La Axarquia area guide

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: Velez-Malaga, Iznate, El Trapiche, La Viñuela, Los Romanes, Puente Don Manuel, Benamargosa, Triana, Salto del Negro, Periana, Riogordo, Alcaucín, Arenas

Villages of Axarquía 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. Click on Location to see the village on Google Maps.  (Info last updated March 2020)

ALCAUCIN
Location
Population: 2239
Distance to coast: 25 mins
Altitude: 508m
Bars: Yes, several
Shops: Yes
Medical: Yes
School: Yes

Very pretty village and very popular.  Very steep, easy access to national parkland, spectacular views.  Easy access.

ALFARNATE
Location
Population: 1105
Distance to coast: 45 mins
Altitude: 886m
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
Location
Population: 394
Distance to coast: 45 mins
Altitude: 858m
Bars: Yes
Shops: Yes

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

ALGARROBO
Location
Population: 6367
Distance to coast: 5 mins
Altitude: 86m
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
Location
Population: 1802
Distance to coast: 20 mins
Altitude: 246m
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
Location
Population: 1755
Distance to coast:5 minutes
Altitude: Sea Level
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
Location
Population: 391
Distance to coast: 30 mins
Altitude: 530m
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
Location
Population: 1177
Distance to coast: 20 mins
Altitude: 500m
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)
Location
Population: 933
Distance to coast: 25 mins
Altitude: 237m
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
Location
Population: 955
Distance to coast: 10 mins
Altitude: 310m
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
Location
Population: 10000~
Distance to coast: 0 mins
Altitude: Sea level
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
Location
Population: 1496
Distance to coast: 20 mins
Altitude: 96m
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
Location
Population: 2999
Distance to coast: 10 mins
Altitude: 145
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
Location
Population: 780
Distance to coast: 5 mins
Altitude: 310m
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)
Location
Population: 3659
Distance to coast: 0 mins
Altitude: Sea level
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
Location
Population: 1620
Distance to coast: 35 mins
Altitude: 649m
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’.

Click here for properties we have currently in and around this village.

CANILLAS DE ALBAIDA
Location
Population: 732
Distance to coast: 45 mins
Altitude: 630m
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
Location
Population: 3376
Distance to coast: 30 mins
Altitude: 696m
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
Location
Population: 1323
Distance to coast: 40 mins
Altitude: 703
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
Location
Population: 3745
Distance to coast: 35 mins
Altitude: 636
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
Location
Population: 228
Distance to coast: 35 mins
Altitude: 590m
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
Location
Population: 650
Distance to coast: 25 mins
Altitude: 331m
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
Location
Population: 39
Distance to coast: 35 mins
Altitude: 500
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
Location
Population: 3086
Distance to coast: 10 mins
Altitude: 320
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
Location
Population: 863
Distance to coast: 10 mins
Altitude: 303m
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.

LOS ROMANES
Location
Population: 414 (but part of Viñuela)
Distance to coast: 20 mins
Altitude: 429m
Bars: Yes
Shops: Yes
Medical: Yes
School: Yes
Countryside: hilly, marvelous lake views

Even though it is only small, this is a particularly charming village with wonderful lake and mountain views.  It is friendly and has a market once a week, and is known for its excellent ‘verdiales’ music.

MACHARAVIAYA
Location
Population: 442
Distance to coast: 15 mins
Altitude: 235m
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
Location
Population: 741
Distance to coast: 0 mins
Altitude: Sea level
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
Location
Population: 1271
Distance to coast: 15 mins
Altitude: 447
Bars: Yes
Shops: Yes
Countryside:  Very hilly.

MONDRON
Location
Population: 178
Distance to coast: 45 mins
Altitude: 610m
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
Location
Population: 21061
Distance to coast: 0 mins
Altitude: Sea level
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
Location
Population: 3048
Distance to coast: 25 mins
Altitude: 550m
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
Location
Population: (part of Alcaucín)
Distance to coast: 20 mins
Altitude: 243m
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
Location
Population: 46093
Distance to coast: 0 mins
Altitude: Sea level
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
Location
Population: 2724
Distance to coast: 40 mins
Altitude: 405m
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

RUBITE
Location
Population: 382 (part of Canillas de Aceituno)
Distance to coast: 20 mins
Altitude: 268m
Bars: No
Shops: No
Countryside: Hilly, vineyards and almonds.

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

SALARES
Location
Population: 169
Distance to coast: 45 mins
Altitude: 580m
Bars: Yes
Shops: Yes
School: bus to nearest school
Countryside: Hilly, vineyards and almonds

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

SAYALONGA
Location
Population: 1681
Distance to coast: 15 mins
Altitude: 359m
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
Location
Population: 606
Distance to coast: 40 mins
Altitude: 646m
Bars: Yes
Shops: Yes
Countryside: Vineyards, olives

A quiet, small mountain village surrounded by stunning countryside.

TORRE DEL MAR
Location
Population: 22168
Distance to coast: 0 mins
Altitude: Sea level
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
Location
Population: 17234 (village and Torrox Costa)
Distance to coast: 7 mins
Altitude: 145m
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)
Location
Population: 358
Distance to coast: 8 mins
Altitude: 60m
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
Location
Population: 657
Distance to coast: 15 mins
Altitude: 71m
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
Location
Population: 81643
Distance to coast: 5 mins
Altitude: 60m
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)
Location
Population: 2034
Distance to coast: 15 – 20 mins
Altitude: 150m
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.

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