| Andalucia Holiday - November 2016 |

Photos & Descriptions of the Self Guided Walks with Walk-Andalucia.com
(Click to enlarge the photographs then click the BACK button to return)

Walk 1. Two Provinces

A 45 minute drive along the coast to Velez-Malaga and then inland up past a reservoir to Periana and a dirt road to the start at El Canuelo – a small group of houses including a bar.

Started along a wide stony track for nearly a mile up to a disused railway track. Level walking along the track to a bridge where there used to be a watering point for steam trains going from Malaga to Zafarraya. A pleasant climb up through rocks which levelled out across scrubland to a solitary date palm. Then a steady but gradual climb up along a rocky path zig-zagging through some larger rocks to a drink stop at about 1100m to admire the view behind. Continued to the saddle between two slopes, which is the boundary between Malaga and Granada provinces.

Lunch stop here at 1200m around a grassy patch with signs of wild boar activity. Then down through pines with very large cones, across a steep open fire-break which levelled out before entering a thicker forest of pines. Amazing views along this track to a wide, flat basin with the town of Zafarraya in the middle and distant views of the Sierra Nevada. Continued downhill to 970m along needle covered track then a steep climb ending in final zig-zags to the boundary back into Malaga province at 1445m.

A second stop here to finish lunch and then down a very overgrown zig-zagging path which levelled off before the hamlet of Marchamona. Then a wide dirt track for about a mile back to the disused railway and then another mile and a half back to a rest stop under the previously visited bridge, followed by another mile back to the top of the dirt track down to El Canuelo.

An extremely pleasant and enjoyable outward journey but a rather tedious return, alleviated slightly by the loud bells of a huge flock of sheep (tended by a watchful shepherd and two dogs) just below the very end of the railway track.

The drink on the terrace of the bar at the end of the walk was very welcome.

 

Walk 2. Tres Ventas (Three Inns)

Winding drive up to Competa, then stone road to Auberge Casa de la Mina (sadly closed).

Started along a forestry road, which followed the 880m contour for over two miles. Then a sudden turn up the spur of Loma del Daire to the surprise of many of the group. After the initial steepness through rough scrubland, the path levelled out to a pleasant rise through vegetation until a steep drop into a dry river bed followed by an even steeper zig-zag path of loose stones up to a level track leading to the first of the three disused inns – Casa de Donaos. Just past the inn was a calera (lime kiln) and lots of pottery pieces along the track.

A short walk downhill to Venta de los Pradillos for a lunchstop with extensive views down to the sea. Then a very pleasant path, sometimes clambering over rocks, descending through pines and passing the third inn – Venta Maria Guerrero. Then down an equally pleasant wider track to a forestry road with views of the firewatch building on top of the hill just ahead. Then a further descent to a right fork going down to Competa.

The short but very steep descent to the left down to Casa de la Mina presented a problem for some of the group, so seven continued down the fire road to a junction with picnic tables, to be picked up later, while the other eleven descended the loose, steep track to the finish.

A very pleasant day’s walk with only a small proportion of it on the flat forestry road, ending with a very welcome drink and delicious olives at the picnic spot, magically conjured from a cool-box by Paul & Vicki.

 

Walk 3. Torrox, Calaceite & Torrox Costa

Overnight rain and forecast of more, meant an alteration of the original route inland to one nearer the coast.

From the Torrox Plaza and a short length of road, the track descended to a ‘Roman bridge’ across the Rio de Torrox, then up the valley side, under the Autovia, on to a steeply rising road through the mist to a collection of communication masts and a trig point at 350m. Only four took the five minute diversion up to the top for a photo, while the rest took a welcome drink stop, after the arduous climb.

Descending southwards revealed a view of the coast through the mist until a junction where seven of the group descended a very eroded steep track down to the Torre de Calaceite, while the rest continued down the wider, easier track eventually re-grouping in a covered area on the beach for a lunchstop.

Then a warming coffee break in a beach bar and a walk along the seafront with a diversion along the beach to arrive opposite the Faro de Torrox (lighthouse). The planned route up the dry river bed was prevented by red and white tape so after a left and right turn, a littered track between hothouses and fields led back to the river bed for the final ascent back into Torrox, past the old disused sugar mill.

After expecting to get thoroughly soaked today, we were extremely lucky to enjoy an almost rain-free day.

 

Walk 4. Maro Caves & Canyon

A short drive east along the Autovia to the start point just north of the main street through Maro.

A gradual climb up a narrow gorge which twisted and turned around rocky ourcrops with shallow caves. Then out into more open countryside with views back to Nerja, but dense vegetation close to the narrow rising path. Lofty views northward up to the ruined cortijo, which was to be our lunch stop. Then circling round and gradually gaining height toward the pine forest to arrive at the Cortijo de Rufina with long distant views of the coast.

After lunch on the edge of the threshing circle, a gentle drop to a dry stream and up to a 600m spur before descending to a wide stone track. Shortcuts across the long zig-zags presented a few problems for some of the group because of the steepness but the next section was a pleasant deep valley surrounded by eucalyptus trees shedding their bark across the path.

The steep exit out of the gorge to avoid the local rubbish tip was taken with care, up and across the bare rocks. After a short break the final descent along a broad vehicular track brought us out on to the Nerja Caves road and along the road to the local bar in Maro.

This was the favourite walk of the week for many of the group because of the variety of scenery with deep gorges and open views from interesting narrow tracks between rosemary and gorse bushes.

 

Walk 5. Alcaucin & Forest

A drive back along the coast to Velez-Malaga and up through Alcaucin to Carrion on the edge of the National Park Forest.

A wide road led slowly up to a viewpoint where sharp-eyed members of the group spotted three ibex grazing on the opposite side of the valley. Further climbing round the head of the valley took us to expansive views across farmland down to the sea with a helipad just below us.

Descending through the forest of pines led to a steep but steady climb through several hairpin bends to our lunch stop round an older, stone-encircled helipad with clear views of our return descent.

A quick climb up the 931m peak behind us before a rapid descent by many of the group back to the start. Others made a more sedate return with a stop off to view the ibex again opposite the life size sculpture of an ibex at the viewpoint.

Easy surface to walk on today, although steep in places, but wide enough to be appreciated by the vertiginously challenged members of the group!

Thanks must be given to Paul and Vicki of "Walk-Andalucia" for making such an enjoyable week possible with their impressive organisational skills! - and to Andrew - our additional driver!   THANK YOU ALL.