La Axarquia area guide

AXARQUIA


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Axarquía covers the area from just East of Malaga city to just beyond the pretty coastal town of Nerja, and inland to the frontier with Granada province.  Being East of Malaga, it is a different world to the tourist epicentre on the West coast and the over populated Western Costa del Sol ; it is the Eastern Costa del Sol, our little, hidden, natural and devastatingly beautiful piece of paradise!!  The capital of the area is the ever-growing town of Vélez-Málaga, steeped in Moorish history and located just a couple of Kms inland from the coast at Torre del Mar.  Villages worth considering  in La Axarquía include:

Villages near the coast: Nerja, Torrox village, Algarrobo village, Sayalonga, Iznate, Benamocarra and Benagalbón.

Villages of Axarquía further inland but not high up in the mountains or too remote: El Trapiche, La Viñuela, Puente Don Manuel, Benamargosa, Triana, Salto del Negro, Periana, Riogordo, Alcaucín, Arenas

Villages of Äxarquía that are in the mountains and in some cases (but not all)  more remote: Archez, Cómpeta, Canillas de Albaida, Canillas de Aceituno, Salares, Sedella, Colmenar, Alfarnate, Alfarnatejo, Almáchar, El Borge, Cútar, Comares, Totalan

For more details on each of these villages, based on a brief summary specifically to help you have an idea of whether that area is suitable for you, look up the area or village in question below.

ALCAUCIN
Population: 1484
Distance to coast: 25 mins
Bars: Yes, several

Shops: YesMedical: YesSchool: YesVery pretty village and very popular.  Very steep, easy access to national parkland, spectacular views.  Easy access.

ALFARNATE

Population: 1447
Distance to coast: 45 mins
Bars: Yes
Shops: Yes
Medical: Yes
School: Yes
More like a small town, along with little sister Alfarnatejo, the most northerly of the villages of Axarquia right on the Granada border.  Quite isolated, mountainous countryside around.

ALFARNATEJO

Population: 422
Distance to coast: 45 mins
Bars: Yes
Shops: Yes

Very small village, very much a hidden mountain hamlet.  Pretty, wonderful countryside, lots of lovely walks.

ALGARROBO

Population: 4735
Distance to coast: 5 mins
Bars: Yes, lots
Shops: Yes, lots
Medical: Yes
School: Yes
Very pretty village (park and explore as you won’t see much of the village from the main road).  Lots of narrow streets and hanging geraniums, very Spanish – and yet so close to the coast!

ALMACHAR

Population: 1967
Distance to coast: 20 mins
Bars: Yes, lots
Shops: Yes
Medical: Yes
School: Yes
Very pretty indeed, but probably one of the steepest villages in the area!  The village covers two hillsides, and a deep valley in between, so you can sit on the terrace of a bar and one side and look straight across at the streets on the opposite hillside!  VERY Spanish.

ALMAYATE

Population: 2146
Distance to coast:5 minutes
Bars: Yes
Shops: Yes
Not such a pretty village, low lying, but has the advantage of being a stone’s throw from the coast.  Divided into Almayate Bajo, (lower end) and Almayate Alto (higher up, country area above the village).

ARCHEZ

Population: 340
Distance to coast: 30 mins
Bars: Yes
Shops: Yes
Medical: Yes
A lovely village with a fascinating old church, that dates back to its Moorsih origins.  Mountain village, steep countryside around it.  Is part of a group of closely located villages (Canillas de Albaida and Cómpeta being the closest).

ARENAS

Population: 1194
Distance to coast: 20 mins
Bars: Yes
Shops: Yes
Very rural, set just a few minutes’ drive above the town of Vélez.  Not a great beauty, but it has its pretty little corners! Is the lowest village you drive through on your way up to Cómpeta from Vélez.

BORGE (EL)

Population: 1046
Distance to coast: 25 mins
Bars: Yes
Shops: Yes
Pretty, not very big, but worth considering.  Very close to its slightly larger neighbour Almáchar.  Very steep countryside around,  raisin growing area.

BENGALBON

Population: 938
Distance to coast: 10 mins
Bars: Yes
Shops: Yes
Surprisingly beautiful in the little centre of the village with a lovely plaza and an interesting vegetarian restaurant!  Close to the motorway and Málaga city.

