Nerja Off The Beaten Path

  • Off The Beaten Path
    by leics
  • Old bridge to Maro..and cave dwellings....
    Old bridge to Maro..and cave...
    by leics
  • Strata clearly exposed
    Strata clearly exposed
    by leics

Most Recent Off The Beaten Path in Nerja

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    A gentle walk to the caves via cave-dwellings.

    by leics Written Jan 12, 2014

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    Cala Barranco towards the sea
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    Although there are regular buses to and from Nerja's famous caves it's an easy enough walk from Nerja, with the only steepish part being towards the end (and very short anyway).

    First, make your way to the Avenida de Pescia, the main route through Nerja and onwards. Walk to the east, towards Maro. You'll pass shops and cafes, houses and hotels and apartment and...quite quickly...will come into agricultural land. You'll get some excellent views of the surrounding countryside and of the disused San Joaquin sugar factory in the distance.

    It's best to walk on the right-hand (coastal) side of the road, because you'll need to take a right-hand fork down the pretty-much disused old coast road, which is a couple of kilometres (about a mile) outside Nerja. It's signed ' Cala Barranco del Maro' (a brown sign) so it's quite difficult to miss. The road slopes downwards (the new road continues onto a new viaduct) into the Cala Barranco, a deep cleft in the rocky landscape with views to the sea. There are smallholdings, horses, sheep, goats and...if you're lucky..you'll see a herd of tinkling goats being moved on by their goatherd.

    As you reach the lowest part of the road you'll see the Eagle Aqueduct to your left. Follow the path to your left (don't cross the bridge yet) and walk along the valley bottom to get an even better view from directly underneath it.

    Then return to the road and cross the bridge (built in the 1800s). Facing you are a series of caves and yes...people are still living in them 9whether legally or illegally i do not know). Follow the road as it curves gently upwards past polyrunnels (full of runner bean plants when I visited) and back to the main road. A few meters further on you'll come to the main roundabaout, with the A& motorway roaring above. Take the left-hand road, under the motorway, and the caves are second on the right...well-signed, of course. The steepest bit is those last few metres before you get to the caves car park...but there's a cafe on site, so you can relax and get your breath back if you wish!

    Alternatively, take the right-hand road into the village of Maro. There's at least one shop and bar/cafe there.

    The walk took me around an hour and a half, but that's because I pondered and stopped and looked at various points. It's only about 4-5km, so if you don't stop it really shouldn't take you much more than an hour.

    It goes without saying that if you do this walk in the hotter time of year you need to wear hat, sunscreen and carry ample water. There are no shops between the limits of Nerja and the caves (or Maro itself, if that is where you are aiming).

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    Ermita de San Isidro

    by leics Written Jan 12, 2014

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    Chapel (and gardener!)
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    This tiny, and rather lovely, chapel lies in the confines of the Cuevas de Nerja (Nerja caves) complex. You don't have to pay anything to visit...entrance fees for the caves are paid at the cave entrance. So even if you aren't bothered, or can't, go underground you can still enjoy the surroundings.

    The little chapel lies just above the main car park, and is marked on the large map which is displayed on site. It dates from the mid-1800s and is built on the walls of the ancient cemetery which served Maro, the nearby village.

    There are rather pretty, and very well-kept, gardens within the chapel's grounds..you can see the gardener pruning the roses in my photo. The shrine itself contains a statue of the saint and another, rather unusual, stature of two oxen pulling a plough being guided by an angel.

    San Isidro's festival date is May 15th. On that day the caves are closed to allow his festival (one of the most popular in Nerja) to take place.

    If you visit the caves, do visit this little chapel.

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    Enjoy the geology.....

    by leics Written Jan 12, 2014
    Strata clearly exposed
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    The landscape around Nerja is pretty much a desert landscape nowadays, but it has not always been so.

    Millions of years ago, in the Jurassic period, this was the bottom of a vast, vast primeval sea. You can see evidence for this very clearly in the rock strara which lie exposed, not only in the shoreline cliffs but also elsewhere.

    You'll see layers of sandy sediment, of shingle, of pebbles, of billion upon billion shells. On Burriana beach you'll find huge chunks of rock formed entirely of bound-together pebbles....it looks like something made by humans, a form of concrete...but it's not. It's called 'conglomerate' rock.

    Absolutely fascinating. And you can very clearly see how the local rock, although firm enough in general, would be very fragile when exposed to continual heavy rains, ot to an earthquake (such as the one which devastated Nerja in 1884). It's not really surprising that the 'Hal of the Cataclysm' in the Nerja caves shows huge chunks of the cavern roof which fell during and earthquake...though which one, nobody knows because the caves were only discovered in the 1950s.

