Beyond Salobreña and the Peñon Rock we come to La Caleta. Its streets are well worth exploring. A peaceful walk up its sloping streets is a pleasing experience – or you could just relax in Lavadero Square have a drink in one of its small bars or watch the sun go down from its rocky shores. With its famous sugar refinery, a children’s park, sports facilities, a Pensioners’ Club, a cultural centre, a park viewpoint close to the old chimney and the aforementioned seafront Lavadero Square, La Caleta is a great place to while away a few hours.
The district was built close to the Old Sugar Factory (1861). This is the only sugar factory in Europe making sugar, honey and melasses for almost 150 years. Workers and labourers soon arrived in La Caleta to find employment at the new factory and settled in huts and other haphazardly built dwellings. A significant number of theses workers stayed on throughout the winger fishing months, and the newly populated. The factory closed down in 2006 for low profit and production. It has been designated a Cultural Good of Andalucia as an industrial archaeological site.
The local fiesta held each year in honour of the Virgen del Carmen (the patron saint of fishermen), is celebrated in a special way here; a procession of small boats bedecked with garlands set sail from La Caleta accompanied by encouraging cheers and fireworks. Church services take place in the modern La Caleta Parish Church which was built in 1966. Before that they were held in the sugar factory’s own chapel.