Salobreña is on the Costa Tropical (Tropical Coast), an area which comprises the Mediterranean coastline of the Granada Coast. It encompasses the most southerly mountain ranges such as Almijara and Guájares Sierras in front of the Sierra Nevada and which stretch almost as far as the coast in certain places. It is almost entirely enclosed within a vast alluvial plain formed by the River Guadalfeo and consisting of postorogenic, miocenic and quaternary material, and flanked by a mountain range running parallel to the coast such as the Sierra del Chaparral to the west, and the Sierra de Escalate to the north-est. Separating both is the Tajo de los Vados gorge, where the bed of river Guadalfeo narrows and passes through. In the centre of the plain are two dolomite crags of differing heights: Monte Hacho (73m), and the Salobreña headland (110m), where a town has been established since Phoenician times. The geomorphological configuration explains the steep nature of the coastline mostly made up of cliffs, interspersed with small coves and, in some places, wide beaches. The River Guadalfeo which runs from the north to the south of the municipality, collects a great deal of water and snow from the southern slopes of the Sierra Nevada and has created the fertile fluvial delta at its rivermouth. Depending on the environment, there are three quite different areas: Lilly areas to the west, planted with almond trees or scrubland; small hills and valleys with areas of irrigated land used for cultivation on both banks of the river or crops grown on dry land on the hillsides and, finally, to the south, the alluvial plain of the River Guadalfeo, a large fertile cultivated area where the contrast between the greenery of the sugar cane plantations, the dazzling whiteness of the town and the deep blue of the sea lends a breathtaking quality to the landscape. As far as the structure of the coast is concerned, the entire area is the result of fluvial formations interrupted only in the extreme west by steep cliffs. As far as the climate is concerned, it is of a typical semi-arid and Mediterranean nature with a definite subtropical thermal system. Average annual temperature is above 17°C with winter averages of around 12°C and approximately 24°C in the hottest months. Rainfall is about 500 ml a year. An analysis of the range in temperature throughout the year indicates that, whilst winter does not exist in the strictest sense of the word, there is a “cold” season in December, January and February with temperatures around 13°C. The summer months from June until September are warm and pleasant. From February until April there is a gradual increase in temperature which rise more sharply thereafter and peak in August. The warming-up process in the first half of the year is slower than the fall in temperature in the second half, beginning in September and becoming more pronounced between October and November. Autumn is warmer than Spring due to the influence of the ascending currents of warm air from the sea. The geographical factors and different uses and exploitation of the land throughout the course of history, have created three distinctly different types of landscape: the extreme east planted with sugar cane on flat land, the hills in the western and central parts planted with almond trees but increasingly used for the cultivation of sub-tropical fruit trees and, finally, the patches of uncultivated land such as the Alto de Espartinas and La Cuerda del Jaral where grazing land alternates with shrubland of pal-mettoes and dwarf-oaks with some isolated pine-trees. Economically, there exists a clear dichotomy between the narrow strip of coastline which encompasses tourism, residential developments and the best arable land, and the adjacent mountainous areas where agricultural activity is intense and is therefore less dynamic as far as economy and population are concerned. Between these three areas of landscape and perched on top of the rocky outcrop, the urban population gazes out to the fertile plain and the sea, mindful of the possible dangers the sea threatened in the past, but safe from being flooded by the River Guadalfeo, (not until the middle of the twentieth century were developments built on the flat ground). The old part of town retains much of its Muslim flavour; the castle at the top, the winding, sloping streets, the whitewashed houses and the numerous place names which serve as a reminder of its fine and noble past.