Best scenic routes in Malaga with your rental car

Discover some of the best scenic routes in Malaga for taking advantage of your rental car during your holiday.

There are many ways to enjoy during your holiday in the popular resorts of the Costa del Sol. This article is dedicated to those who like to go for a spin on the Malaga roads to find great scenery, white villages, friendly people and inns with traditional food at affordable prices.

In short: For those who like to know more of the authentic Andalusia just a few kilometres away from the bustling Costa del Sol. And for those who like to move freely in their rental car to discover the country at their own pace.

Today we propose some beautiful routes through La Axarquia and Serrania de Ronda.

The best scenic routes in Malaga: La Axarquía

scenic routes in malaga
Photo by Carlos Castro, our favourite photographer

This gem is located in the easternmost part of Malaga. With the highest mountains of the province, white villages of Arabic origin, traditional gastronomy at reasonable prices, tropical climate and charming bays with crystal clear waters. Many good reasons to discover it!

Our scenic routes will take us through the white villages of the Axarquia. Villages of Moorish origin, which have maintained their characteristics and charm over the centuries.

We will discover them by routes along secondary roads from the eastern Costa del Sol. And we enter the Sierra de Almijara mountain range, passing through cultivated fields and Mediterranean forests. As we gain altitude, spectacular scenery opens up with some of the best views in the province.

And since so much travel works up an appetite, it’s even better that all these villages stand out for their gastronomy, which you shouldn’t miss!

The Sun and Avocado Route

This route is ideal if you want to discover both the coast and the mountains of the Axarquia. It includes the municipalities of Rincón de la Victoria, Macharaviaya, Vélez-Málaga, Benamocarra, Iznate and Benamargosa.

Due to the special microclimate in this area because of the high mountains, there are many subtropical fruit crops such as avocado, mango, papaya or custard apple.

You can make a stop in Rincón de la Victoria and visit the Cueva de Tesoro, the only sea cave in Europe.

Photo Jesus Sanchez Jabalera

Velez-Malaga has a great historical and cultural heritage.

And depending on the season, don’t forget to visit the best beaches of the eastern Costa del Sol.

The Oil and Mountain Route

Are you attracted by the mountains and their impressive landscapes? This route is for you, passing through Colmenar and Comares, Alfarnate, Alfarnatejo and Periana.

Nearby is the Viñuela Reservoir.

La Viñuela reservoir, view from Alcaucín Photo Carlos Castro

If you like cherries, don’t miss the Fiesta de las cerezas in Alfarnate! As well as tasting these fruits, there is gastronomy, markets and entertainment. The date varies, but it is held at the end of June.

The area is well known for its excellent verdial and hojiblanca olive oils. You can visit the oil museum in Periana and taste the delicious peaches. Do outdoor sports and enjoy the reservoir and the good gastronomy.

The Sun and Wine Route

Another route that combines beautiful hillside white villages and the most popular coastal towns: Cómpeta, Algarrobo, Sayalonga, Canillas de Albaida, Torrox, Nerja and Frigiliana.

We can recommend the Fiesta Noche del Vino in Cómpeta on 15th August. With traditional grape treading, music, gastronomic tasting (migas, cod, grapes) from morning to night.

Another gastronomic festival on this route is the Fiesta del Níspero in Sayalonga. It is celebrated on the first Sunday in May with a tribute to this fruit in the form of liqueur, jam and in its natural state.

Nisperos from Salalonga Photo La Alacena de Malaga

In Torrox, don’t miss the Fiesta de las Migas, the Sunday before Christmas.

The tortas de Algarrobo are famous throughout the province, so don’t miss them.

In Nerja deserves special mention its famous Nerja Cave, the “Cathedral of the Costa del Sol”.

The coastal strip of the natural area Acantilados de Maro (Maro Cliffs) offers a special charm with the best coves of the whole coast.

Cala del Pino

The Mudejar Route

Although all the villages of the Axarquia are of Arab origin, on this route we can see the villages that have most preserved this heritage. The 40 km route runs through the municipalities of Arenas, Árchez, Salares, Sedella and Canillas de Aceituno.


It is a purely mountain route where most of the villages are at altitudes above 500 and 600 metres.

The Raisin Route

This route of about 60 km takes us through the villages of the Axarquia which have specialised in the production of excellent sultanas:

Totalán, Comares, Cútar, El Borge, Almáchar and Moclinejo.

We can enjoy spectacular views along the way, a mountain landscape dotted with vineyards.

We highlight Comares, the balcony of the Axarquia from where we can enjoy magnificent views.

In Comares you will also find the most spectacular zip-line in the province.

How to get there:

If you would also like to enjoy a gastronomic festival in one of these villages, take note:

Gastronomic festivals

Ajo Blanco Festival in Almáchar. First Saturday in September. Free tasting of Ajo Blanco (a delicious cold soup to combat the high temperatures in summer), muscatel wine, grapes and sultanas.

Fiesta de los Viñeros in Moclinejo. The second Sunday in September with tasting of typical products of the region, such as gazpacho, bread with olive oil, grapes. There are also tastings of muscatel wine.

Moclinejo Fiesta de los Viñeros Photo Axarquiafolclore

Sultana Festival in El Borge. During the third Sunday in September, we can taste sultanas, gazpacho, sausages, muscatel wine, or migas.

Festival de Chanfaina in Totalán. On the last Sunday in November this festival is celebrated with the tasting of this typical dish (potato stew to which is added roast chorizo or black pudding and seasoned with herbs).

Fiesta del Monfí in Cútar. During a weekend in October, Cútar pays homage to its Moorish origins and Andalusian culture, with a craft souk, music and lots of gastronomy.

The best scenic routes in Malaga: Serrania de Ronda

To Ronda with your MalagaCar

We have prepared an article exclusively dedicated to discover Ronda by car.

Along two different routes we take you through the most beautiful villages and their fiestas, rivers, the Sierra de las Nieves National Park and magnificent viewpoints.

And of course, we tell you about the most important sights of Ronda.

Last but not least, if you are a wine lover, Ronda is a great wine land. Combine your visit to Ronda with wine tourism in Malaga and discover some of its best wineries.

Picnic at the foot of Tajo de Ronda Photo Opinion de Malaga

While enjoying the pleasure of driving these wonderful routes in Malaga by car, do not forget to pay attention to the road to avoid accidents.

Find your perfect vehicle with our car hire Malaga reviews. At we have a large fleet of brand new cars at economical prices for Malaga airport car hire.

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