BENAJARAFE

Population: 1558
Distance to coast: 0 mins
Bars: Yes
Shops: Yes
More a coastal cluster of houses than a village, right by the beach, some quite nice, low-lying properties around and some developments.  Lovely stretch of unspoilt beach.

BENAMARGOSA

Population: 1590
Distance to coast: 20 mins
Bars: Yes, lots
Shops: Yes
Medical: Yes
School: Yes
Very popular with the Brits, but still very Spanish!  Stop and walk up the hill as you won’t see much of the village from the road.  Good community spirit.  Low lying, amongst the avocado, mango and lemon groves.

BENAMOCARRA

Population: 2780
Distance to coast: 10 mins
Bars: Yes, lots
Shops: Yes, lots
Medical: Yes
School: Yes (junior and senior)
A great little town and so close to everything!  Very Spanish and relatively undiscovered by the tourists, pretty, lively and rural.  The town hall is very go-ahead and you can join in free pilates classes and other local activities.  Very indigenous population, and not a lot comes on the market regularly, as the population seem to have no desire to move out!

CAJIZ

Population: 636
Distance to coast: 5 mins
Bars: Yes
Shops: Yes
Very small, very rural village very close to the coast.  Not the prettiest, but nice sea views from many of the country houses for sale in the area.

CALETA (LA)

Population: Unknown
Distance to coast: 0 mins
Bars: Yes, lots
Shops: Yes, lots
Medical: Yes
School: Yes
Coastal town just East of Torre del Mar.  Some nice developments just to the North of the main high street, and Baviera Golf just next door.

CANILLAS DEL ACEITUNO

Population: 2327
Distance to coast: 35 mins
Bars: Yes
Shops: Yes
Medical: Yes
School: Yes

One of the prettiest villages in Axarquia, which, although a 15 minute winding road into the mountains, is well worth considering.  Beautiful flower-filled streets, pretty squares, and a fabulous view of Lake Viñuela and the sea.  A popular starting point to walk up to the peak of La Maroma, the highest mountain in Malaga province at just over 2000m, and some of the most spectacular countryside in Spain.  Canillas is the gateway into the mountian villages of Axarquia, of which, perhaps, Cómpeta is the ‘capital’.

CANILLAS DE ALBAIDA

Population: 902
Distance to coast: 45 mins
Bars: Yes
Shops: Yes

Close neighbour of Archez, Canillas de Albaida is another very pretty village, in the heart of the mountainous part of Axarquía.  Some very nice bars, wonderful views, and a mixed population.

COLMENAR

Population: 3138
Distance to coast: 30 mins
Bars: Yes, lots
Shops: Yes, lots
Medical: Yes
School: Yes
Countryside: Hilly, olive groves

Known as the capital of the Montes de Malaga region, to the North of Malaga city, this little town meanders up a rocky hillside to a hilltop and boasts spectacular views from all directions, including little glimpses of the Sierra Nevada, snow-capped in in the Winter.  Very easy access directly from Malaga on the Malaga to Antequera road.

COMARES

Population: 1405
Distance to coast: 40 mins
Bars: Yes
Shops: Yes
Medical: Yes
School: Yes
Countryside: Hilly, olive groves

Known as the Balcony of La Axarquía, this is a unique little town, perched on the very top of a craggy m0untain, with 360 degree views over the whole of the Axarquía area and beyond.  It is simply beautiful, inspiring, magical!  It is steeped in local history and signs of its ancient Moorish past are everywhere. The road to reach it is a good one, given its incredible location.  The municipal area of Comares covers quite a wide area, and offers lots of interesting properties for sale.  We like this place!

COMPETA

Population: 2684
Distance to coast: 35 mins
Bars: Yes, lots
Shops: Yes, lots
Medical: Yes
School: Yes
Countryside: Vineyards, very hilly

A lively, interesting town, very much up in the mountains, but very international.  It has a an interesting Wine museum and plenty of activities.  The centre of a cluster of mountain villages (Canillas de Albaida, Archez, Salares, Sedella, Corumbela, Sayalonga).

