Off Season around & about

paella on the beach

paella on the beach

White village of Canillas de Aceituno

White village of Canillas de Aceituno

Balcon de Europa in Nerja

Balcon de Europa in Nerja

La Axarquía (land to the east) lies (unsurprisingly) east of Malaga and extends along the coast as far east as Maro, with a northern edge close to Antequera, and bounded by mountains on each side.
Acknowledged as having one of the best climates in Europe, the weather rarely gets too cold in this part of Spain, even in January and February. You’ll still need to bring a jacket, but you’ll probably be able to cast it off when you sit eating your lunch in the sunshine.

Of course, it’s always a great time to visit Málaga province with the amazing parades during Semana Santa (Easter week), the Passion play at Riogordo or the San Juan fireworks and festivities to welcome the longest day in June – to mention just a few notable dates.
But, when the skies are grey and the weather wet and wild in northern Europe – here are 37 COOL reasons to visit the area off season:

1.   Beautiful clean beaches which you might not get all to yourself – but in many places you will.
2.  Sunrise and sunsets are particularly spectacular during the winter months.el-torcal-dsc_6776
3.  Walk down the streets and there are oranges on the trees – how cool is that?
4. Some of the prettiest white villages in Spain are close by – such as – Frigiliana, Comares and Cómpeta
5.  Ski-ing in the Sierra Nevada snowy mountains is only one and a half hours away, now that there’s motorway all the way to final turn off.   You really can ski in the morning and sunbathe on the beach in the afternoon.
6.  Eating fresh fish on the beach – the local delicacy is espetos (or fish-on-a-stick!)
7.  Cost of living is low compared with many places around the world (and Europe) meaning your holiday money will go much further.
8.  There are flowers in bloom all year round, with beautiful Birds of Paradise, hibiscus and bougainvillaea to brighten up the place.
9.  Gaze at the boats in the Marinas in Málaga, Caleta de Vélez and further east along the coast at Marina del Este.
10. It is usual to be given free tapas with each drink you buy.
11. Almond blossom in January & February.
12. Loads of places to visit for day trips including El Torcal, the Dolmens of Antequera, Granada, Malaga & Cordoba.
13.  Málaga was founded by the Phoenicians almost 3000 years ago, and later settled by the Romans and the Moors – and we have some of the architecture to prove it!
14.  We have some amazing food markets and street markets.
15.  You can try some delicious local wines, which are very good value.
16. Climb to the top of the highest mountain in Málaga province. La Maroma stands 2066m and looks majestically over the Axarquía.
17. Enjoy a walk around the scenic Lake Viñuela or up Rio Chillar.
18. Visit the Buddhist stupa in Benalmadena Pueblo.
19. We have some great hiking routes offering stunning views.
20. If cycling is your thing, we have steep mountain roads and La Vuelta de España visits Málaga each summer.
21. You’ll probably encounter a herd of goats on the road as you drive near some of the white villages.
22. There are fewer tourists around at this time of year.
23. See the hand-built wooden jabegas (traditional local fishing boats) on the beach.
24. Walk along the gorgeous pebbled streets – with each village having their own unique design.
25. Count the old men sitting on benches under the shady trees, watching the world go by.
26. See the hillsides terraced with vines, almond and olive trees.
27. There are rugged cliffs and secret coves.
28. Stunning natural park areas, both inland near the mountains and even extending out into sea.
29. There are around 320 sunny days every year.
30. There are hot-chestnut sellers on street corners in Malaga.
31. For all you culture-vultures, there are many world-class museums in Málaga including the Centre Pompidou, the Russian museum and, of course Málaga’s most famous son – Picasso.
32. Gorgeous, long promenades along the coastline to stroll along in the winter sunshine.
333. The sales (rebajas) start in the shops on January 7th, where you’ll find leather shoes and bags made in Spain, and cheaper prices in Mango, H&M and Zara than anywhere else in Europe.
34. Eat paella on the beach.
35. If you enjoy watching football, Málaga CF are in the top Spanish league, La Liga.  Buy some tickets to experience match-day or at very least watch the match on TV for free in one of the bars.
36. Sit outside on a sunny terrace, to have a drink or meal, without your coat on!
37.  It’s the perfect place to base yourself for a tour of classic Andalucía – Córdoba, Granada, Seville, Jerez, and Ronda are all on the doorstep with good road and rail links.

