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Over 40 half and full day walks along Andalucia's Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts. The guidebook features the best of the Subbetica range, nearly all walks falling within Natural Parks and Reserves, from Vejer to Tarifa on the Atlantic and from Estepona, Marbella and Mijas to Nerja and Almunecar on the Mediterranean. Year-round walking.
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A guidebook to 40 half and full day coastal walks in Andalucía. The graded routes, which are suitable for any reasonably fit walker, range from 6km to 19.5km and can be walked all year round. The walks are located in seven of the region’s most beautiful National Parks and protected areas (including La Breña y las Marismas, Los Alcornocales y del Estrecho, La Sierra de las Nieves and Níjar-Cabo de Gata) and are mostly circular in nature, negating the need for any logistical legwork.
Step-by-step route descriptions for each walk are accompanied by 1:50,000 mapping, together with information about points of interest en route. Also included is a useful glossary and route summary table, plus all the practical information needed to explore Andalucía’s coast on foot – equipment, safety, when to go, refreshments, accommodation and more.
The picturesque coastline of Andalucía is a walker's dream. Sandwiched between mountain and sea, walkers are rewarded with both dazzling mountain vistas and stunning seascapes. The sense of history embedded in these ancient coastal byways – which dates back to ages past – is an added delight, making the walking all the richer.
Walk 25, p169
The Casa Forestal is currently being restored and the text should now read: "Passing a signboard follow the track to the Cortijo de Jarapalos, currently being restored, and an arboretum where spring water is channelled down across its ancient terraces".
|Seven coastal regions|
|Plants and wildlife|
|Andalucía over the years|
|When to go|
|Eating out in southern Spain|
|What to take|
|Using this guide|
|1 Costa de la Luz|
|Parque Natural de la Breña y las Marismas|
|Walk 2 Las Marismas de Barbate circuit|
|Walk 3 Vejer de la Frontera southern circuit|
|Walk 4 Los Caños de Meca circuit|
|Walk 5 Cape Trafalgar to Conil via the Torre de Castilnovo|
|Parque Natural de Los Alcornocales y del Estrecho|
|Walk 6 Valdevaqueros circuit via Punta Paloma|
|Walk 7 Río de Guadalmesí circuit|
|Walk 8 El Pelayo circuit via the Torre de Guadalmesí|
|Walk 9 Río de la Miel circuit|
|Walk 10 Gibraltar circuit via Mediterranean Steps|
|2 Costa del Sol|
|Paraje Natural de Sierra Bermeja y Sierra Crestellina|
|Walk 11 Manilva circuit via the Utrera Gorge|
|Walk 12 Casares circuit via la Crestellina|
|Walk 13 Casares eastern circuit|
|Walk 14 Casares circuit via La Acedía|
|Walk 15 Pico Reales circuit via El Pinsapar forest|
|Parque Natural de la Sierra de las Nieves|
|Walk 16 Istán circuit via the Infierno valley|
|Walk 17 Istán to the Río Verde and back|
|Walk 18 Istán reservoir circuit via the San Miguel chapel|
|Walk 19 Marbella circuit via Cruz de Juanar|
|Walk 20 Ascent of La Concha from Refugio de Juanar|
|Walk 21 Refugio de Juanar circuit via Los Cuchillos|
|La Sierra de Mijas|
|Walk 22 Mijas circuit via the Pico de Mijas|
|Walk 23 Mijas circuit via Puerto de Málaga|
|Walk 24 Alhaurín el Grande circuit|
|Walk 25 Alhaurín de la Torre western circuit|
|Walk 26 Alhaurín de la Torre southern circuit|
|Walk 27 Benalmádena circuit|
|3 Costa Tropical|
|Parque Natural de la Sierra de Tejeda, Almijara y Alhama|
|Walk 28 Ascent of La Maroma from Canillas de Aceituno|
|Walk 29 Cómpeta circuit via Puerto Blanquillo|
|Walk 30 Frigiliana to El Fuerte and back|
|Walk 31 Frigiliana circuit via Cruz de Pinto|
|Walk 32 Nerja circuit via the Río Chillar|
|Walk 33 Maro to Frigiliana|
|Walk 34 La Herradura circuit via Cantarriján beach|
|4 Costa de Almería|
|Parque Natural de Níjar-Cabo de Gata|
|Walk 35 San José circuit via Monsul and Los Genoveses|
|Walk 36 Presillas Bajas to the Majada Redonda and back|
|Walk 37 Los Escullos circuit via San José|
|Walk 38 Rodalquilar circuit via Cortijo del Fraile|
|Walk 39 Las Negras circuit via El Playazo|
|Walk 40 Agua Amarga to Las Negras|
|Appendix A Route summary table|
|Appendix B Useful contacts|
|Appendix C Accommodation|
|Appendix D Glossary|
|Appendix E Further reading|
Talk to most people about the coast of Andalucía and they’ll picture the small swathe of seaboard that runs from Torremolinos to Estepona, the heartland of what is commonly sold as the Costa del Sol. First associations are of crowded beaches, busy coastal roads and blocks of holiday apartments. Few will conjure up visions of the mighty chain of mountains, the tail end of the Sierra Subbética, which rises up a few kilometres back from the sea. Nor do they tend to evoke the wilder beaches of the Costa de la Luz or the footpaths that run just a few metres from the Atlantic surf.
Since Iberian times these coastal paths have seen the passage of livestock, charcoal, fruit and vegetables, dried fish, ice from the high sierras, silks and spices from distant lands, contraband coffee and tobacco along with muleteers and shepherds, itinerant workers, fortune seekers and armies on the march. Ancient byways have a logic of their own and when researching this book I was constantly struck by a sense of Times Past, and not only when a section of ancient paving or cobbled path suggested Roman or Arabic origins. This sense of history, and of continuity, gives nearly all the walks described in this book an added appeal. It’s as if these ancient byways serve to reconnect us with something that has been around since time immemorial but which we rarely get the chance to experience.
If the areas described in the book share a common historical thread the different parts of the Costa have their own unique character. The cliffs, pine forests and marshlands close to Vejer are very different in feel to the wooded slopes of the Algeciras hinterland with its unique canuto (gorge) ecosystem. The lunaresque landscapes of the Sierra Bermeja stand in marked contrast to the forested mountainsides behind Marbella and Mijas, while the cliffs and crumpled massif of the sierras between Nerja and Almuñecar have a beauty all of their own, as do the mineral landscapes of Cabo de Gata. Each region is described in greater detail in its corresponding section but – rest assured – there’s superb walking in every one of them.
There are many terms to describe a protected area in Andalucía: Unesco Biosphere Reserve, Parque Natural, Paraje Natural and so on. All seven coastal regions described fall into one of these categories apart from the Sierra de Mijas which is soon to gain protected status. If all of these areas now have some form of waymarking in place, this only partially covers the routes described in this book and in many cases marker posts are damaged or missing. But with the map sections and walking notes, and the GPS tracks if you use them, you’ll have no problems in finding your way.
The walks in this book are generally one of three types. There are walks which link different coastal villages, others which are circular itineraries which involve some walking at the ocean’s edge, and a third group of inland circuits and gorge walks just a few kilometres back from the sea. At some point during all of the walks you’ll be treated to vistas of the Atlantic or the Mediterranean.