CORUMBELA

Population: 242
Distance to coast: 35 mins
Bars: Yes
Shops: Yes
School: bus to nearest school
Countryside: Vineyards, very hilly

A small hillside village with stunning views, between Vélez and Cómpeta, very friendly and totally Spanish.

CUTAR

Population: 615
Distance to coast: 25 mins
Bars: Yes
Shops: Yes
School: bus to nearest school
Countryside: Hilly, vineyards and almonds

A small hillside village in a secluded valley.  Very peaceful.

DAIMALOS

Population: 60
Distance to coast:  mins
Bars: No
Shops: No
School: bus to nearest school
Countryside: Hilly, vineyards and almonds

A hamlet on the side of a hill on the road up towards Archez, just past Arenas.  Pretty views.

FRIGILIANA

Population: 2150
Distance to coast: 10 mins
Bars: Yes, lots
Shops: Yes
Medical: Yes
School: Yes
Countryside: Hilly, vineyards, almonds, olives (used to be suger cane)

THE chocolate box village of La Axarquía and long-time winner of Best Kept Andalusian Village, this is a village that surprises you with its extreme beauty and stunning surroundings.  As such, it is a tourist attraction with a very international population.  Some absolutely fascinating local history and witness to amazing events during and after the Spanish civil war.

IZNATE

Population: 654
D istance to coast: 10 mins
Bars: Yes
Shops: Yes
Medical: Yes
School: Yes
Countryside: Hilly, vineyards and almonds

A very unspoilt, very Spanish village with great character and amazing North facing views.  Well worth considering.

MACHARAVIAYA

Population: 325
Distance to coast: 15 mins
Bars: Yes
Shops: Yes
Medical: No
School: bus to nearest school
Countryside: Hilly, vineyards and almonds

What you can only term a ‘medeival’ village, or so it seems, with cobbled streets and a huge church for such a tiny village!  Very pretty.

MARO

Population: 760
Distance to coast: 0 mins
Bars: Yes
Shops: Yes
Medical: Yes
School: bus to nearest school
Countryside: Vegetable plots, rocky cliffs.

A lovely coastal village, one of the few that has a proper village feel to it.  The beach, hidden at the end of a little lane, is wonderful!  Very close to the famous Nerja caves.

MOCLINEJO

Population: 1020
Distance to coast: 15 mins
Bars: Yes
Shops: Yes
Countryside:  Very hilly.

MONDRON

Population: 170
Distance to coast: 45 mins
Bars: Yes
Shops: Yes
School: bus to nearest school
Countryside: Hilly, olives and almonds

A fairly small village, very pretty, nestling amongst the olive groves around the Periana area.  Lovely views.

NERJA

Population: 14,965
Distance to coast: 0 mins
Bars: Yes
Shops: Yes
Medical: Yes
Schools: Yes
Countryside: Vegetable plots

A busy, cosmopolitan, thriving tourist resort that still keeps its identity as a Spanish village.  A must see place (not necessarily a ‘must live here’ place, not for all, anyway!)

PERIANA

Population: 3466
Distance to coast: 25 mins
Bars: Yes
Shops: Yes
Medical: Yes
Schools: Yes
Countryside: Hilly, olives and almonds

A simply lovely little town, on a hillside, with lots of pretty, narrow streets and beautiful views of Lake Viñuela and the sea beyond.  Very much the ‘whitewashed’ Andalusian village.

PUENTE DON MANUEL

Population: (part of Alcaucín)
Distance to coast: 20 mins
Bars: Yes
Shops: Yes
Medical: No
School: No
Countryside: Vegetable plots along the river bed.

A tiny hamlet that has grown into a thriving international little community with a number of pretty, well kept country developments and a few not so nice ones!  There are quite a few bars, restaurants and shops, and a well settled British community.

RINCON DE LA VICTORIA

Population: 19,247
Distance to coast: 0 mins
Bars: Yes
Shops: Yes
Medical: Yes
School: Yes, lots
Countryside: Coastal

A very lively town that definitely has a heart and a centre, but is now a suburb of Malaga city.  Lots of pretty residential developments, ideal for young families and those wishing to be within throwing distance of the city.