    So do have a closer look at exposed rock in and around Nerja....you'll certainly find fossilised primeval shells.

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    The 'Eagle Aqueduct'

    by leics Written Jan 11, 2014

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    Acueducto del ��guila
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    This rather fine piece of construction...the Acueducto del Águila..is regarded as a masterpiee of Spanish architecture.

    The aqueduct was built between 1879 and 1880 to bring water from Nerja to the San Joaquin sugar refinery (known as 'Las Mercedes'). It's made up of four brickwork tiers of arches, following the Mudejar style of architecture which was in fashion again at the time. The arches are topped by a spire on which the original weathervane still stands. It shows a double-headed eagle...which is how the aqueduct got its name...but no-one seems to know why that symbol was chosen.

    The aqueduct was damaged in the Spanish Civil War and was only restored in 2011. It is now a designated site of special cultural interest in Andalucia.

    You can see the aqueduct from above if you follow the Avenida de Pescia towards the roundabout which leads to Maro. Alternatively take the old Nerja>Maro road (signed form the Avenida de Pescia to your right) and you can see it from below, as I did. Maybe you too will hear the goatbells tinkling as the herdsman rounds them up........

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    San Joaquin Sugar Mill

    by leics Written Jan 11, 2014

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    The San Joaquin sugar mill lies on the old Nerja>Maro coast road.

    A huge amount of sugar cane was grown in the Nerja area from the 16th century onwards (nowadays, the surrounding fields grow mango, papaya and avocado along with other crops). The first sugar factory was opened in Nerja in 1588, amazingly enough, and there were several others.

    The San Joaquin mill was built in 1884. It was originally owned by the Marquis de Tous, closed in 1911 and re-opened in the 1930s. I haven't been able to find out when it finally closed but it is now roofless and pretty derelict, although its chimney (with an interesting criss-cross brickwork pattern) still stands.

    The aqueduct built to serve it also stands...see tip above.

    I didn't go exploring the site, but it seems it is ok to do so.

    Your can access the site from the old Nerja>Maro road. Follow the Avenida de Pescia to the east and you'll see the old road signed to your right.

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    Messing about with boats at marina del Este

    by ranger49 Updated Jan 25, 2012

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    Arcade of shops and cafes
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    Stay on the coast road going east from Nerja until you see a sign for Marina del Este then take it!
    If you like to mess about with boats or enjoy watching other people do so the short winding road to Marina del Este will be a good one for you. You will see on the way down lots of smart looking villas before you come to the Marina.

    This is a man made harbour without any of the charm of, for example, Lymington on the south coast of England or any other sea port and harbour that has grown over centuries.
    It is a beautiful location close to the Punta de la Mona with the Penon de las Caballas (mackerel) as a backdrop, but everything is new.
    The "arcaded" harbour boutiques and restaurants seem to be waiting for tourists and, out of season, most of the local, new or newish, properties are shuttered, closed up.
    But it makes an interesting littledeour, gives an insight into the world of people with money to spend sailing aroun the Med in winter - and you can get a passable cup of coffee and lunch there.

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    In Las Alpujarras

    by ranger49 Updated Jan 25, 2012

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    We looked at the map and identified a route for a long drive out in the mountains. It had to have a green line along it to indicate that it would be picturesque and have good views.

    So we headed east towards Motril and from there found the road that would take us to Orgiva and Lanjaron - a good map is essential for this trip.

    Anyone who has read Chris STewart's book "Driving Over Lemons" will find themselves in familiar territory here.
    It is a real switch-back of a road with tight bends and precipitous edges but well worth the concentration needed to drive without mishap.

    We could smell the powerful aroma of a mixture of wild herbs - mainly thyme - just as we passed a pull-in so were able to stop and take in the atmosphere.
    We then took a short walk up the mountain in the late afternoon, just as the sun was beginning to sink low in the sky.

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    The old coast road to cerro Gordo

    by ranger49 Updated Jan 25, 2012

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    clothes allowed here!
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    Some of the most spectacular scenery can be seen if you leave the N340 and travel on the old coast road east of Nerja towards Salobrena. Although much of the land here ( and the sun-marine coastal belt) lies within an area of protected, special interest - the Paraje Natural Acantilados de Maro-Cerro Gordon - quite a few housing developments have taken place in recent years including individually designed large, luxury houses on the clffs and a small Urbanization, El Nogal near La Herradura.
    Famous for its flora and fauna, very popular with bird watchers and walkers it is very much more visited now than whe we first came across the area on a walk near Maro.
    There are a number of steep and winding roads that lead to the largely unspoilt coves and beaches with very limited or no parking at all, so only accessible on foot. One beautiful October day my husband took such a precipitous road; as it was out of season we were able to park when we reache the bottom -still on four wheels - but I had my doubts as to whether we would make it back up that 1 in 3 hill!
    We did not however stay for a dip when we found ourselves on Cantarrijan, a nudist beach. A short walk further along the beach brought us to a regular beach.

