Hiking paradise Axarquía: beautiful nature and picturesque villages

Challenging hiking trails through the unspoilt nature of the Axarquía

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Hiking paradise

Winding hiking trails through rolling hills, colourful rocks, views of the Mediterranean Sea and picturesque white villages where time seems to stand still. All this makes the Axarquía region in the province of Málaga a true hiking paradise.

The Axarquía is a relatively unknown region in the province of Malaga. The sun-drenched area runs along mountain ridges, rolling slopes full of olive and almond trees and the Mediterranean coast. Hiking enthusiasts can enjoy this region from September to June. The unspoilt nature reserves and the coastal region are ideal for miles of excursions.

walking routes

©Judith Goeree

The most beautiful walking routes according to walking guide Judith

The English speaking Judith, walking guide and owner of SpanjeActief.nl, has lived in the white village of Canillas de Albaida since 2013. The village, at the foot of the Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara y Alhama nature reserve, is, like the neighbouring village of Cómpeta, an excellent base for a varied walking holiday. As a walking guide, Judith knows the area like the back of her hand. We asked her about her favorite hiking routes for the experienced hiker in the Axarquía.

The Gran Senda de Málaga is a dream for every hiker. The first eleven stages of this extensive hiking network cover a large part of the Axarquía. Those who have time can enjoy the diversity of the landscape along the coast and the mountainous hinterland on foot.

From ‘most beautiful village’ Frigiliana to the lively heart of Cómpeta

panoramic view

©Judith Goeree

One of the most beautiful stages is the one between Frigiliana and Cómpeta, a tough route for the advanced hiker. The tour starts in Frigiliana, which is called one of the most beautiful villages in Spain. You first walk to the tiny mountain village of Acebuchal, hidden in the nature park. The hamlet fell into decline after the Spanish Civil War and recovered at the end of the last century. It is now an idyllic place to catch your breath or even spend the night. The bar of the same name serves huge slices of homemade cake for the hungry hiker.

Cogesa Expats

After Acebuchal it goes deeper and deeper into the nature park, past ruins of old farms and along rocky paths. The scent of rosemary and thyme is a faithful companion on this tour, which partly runs along the old trading paths of the former muleteers, the arrieros. The stage ends in the lively heart of Cómpeta, where you can stretch your legs on the Plaza Almijara village square while enjoying a cold drink.

Cherry blossoms, rolling fields and jagged rock formations

axarquia walks

©Judith Goeree

Stage 11 of the same Gran Senda de Málaga is also highly recommended. This route runs from Alfarnate to Villanueva del Rosario and offers a completely different, rolling landscape against the backdrop of jagged rock formations. Alfarnate turns pink every year when the thousands of cherry trees around the village are in bloom. The route winds through the hilly and rocky landscape, past several beautiful viewpoints, to Villanueva del Rosario. Because this route is deeper in the hinterland, you feel literally and figuratively far from civilization. Yet that world comes to life again at the end point when you settle down on one of the terraces, tired and satisfied.

Pico Lucero: the world at your feet

pico lucero

©Judith Goeree

One of the literal highlights of the Axarquía is Pico el Lucero, also called Raspón de los Moriscos. The emblematic mountain peak rises like a pyramid in the eastern part of the region and can be approached from several sides. The climb to the top is tough, but at the top you are rewarded with a 360-degree panoramic view of the Mediterranean Sea as well as the Sierra de Nevada and the reservoirs in the province of Granada. At the highest point you will also find the remains of a Guardia Civil lookout post. Once at the top you immediately understand why, you can see as far as your eyes can see. In this place the whole world seems to be at your feet.

Cerro Verde and Cerro Atalaya: climbing and scrambling in a silent world

Anyone who likes a bit of climbing and scrambling will enjoy this route in the heart of the Sierra Almijara. From the Fábrica de la Luz of Canillas de Albaida you walk through a forest of oleanders into the natural park. The silence is only broken by a single plane flying over. You won’t meet many other hikers here and if you’re lucky you might spot mountain goats, a fox or even wild boars. The climb to the highest point, Cerro Verde, at approximately 1,600 metres, is one along rocks and stones. You must therefore pay close attention to the often narrow, sometimes steep paths. From Cerro Verde it goes to a second viewpoint, Cerro Atalaya, with beautiful views to the Mediterranean Sea. A wonderful place to quietly enjoy the peaceful surroundings in the middle of unspoilt nature.

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