RIOGORDO

Population: 2662
Distance to coast: 40 mins
Bars: Yes
Shops: Yes
Medical: Yes
School: Yes
Countryside: Olives and almonds, some wheat fields

A pretty town, nestling in a peaceful valley with some very spectacular countryside.  Easy access to Malaga via the motorway and 15 mins from Lake Viñuela.  Famous reenactment of the last days of Christ at Easter known as El Paso

ROMANES (LOS)

Population: 460
Distance to coast: 25 mins
Bars: Yes
Shops: Yes
Medical: Yes
School: Yes (excellent!)
Countryside: Hilly, vineyards, olives and almonds.

A very pretty village with perhaps the best views of the lake and Maroma mountain beyond.  Easy access.

RUBITE

Population: (part of Canillas de Aceituno)
Distance to coast: 20 mins
Bars: No
Shops: No
Countryside: Hilly, vineyards and almonds.

A tiny hamlet, a little isolated but the access road has been improved.

SALARES

Population: 237
Distance to coast: 45 mins
Bars: Yes
Shops: Yes
School: bus to nearest school
Countryside: Hilly, vineyards and almonds

A true mountain village, wild, natural, rustic and pretty.

SAYALONGA

Population: 1138
Distance to coast: 15 mins
Bars: Yes
Shops: Yes
School: bus to nearest school
Countryside: Hilly, vineyards and almonds.  Pretty, views of the sea, small but ‘cosy’.  A lovely spot!

SEDELLA

Population: 526
Distance to coast: 40 mins
Bars: Yes
Shops: Yes
Countryside: Vineyards, olives

A quiet, small mountain village surrounded by stunning countryside.

TORRE DEL MAR

Population: 20,000
Distance to coast: 0 mins
Bars: Yes, lots and lots
Shops: Yes, lots and lots
Medical: Yes
Schools: Yes
Countryside:  Coastal, vegetable plots

A bustling Spanish coastal town with an all year round population.  It is the coastal section of Vélez-Málaga and is well known for its lovely long promenade and wonderful beach bars (chiringuitos) all along the beach.  Truly alive during Summer evenings and nights with mainly Spanish residents and holiday-makers.

TORROX

Population: 20,000 (village and Torrox Costa)
Distance to coast: 7 mins
Bars: Yes, lots
Shops: Yes, lots
Medical: Yes
School: Yes
Countryside:  Vegetable plots, vineyards

Torrox village is a small town situated just above the coast on a steep hillside.  It is pretty, with a lovely central plaza with outdoor cafes and a lovely atmosphere, and quite a lot of old style village houses on offer.  Lovely views of the sea.  Its coastal area is known as Torrox Costa, with high rise blocks and plenty of bars and restaurants, but a fabulous, sandy strip of beach that is well worth visiting.

TRAPICHE (EL)

Population: 503
Distance to coast: 8 mins
Bars: Yes
Shops: No
Medical: No
School: Bus to Vélez
Countryside:  Flat vegetable growing valley, and low lying hills

A hamlet 3 Kms North of Vélez-Málaga, in the heart of the vegetable, avocado and mango growing tropical valley.

TRIANA

Population: 842
Distance to coast: 15 mins
Bars: Yes
Shops: Yes
Medical: Chemist
School: Yes
Countryside: The very epicentre of the tropical fruit growing valley of Vélez.

A pretty village that is very convenient for everywhere, set in the flat countryside of the river valley of Vélez, surrounded by avocados, mangos and lemons.  Absolutely perfect climate!

VELEZ-MALAGA

Population: 53,070
Distance to coast: 5 mins
Bars: Yes, lots
Shops: Yes, lots
Medical: Yes, clinics and the main hospital
School: Yes
Countryside: Vélez valley – vegetables, avocados and mangos, plus palm and other hot climate trees for export.

A great town that really grows on you the more you experience it!  It has a tremendous Moorish history and the old part is very beautiful. Sitting at the top of the hill, the old (renovated) Moorish fortress.

VIÑUELA (LA)

Population: 1165
Distance to coast: 15 – 20 mins
Bars: Yes
Shops: Yes
Medical: Yes
School: Yes
Countryside: The border between avocado and mango country to the South and olive and almond to the North.

A surprisingly interesting, fairly large and quite pretty village, with a river running along the lower end, and sitting just over the hill from Lake Viñuela, a vast expanse of glittering water which acts as a vital reservoir for much of Málaga province.