We always encourage our customers to venture into the heart of Malaga, escaping the hustle and bustle of the Costa del Sol, to discover some of the best routes in the Axarquia, a true natural paradise.
In just a few kilometers from the coast, natural parks, pristine environments, and picturesque white villages are revealed. One of these lesser-known treasures is the Axarquia, situated in the eastern Costa del Sol.
This corner of the province of Malaga is home to two natural parks and the highest peaks in the region. The Axarquia, with its growing tourist appeal, is characterized by the preservation of its charm and rich history, perhaps owing to its unique and beautiful topography.
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Landscapes and Natural Environments
In the 31 municipalities that make up this region, visitors will find a great variety of landscapes: mountains, hills, cliffs, olive groves, almond and vineyards, tropical fruit orchards, as well as lemon and orange groves. You can also enjoy beautiful coves and, of course, the delicious local cuisine. The Axarquia coastline begins just after the city of Malaga, in the “El Palo” district, and extends to Maro, where it meets the tropical coast of Granada.
Highlighted natural spaces include the Natural Park of the Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama Mountains, home to the highest mountain in the province, La Maroma, with its 2,066 meters in altitude, as well as the impressive Cliffs of Maro-Cerro Gordo.
One of the most recognized municipalities in the Axarquia is Nerja. In total, this region is composed of 31 municipalities: Alcaucin, Alfarnate, Alfarnatejo, Algarrobo, Almachar, Archez, Arenas, Benamargosa, Benamocarra, El Borge, Canillas de Aceituno, Canillas de Albaida, Colmenar, Comares, Competa, Cutar, Frigiliana, Iznate, La Vinuela, Macharaviaya, Moclinejo, Nerja, Periana, Rincon de la Victoria, Riogordo, Salares, Sayalonga, Sedella, Torrox, Totalan, and Velez-Malaga.
The region enjoys a subtropical climate that favors the cultivation of exotic species such as Mangos, Chirimoyas, or Aguacates, giving rise to local creations like the famous “Baticate” (an avocado smoothie) in the charming village of Benamargosa. It also takes pride in its century-old tradition of producing raisins and sweet wines, which made the area famous in the 18th century due to the export of these products, as well as the cherished honey from Colmenar. Last but not least, we can’t forget the seafood delights. The renowned Espetos de Sardinas originate from Rincón de la Victoria, as well as the exquisite Victorian Anchovies.
Routes in the Axarquia
To fully enjoy the wealth that this region has to offer, five thematic tourist routes have been created.
This fascinating route immerses us in the days of Al-Andalus as we explore the picturesque slopes of the highest mountain in the province. Over approximately 40 kilometers of travel, we have the opportunity to delve into the Muslim legacy that has left an indelible mark on this region. We will discover outstanding examples of Mudejar architecture that have been preserved over the centuries in the charming villages of Arenas, Archez, Salares, Sedella, and Canillas de Aceituno.
Each of these villages tells its own story, revealing the influence of Mudejar architecture that reflects the coexistence of Christian and Muslim cultures in medieval times. The narrow cobbled streets and white houses of these municipalities offer a journey through time, where visitors can appreciate the richness of this architectural heritage.
The “Mudejar Route” in the Axarquia is a journey where history comes to life, allowing us to admire the craftsmanship and creativity of this golden era of the region, where architecture becomes a living testament to the cultural diversity that has characterized the Axarquia for centuries. A journey that helps us understand the unique heritage of this place and its contribution to the history of Andalusia.
Sun and Avocado Route
The Axarquia’s coastline is blessed with a subtropical climate that provides the perfect home for a variety of exotic crops, with avocado taking center stage alongside tropical fruits like mango, papaya, and chirimoya. This region has earned a well-deserved reputation for producing some of the most delicious and flavorful avocados in the world, making it a paradise for food enthusiasts.
Throughout the “Ruta del Sol y del Aguacate,” we explore the municipalities that make up this thriving region, where agriculture is an integral part of life. These municipalities include Rincón de la Victoria, Macharaviaya, Vélez-Málaga, Benamocarra, Iznate, and Benamargosa.