    When taking this road we found, by chance a restaurant with the most beautiful of views and excellent food. It was then run by a Swedish family and is now English owned with a very good reputation though we have not been there since it changed hands.
    Mirador

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    Donkey refuge in a picturesque village

    by amapola66 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    A resident of El Burrito Refugio

    Based in Fuente De Piedra, close to the famous Flamingo Lake, El Refugio Del Burrito provide a safe haven with wonderful facilities for some of the many donkeys and mules that have faced a hard, and often badly mistreated, life.

    Feeding, treating and providing refuge for their ever growing family of donkeys is an enormous commitment and they depend entirely on donations from supporters to continue and expand their vital work in Spain and the rest of Europe.

    You will find the refuge situated in the beautiful village of Fuente de Piedra, Antequera. It is housed in a traditional Spanish cortijo (farm), complete with a charming olive grove and traditional buildings, has been turned into a safe haven for donkeys and mules rescued from across Europe. You can meet the residents and learn all their stories as you walk around the grounds, discovering how they are cared for. You can even adopt one at the Visitors' Centre.

    This is a perfect way to discover the beauty of the Spanish interior, while enjoying a fun and interesting visit that will also help the donkeys. The nearby Flamingo Lake is famous for the fabulously coloured flamingos that flock to it.

    (much of the above text & photo, is taken from the official website of the refuge, link below).

    Entrance to El Refugio del Burrito is FREE.
    Open daily from 11am until 7pm

    To find us, take the road to Antequera from Malaga. Then follow the signs to Seville, taking the A92 motorway. Take the junction 132 to Fuente de Piedra and head into the village, turning left next to the Hotel Conde de la Laguna. Follow the track and take the second left after passing a large house on your right. We are situated at the end of this track.

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    Dont forget to visit Frigiliana

    by Beach_dog Updated Feb 24, 2010

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    The narrow streets

    A small picturesque village just 10 minutes from Nerja. I would regard it as a must visit place in the region. The small white houses cascade down a steep hillside. It been kept remarkably tidy and no new modern buildings spoil this little village. You really get a feel of what Andalucian life must have been like in the past and will feel you have walked into a time capsule. The village was also the site of a battle in centuries past between the Moors and the Christians, the story of the battle is told in the ornate tiled signs located throughout the village.

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    • Archeology

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  • Barco de Chanquete 'La Dorada'

    by nettyfitz Written Jun 21, 2008
    Barco de Chanquete 'La Dorada'
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    This boat is in the Parque Verano Azul which has a lovely children's playground. The boat symbolises the tourist expansion in Nerja and appeared in the television serie 'Verano Azul' directed by Antonio Mercero at the beginning of 1980.

    The park is situated on the Ant. Ferrandis 'Chanquette' which is on the left of the map of Nerja which you can obtain from the Tourist Information Centre.

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  • Factory 'San Miguel'

    by nettyfitz Written Jun 19, 2008
    The plaque at the Sugar Factory ruin.
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    This is part of the ruined building of the Sugar Factor. Mr Miguel Sanchez bought this on land purchased from Larios. He died in 1869 and the building reverted back to Larios.

    The sugar factory ruin is quite near to the Coaching tapas bar.

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  • La Peña de la Coches de Caballeros, Rio Chillar, N

    by nettyfitz Written Jun 19, 2008

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    La Pe��a de la Coches de Caballeros
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    This very Spanish tapas bar is used by the drivers of the coaches and horses in Nerja which take visitors around the town. If you buy a drink, you get free tapas. I think the food is free on a Friday night too. When we visited, we were the only ones there, but it was interesting to be in such a quaint place. The horses are stabled in very humble conditions next to the bar, but despite the simplicity of their stables, they look to be in wonderful condition.

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    Caves!

    by Classic73 Written Jul 13, 2007

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    Just outside Nerja (50 km east of Malaga) are some of the largest underground caves in Europe, sporting a maze of enourmous stalagmites and stalagtites. If you're lucky you might even be able to catch an opera or something similar in this spectacular setting. Set an hour aside for some amateur-spelunking! Probably too many stairs for the old or impaired though...

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    torrox costa lunch

    by j.parry1 Written Oct 8, 2006

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    an ideal lunch idea if you have a car. travell west from nerja to torrox costa only about 10 mins and enjoy sardines on beachside grill at one of the many resturants along side a beautiful beach. you can park car right next to beach bars

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