The Mountains of Nerja
Sierras Tejeda, Almijara Y Alhama
By Jim Ryan
Guidebook to the Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara Y Alhama mountains in the Spanish region of Axarquía. The 24 day walks are accessible from the holiday towns of Nerja and Vélez-Málaga on the Costa del Sol. Routes range from easy strolls to strenuous climbs. The mountains are largely limestone, with some summits reaching over 2000m.
Seasonsfrom March to May and September to November; packed and too hot in high summer
CentresNerja and Vélez-Málaga
Difficultywalks graded 1 to 10, with the low grade suitable for all and the high grade for the experienced and fit; the majority are in the middle range
Must Seeoutstanding natural beauty; 50 mountains of Munro status in an area the size of the Isle of Skye; stark geological features on mountains over 2000m; peaceful and remote valleys where the wilderness is but a few minutes away
The little town of Nerja, on Spain’s Costa del Sol, nestles under range of mighty mountains. These are the Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara Y Alhama. Together they encompass 50 mountains over 1000m, with the highest, La Maroma over 2000m, and offer walkers some stunnning routes.
This naturally beautiful mountainous area is only about the size of Snowdonia National Park and combines stark geological features on high, rocky mountains with peaceful and remote valleys, where the wilderness is but a few minutes away.
Explore the white mountain villages of Frigiliana, Competa, Canillas de Albaida, Canilas de Aceituno and Salares, just a short distance from Nerja. Several others are also visited on the walks.
Any one of the routes in this guidebook can be walked in a day trip from Nerja, making this delightful coastal town a good place to base yourself. The wide selection of graded day walks are described ranging from strolls to strenuous climbs.
- 24 graded day walks
- the best time of year for walking is from late April to the end of May. Late summer and early autumn are also cooler, but the ground is scorched and dry. Between November and April there is more chance of rain, but it is still acceptable for walking.
- routes are illustrated using official IGN mapping
- with lots of information about the local flowers, plants, wildlife and geology
The town of Nerja
Geology and topography
A little history
Plants and flowers
Getting to Nerja
When to go
Walking in Andalucía
Spanish dialect in Andalucía
Recurring place names
Maps and GPS coordinates
Using this guide
Nerja and around
Walk 1 Frigiliana to the Cave of Nerja
Walk 2 El Fuerte
Walk 3 Cruz del Pinto
Walk 4 The Gorges of the Rio Chillar
Walk 5 The El Cielo Circuit
Walk 6 The tour of Almendrón
The Cómpeta Area
Walk 7 La Fabrica de la Luz
Walk 8 Lucero
Walk 9 Cerro de la Chapa
Walk 10 The oak forest of Salares
Walk 11 Cómpeta to Los Pradillos
Walk 12 La Maroma from Canillas de Aceituno
Walk 13 La Maroma from Alcaucín
Walk 14 La Maroma from Sedella
Walk 15 La Maroma from Alcaicería
The Valley of the Rio Verde
Walk 16 Navachica
Walk 17 The Petrified Waterfall
Walk 18 Lopera
Walks from the North
Walk 19 Ventas de Zafarraya
Walk 20 Malascamas
Walk 21 The Gorge of Alhama de Granada
Walk 22 La Resinera
Walk 23 Jayena to Haza de la Encina
Walk 24 Cisne from Acebuchal
Appendix A Route summary table
Appendix B List of peaks by altitude
Appendix C Useful Spanish words for map reading
Appendix D Further reading
Appendix E Maps of the region
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Since the publication of the first edition the park rangers have carried out works that affect the walks and severe flooding and erosion have also interfered with the paths.
GPX files for all routes are now available on the Cicerone website. There are a few maps where these differ from those in the book, such as the optional diversion in Walk 15 to Tacita de Plata, but any differences are minor.
The photograph in the Introduction of the Almijaras mountains is incorrectly labelled. Cisne is the first peak to the right of Lucero.
The optional extension of the walk back to Nerja via the Rio Higueron: Severe flooding in the river bed and erosion of the concrete steps has made this route more difficult. The steep concrete steps were closed in October 2015.
The gravel road to the right of the gates of No 61 was concreted in 2015.
The concrete covering to the river channel continues to deteriorate and care is required walking on it. There are sections of the channel where it is necessary to walk along a narrow, concrete path that is precipitous.
At Fogarate additional waymarkers for other walks have been placed which may cause confusion. After La Cruz del Muerto (and the highly perched new villa) maintain the direction west and do not descend on the road to the left.
The fence around the well at Rabita no longer has a lock and good water is available.
Peak 12 should read Piedra Sillada (not Piedra Silla).
Recently the Almunecar Town Hall took over the zoo at Pena Escrita and it is now closed to the general public. To follow Walk 16 it is necessary to arrange access through the zoo with the Town Hall. This route of this walk may now need to be changed.
"Please pass on my sincere thanks to Jim Ryan for giving us The Mountains of Nerja. I bought four copies of this outstanding book and all my walking companions are delighted with it."
via email, March 2015
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Jim Ryan is a chartered civil engineer with a passion for the outdoors, who has had several successful guidebooks and one work of fiction published. He has a particular interest in geology and a love of mountains. Aconcagua made a significant impression on him on his first journey there, with an expedition in 1999, and he returned on two further expeditions. Jim has been climbing the mountains of Nerja for over 15 years. To repay Nerja and Andalucía for many pleasurable years, his share of this guide's proceeds go to Cudeca, a cancer hospice charity in the province of Malaga.View Articles and Books by Jim Ryan