View to El Lucero, Acebucha

Walking with Flowers

Cliff View

Andalucia in the South of Spain is one of the best walking areas in Europe Ė it simply cannot be rivalled for variety of scenery, climate, spectacular mountains, history, culture and some of the most interesting flora and fauna to be found anywhere in the world.

After a short drive east of Malaga you will be in the Axarquia region, one of Spainís wild places preserved from the clutches of property developers, and in the shadow of the impressive peaks of the Sierras of Tejeda and Almijara. Axarquia has a natural environment of great richness and variety Ė splendid diversity of wetland zones, mountain ranges and bird migration routes.

Itís a region of historic white villages with a distinctive Arabic influence scattered amongst dramatic hills and mountains, and where grape vines, mango trees and kiwi fruits thrive alongside ancient olive and almond groves. Many of these white villages have been preserved so that today they can still be appreciated in their typical and original condition. Agriculture is still an important part of the Axarquian economy, and the markets are full of an incredible range of locally grown produce, including avocados, grapes, mangos and tomatoes. All grow in abundance in this lush semi tropical fertile area.

In the tapas bars and ventas (small, family run restaurants) try the vegetable and pulse stews, game dishes, paellas and Mariscos (Shellfish), which are the essence of this regionís cookery. The region is also famous for quality cured meats such as Serrano hams (cured ham), considered to be among the best in Spain, excellent olive oil and the local sweet white Muscatel wines.

Andalucia's sub-tropical climate is the most agreeable in Europe. Enjoying over 3,000 hours of sunshine every year, pleasant summer days begin in February and often last well into October. Even at its warmest, a cool Mediterranean breeze makes this area pleasant and non-oppressive. The outstanding features of the climate are hot, dry summers, mild winters with variable rainfall, almost constant sunshine and an absence of frost. There is no cold season, which makes the area ideal for walkers.

Walking is a relatively new but growing pastime in the region of Axarquia, where conditions are ideal for hiking. More and more people visit these areas in order to discover the wildlife and vegetation as well as deepen their knowledge of the culture, cuisine and traditions. It is always best to begin your exploration of this wonderful place in the company of local guides who can share their knowledge and enthusiasm for the area.

The Andalucian Olive Oil Route is a great place to start.  It begins in Riogordo and continues to Alcaucin crossing many interesting pueblos such as Colmenar, Alfarnate, and Periana, which are part of the Axarquia. Walking in this area allows you to get back in touch with nature, where the air is clean, fresh and invigorating. You can enjoy the history and culture of these highlands, experience the hospitality of the friendly mountain people or simply take a rest and enjoy the spectacular scenery.

Of course, the only way to appreciate what the Axarquia has to offer is to visit it and see for yourself.  We recommend that you contact walk-andalucia.com, a company based in the south of Spain which is run by a British couple offering walks in the Sierras Tejeda and Almijara where the mountain roads are surrounded by olive trees and panoramic mountain peaks.