wrong with either place, as they're both gorgeous!
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Jul 3rd, 2012, 09:48 PM
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Hello TonyBishop - Thanks for your input re: warmth of Mediterranean.

Hi Riffic,
Thanks so much for your reply also. Sounds like Salobrena is a winner. Do you know if the Nerja sewage problem is also the case at Salobrena? I was reading another topic on this website and the Nerja situation sounded dreadful.....
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Jul 7th, 2012, 07:01 AM
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The Algarve is not too touristy from mid Sept through June. Beaches are gorgeous and children tend to love it here. The water is colder though. We have swum until the end of October, but it was exhilerating (not painful though).
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Jul 8th, 2012, 01:10 AM
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"Heading on a trip to Spain & Portugal in Sept/Oct"
Therein lies your problem. There is a big difference between the weather at the beginning of September and that of the last week of October.

By the end of October, the sea temperature will not be the only factor to take into consideration. Air temperature and the possibility of rain also enter into the equation.
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Jul 8th, 2012, 07:42 AM
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Salobreña is far from Nerja (some 40km), and I'm not overly convinced of the Nerja situation either. No sewage plant, that's right, but the local people don't go out of their way to protest the delays of the plant and seem not to be very alarmed. They might be tired of it all, but the local people also go swimming there as do their kids and thousands of visitors, also many Spanish. "Nerja has got no sewage plant because the nerjeños don't give a damn": http://www.denunciaseninternet.com/2...orque-los.html

Friends in Nerja welcome the plant, but they also indicate that the horror stories are way out of proportion and provided mainly by people from far away who don't know local conditions. I've yet to see some solid info that indicates that the water quality is so bad as some suggests, and remind that the Nerja beaches have got all the top ranking national and international awards, where water quality is an important variable. If any of you have got some solid info about the matter (preferably in Spanish and somewhat official, objective and unbiased), apart from hearsay and public opinions in villages far away, I would be grateful if you provided a link.

And I also look forward to the day the plant is put to work.
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Jul 8th, 2012, 08:20 AM
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"They might be tired of it all, but the local people also go swimming there as do their kids and thousands of visitors, also many Spanish."
kimhe, to quote you, do you have "some solid info" to support that statement? I am referring to your comments about the local Spanish people and the many Spanish visitors. Local foreign residents may indeed go swimming if they cannot read the many articles on the topic in the Spanish press.

I live in Andalucía and none of the Spanish people I know here would ever go swimming in the sea at Nerja. That is just hearsay, of course, since I have no solid info to back that up.

"the horror stories are way out of proportion and provided mainly by people from far away who don't know local conditions."
The Spanish local newspaper "Sur" has carried several articles about the sewage situation in Nerja and is published just down the road in Málaga.
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Jul 8th, 2012, 09:51 AM
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I know many of the Sur articles, but none that back up the horror stories apart from lamenting that the plant issue seems to have no end. If you read the article from the nerjeña above, she's sad that the local mainly Spanish residents don't participate in demonstrations and keep on sending their kids to the beach. I'll keep on looking into it.
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Jul 8th, 2012, 11:11 AM
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kimhe, you post a lot of good stuff on here. However, there is such a thing as selective blindness and many suffer from that affliction when it comes to Nerja.

Apart from the sewage and sea swimming, the attractions of Nerja are quite obvious and plentiful. I think it is not advisable to make light of the sewage issue.

The facts are quite simple.

1. Raw sewage is discharged into the Río Chillar which runs alongside the town.

2. Since there is no sewage treatment plant, the raw sewage is then discharged from the Río Chillar directly into the sea. (Where else can it go?)

3. You do not need to be surrounded by fecal matter to go down with a bacterial infection.

As you know, the issue of who provides the data leading to the awarding of Blue Flags has been covered by several other posts. To cut a long story short, unfortunately a Blue Flag is no guarantee of water quality.
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Jul 10th, 2012, 09:22 PM
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Thanks everyone. I would assume then that Salobrena (given the location relative to Nerja) has a similar problem but probably not to the same degree?
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Jul 10th, 2012, 11:11 PM
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Salobreña and the rest of the Costa Tropical has got sewage plants, and Salobreña is far from Nerja. http://www.aguasyservicios.es/index....fraestructuras
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Jul 12th, 2012, 03:38 AM
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Thanks Kimhe.
Much appreciated. Am getting excited now about Salobrena!
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Jul 12th, 2012, 11:01 AM
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Coincidentally there is also a lot of dog poop in the streets of Nerja.
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Aug 13th, 2012, 03:34 PM
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Great....I was, yes WAS, thinking of visiting Nerja next week! What is the Algarve water like this time of year? Will be with 3 young kids who seize up at the thought of cold water (not to mention what hubbie thinks) we are from Australia so like a nice sandy beach, currently staying in the UK so wishing for sun and warmth!
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Aug 13th, 2012, 06:16 PM
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Hi,

If you care much about the water temperature and decide to go to Algarve, stay in the eastern area (closer to the Mediterranean).
I would say that you should get water around, maybe, 22ºC by this time of the year.

Also, if you're planning something for next week you need to rush as it's peak season and it won't be easy to find a good place for a good price. If at all...

cheers,
miguel
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