Among all the routes in the Axarquia, this one pays homage to the richness of the land and the efforts of local farmers who have turned this region into a tropical fruit haven. In addition to enjoying these exquisite fruits, you can also experience the beauty of the coast and the charm of the villages along the way. From the bustling Rincón de la Victoria to the serenity of the fields in Benamargosa, each stop on this route offers a unique experience.
It’s not just a journey for food lovers but also an opportunity to appreciate the local community’s dedication to sustainable agriculture and the natural beauty found in this part of the Costa del Sol.
Sun and Wine Route
Among the routes in the Axarquia, we come across a journey that takes us through two distinct worlds in this beautiful region: the sun-kissed coast and the charming inland villages. In this itinerary, we discover a unique blend of landscapes and traditions that make this region so special.
The “Ruta del Sol y del Vino” invites us to explore picturesque municipalities such as Algarrobo, Sayalonga, Cómpeta, Canillas de Albaida, Torrox, Nerja, and Frigiliana. Each of these places has its own history and uniqueness that contributes to the charm of the Axarquia.
Cómpeta is known for its wines, with a long-standing tradition and international acclaim. Sayalonga offers us the delight of nísperos, a sweet fruit that is a true gem of the region. In Algarrobo, we can enjoy their tortas, a local delicacy that perfectly complements the culinary experience.
Nerja is famous for its spectacular caves that provide a glimpse into the geological past of the region and is a must-visit for nature enthusiasts. Frigiliana tempts us with its miel de caña, a product that reflects the tradition and passion of this charming community.
The “Ruta del Sol y del Vino” is a journey of discovery where the sun and culture intertwine to offer a unique experience. We not only explore the richness of the land but also embrace the diversity of the region and appreciate the authenticity of life in the Axarquia.
Olive Oil and Mountain Route
This is one of the stunning routes in the Axarquia that immerses us in the beauty of the surrounding mountains and allows us to enjoy the tranquil Viñuela Reservoir, a true oasis of serenity. But this experience is much more than just dreamy landscapes; it’s a culinary journey that will delight your senses.
The Axarquia is famous for producing the “liquid gold,” olive oil extracted from the “verdial and hojiblanca” varieties, considered one of the best in the world. Here, you can taste high-quality extra virgin olive oils that have been the pride of the region for generations.
But it’s not just the olive oil that makes this route special. Each village along the way has its own gastronomic offerings to enrich your palate. In Periana, you can savor fresh peaches and top-quality goat cheese. In Alcaucín, Roman bread is a delight you won’t want to miss.
Riogordo invites you to enjoy snails and olive oil roscos, while in Alfarnatejo, gazpacho will refresh you in the warm climate. You can also taste sausages, cured meats, and Colmenar honey, adding even more depth to this culinary experience.
The villages that are part of the “Ruta del Aceite y de los Montes” are Colmenar, Riogordo, Alfarnate, Alfarnatejo, Periana, Alcaucín, and Viñuela. Each of them brings its own culinary identity to this journey, creating a mosaic of flavors that capture the essence of the Axarquia.
The Axarquia has been famous since the Arab times for its exquisite production of raisins, considered the best in the world. This route takes you to discover the secrets behind this local delight and to explore a region rich in traditions and flavors.
The journey begins in Comares, known as the “Balcony of the Axarquia” due to the breathtaking panoramic views it offers. From here, you will embark on a tour that covers several charming villages, each with its own contribution to the richness of the Axarquia.
Totalán, Comares, Cútar, El Borge, Almáchar, and Moclinejo are the destinations of this route. In each of them, you can immerse yourself in the history of raisin production and taste these sweet little gems that have conquered palates worldwide.
In addition to raisins, the Axarquia is famous for its sweet Moscatel wine, a drink that has endured through the centuries and is an essential part of local culture. This route also gives you the opportunity to appreciate the wonderful panoramic views that extend from Comares, offering you a unique perspective of the region’s natural beauty.
The “Ruta de la Pasa” is one of the routes in the Axarquia that will lead you to discover the region’s heritage and enjoy its most cherished delights. A journey that allows you to taste and understand the essence of this nature and history-blessed land.
What do you think of these routes in the Axarquia? Do you have a favorite?