There’s so much more to Spain’s Costa del Sol than sun, sea and sangria. Turn inland and you’re looking at the Axarquia, an unspoiled wildly beautiful and rugged area, waiting for you to explore it. Mountains, wooded hills and plunging gorges, dotted with small towns, tiny settlements and farmsteads give a sense of the true heart of this unique region.
Almond, olive, lemon and orange groves thrive in valleys fed by springs and from streams descending from the mountains, fertile land carved into terraces to maximise the best agricultural areas.
The best way to explore is on foot or by mountain bike. Let’s get started with this free sample circular walk, quite short and not too energetic.
You’ll also find information about using your device for accessing walks in the Axarquia as well as how to get your hands on the area’s most detailed guidebook and map. There’s also another free walk (pdf format) for you to download.
We know that most people use our Tour & Trail maps for hiking and biking, for driving and occasionally while horse riding. Their strength, toughness, foldability and waterproof qualities make our maps ideal for all these pursuits.
But here’s a first! We received an interesting email from Oliver, a kayak, open canoe and paddle board guide. He uses our maps to navigate around coastlines and sent us a couple of photos showing how he does it.
“Just wanted to say how impressed I am with the quality of your maps, I use them to navigate our way around coastlines, most recently around some of the awesome north coast of Menorca on Stand Up Paddle Boards, (I guide in both sea kayak and Open canoe too).
Your maps definitely make life easy while afloat …
(Received 24 August 2018)
Behind Spain’s Costa Blanca with its tourist resorts lies a mountainous region waiting to be explored.
When you’ve had enough of beaches, turn and look inland. Those rugged peaks are more accessible then you might assume. First impressions might suggest an arid, austere region; prepare to be surprised.
But, once you make the decision to explore on foot, bike or horseback, you’ll find green valleys between the rocky peaks. Villages and hamlets nestle in the mountain folds.
Last weekend, the Sunday Times Travel called this ‘the forgotten corner of Spain’. Not forgotten by us! (read the Sunday Times article here though you will need to sign in (free) to read it).
We were intrigued by the Sierra de Aracena (Huelva), north-west of Seville, several years back while looking for lesser-known walking areas of Spain.
- It’s green, natural, not too rugged and with fascinating villages and small towns.
- There are inquisitive herds of pigs, wonderful flora and a laid-back air.
- Little rustic bars and restaurants serve local foods at pocket-money prices.
- There are castles and a sense of history, with the Moorish legacy clearly apparent.
- The walking isn’t too vigorous overall though many routes will whip up a healthy appetite for sampling those hearty home-made dishes.
If you’re intrigued, find out what to see, where to stay and what to do (other than walking): HERE’s a USEFUL LINK.
The Telegraph Travel 15.12.17) wrote an article entitled ‘15 beautiful villages in Spain you’ve probably never heard of‘
What a place to walk! Spring is a great time to visit. There’s likely to be snow on the mighty peaks to the north, while Spring flowers burst through on the lower slopes and in the valleys.
Are you off to any of these destinations soon?
Or maybe you’re thinking of planning a trip for later in the year, when the summer heat subsides and most visitors disappear, leaving all that space (almost) all yours.
If so, then here’s a great opportunity to get hold of digital Custom Maps free to download.
If you’ve ever used (or seen) one of DWG’s Tour & Trail maps you already know how detailed, clear and up to date they are.
Take a look at Discovery Walking Guides’ latest ENews to get hold of yours!
If you are one of the many who found a Garmin GPS in their Christmas stocking, this post is for you.
Get your hands on a free sample ‘real-time’ map and see your Garmin come to life. You can choose a sample map of Graciosa ( off Lanzarote, Canary Islands) or Sierra de Aracena (Andalucia, Spain).
What you’ll get is a highly detailed real-time Tour & Trail digital download map, which you can save on your hard drive, transfer to your Garmin GPS CustomMap memory or onto a micro-SD card; you can also use the maps in Garmin Basecamp and Google Earth.
Alpujarras (Sierra Nevada, Andalucia, southern Spain)
Costa Blanca Mountains (Alicante, southern Spain)
Axarquia (Andalucia, southern Spain)
Sierra de Aracena (Helva province, southern Spain)
Having explored Spain’s Sierra de Aracena some years back for a walking guide and map, it was interesting to see a long and enticing piece in today’s Saturday Telegraph magazine about this little-visited region:-
Spain offers so many wonderful walking regions, yet Sierra de Aracena remains little-known – which is of course, part of its charm. If you want dramatic mountains, look elsewhere. If you like wonderful green, natural walking interspersed with hamlets and little characterful towns, you’ll enjoy this area. It’s the perfect ‘get away from it all’ place.
If your interest has been sparked, take a look at map and walking information from DIscovery Walking Guides: http://www.dwgwalking.co.uk/sierradearacena.htm
Author/researcher Charles Davis sums up this beautiful, unspoilt region thus:
“The Axarquía is one of Spain’s great places, and among the greatest places within it are the Sierras Tejeda and Almijara, which form the backbone both of the region and the present publication. Blessed with high summits, dizzying pinnacles, dramatic crags, deep ravines, dozens of springs, delightful rivers and the best coves on the Costa del Sol, this is an area that has something for everyone. And the only prerequisites for benefitting from all this are a desire to get off the beaten track and a set of relatively, sometimes very, sturdy legs.
If you’ve not seen them already, you can get an idea of how dramatic these mountains are from one simple fact, that the high peaks, including Lucero (1775 metres), Navachica (1832 metres) and La Maroma (2070 metres), are all within ten kilometres of the coast, rising out of the sea like a succession of immense pedestals, just waiting for humankind to enthrone whoever or whatever we find most sacred or simply most lacking in our quotidian lives.”
You can see a sample walk here:- http://www.dwgwalking.co.uk/axarquiasamplewalk25.pdf
There’s information about the book Walk! The Axarquia (available as a printed book or as a pdf download book in A4 format) and the maps available for the region (printed, on paper and on Super-Durable material); there are also Custom Maps for Garmins for GPS users.
Inland of Spain’s Costa del Sol rises the magnificent Sierras de Tejeda and Almijara. Mountains, ravines, streams and rivers await the adventurer.
This area, La Axarquia, is a gem for anyone looking for an unforgettable walking experience.
We’ve just received this report from Bill L who has been using the Axarquia Tour & Trail Custom Map and Walk! The Axarquia guidebook; see http://www.dwgwalking.co.uk/axarquia.htm
On 15 March 2014 10:05, Bill L wrote:
Have now used your Axarquia map for several weeks and get even more impressed.
Not only can you use it for your walks but you can also combine walks and tracks from, for example, GR 249 GR 242. Did Walk 22 yesterday and GR 242 Frigliana to Maro the day before.
Going to try some combinations next week. Amazing! It makes it very easy to walk these hills using GPS.