WALKING THE CAMINITO DEL REY

IMG_0019TIME TO TAKE A DIZZY WALK – WALK THE NEWLY RE OPENED CAMINITO DEL REY

Firstly, it’s not all that scary…but it is stunning…………..we did the walk back in September 2015 with a couple of our regular guests. Not to be missed..it’s less than an hours drive from here………read on for more info…..

The Caminito was originally built between 1901 and 1905 and was used to transport material and people between two power stations that were built either side of the El Chorro gorge. It wasn’t until the early 1920s that it was officially opened by King Alfonso XIII who walked its whole length and gave it its name. Since that time, the Camino has become one of the wonders of Spain.

The El Chorro Gorge (La Garganta del Chorro) is an amazing place, with huge walls of rock as high as 400m along its three-kilometre length. “El Chorro” can be loosely translated as the “spurt,” which is exactly what the water used to do when travelling through the gorge’s narrow ravine. The height difference between the two man-made reservoirs at either end of the gorge provided a unique opportunity to develop hydroelectric energy. An almost revolutionary concept at the time.

Electrical genius notwithstanding, the real attraction has always been the concrete catwalk, El Caminito del Rey, which threads the length of the gorge hanging precipitously halfway up its side. The original structure was said to be built by sailors who were used to climbing ropes and working while suspended above a void. Unconfirmed reports have also stated that prisoners, who were condemned to death, carried out some of the more dangerous tasks.

The path was built using sand and cement, and held in place by metal brackets. A simple iron railing was put in place along this decidedly non-frills path. The Caminito slowly fell into disrepair over the years and was officially closed in 2000 after several people fell to their deaths.

This danger became the stuff of legends and attracted climbers and adrenaline junkies from all over the world. With many people referring to the Caminito as the ‘world’s most dangerous pathway.’
Now, completely revamped and totally safe, it reopened in 2015 to the public.

The full length of the path is only 7.7 km, including the walk in and the boardwalks. Highly controlled now, advance tickets are required and the hard hats supplied must be worn. Lots more information on the official site – click on the link below:

suspension bridge

suspension bridge

here you can see the original boardwalk underneath the new walk

here you can see the original boardwalk underneath the new walk

view part way through the walk

view part way through the walk

railway tunnel

railway tunnel

link to official website

El Torcal

40 minutes from Finca Los Pinos, South of Antequera (A-7075)

The rock formations in El Torcal are truly amazing, putting Stonehenge and the many beautiful natural rock phenomena in Morocco into the shade.
It is a spectacular drive to reach the actual entry to the park and the Visitors Centre, which is well worth a visit if only to buy the small book telling you about the area.

El Torcal dates back 200 million years. In the Jurassic period this entire zone – from the Gulf of Cadiz to the Levantine coast, was occupied by a great arm of the sea as a result of which marine fossils can be seen in the Visitors Centre. To quote: ‘ Previously below sea level, the limestone material rose to an altitude of 1,300 metres whilst preserving their horizontal structure…. A process of erosion caused by rain-water freezing in the limestone material, and known as frost wedging or gelifraction, has occurred since the Quaternary Era forming this landscape, one of nature’s most beautiful creations….. Fantastic and bizarre forms resembling infinite objects and structures dominate the scene….’

If the above has not whetted your appetite I do not know what will. I can assure you you will not be disappointed.

On a clear day you can see for miles – you can even get a view of the sea. If you enjoy walking there are 2 clearly signed walks through the area that fantastic. Good walking shoes and water are a must.

SUMMER FESTIVALS IN THE LOCALITY

Andalusia is famous for it’s fiestas and ferias…..each city, town and village has it’s own Saint Day celebrations in addition to the regional and nationally celebrated dates.
Here is a list of our local 2016 dates:

Semana Santa (Holy Week) 20-27 March

Cordoba Patio Festival 2-15 May

Villanueva del Rosario Summer Feria 1st week August
The Night of San Juan 23 June
Villanueva del Trabuco Summer Feria 24-26 August
Summer Fiesta 15 September
Antequera Summer Feria 17-21 August
Archidona Summer Feria 14-18 August

Malaga (the BIG one) Summer Feria 13-20 August

Bouldering in Villanueva del Rosario

Settled just behind our local village theres 5 crags, so far we’ve explored the Los Chaos Boulders and scrambled to the top of the mountain behind.

Los Chaos Boulders are loosely labelled with a range of grades, if you have any questions then get in touch.

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