DAY BY DAY ITINERARY - WHERE YOU STAY
Finca del Cerillo AAAA
Canillas de Albaida
Situated in the heart of the southern Andalucian province of Axarquia, and on the edge of the Tejeda National Park, the Finca el Cerrillo is an absolute gem of a place to stay. Run by Sue and Gordon Kind along with manager - chef, Christine, and dog, Sybil, it is a comfortably restored 200-year old farmhouse (it was used as an olive mill between 1805 and 1960).
There are just thirteen individually styled air-conditioned en-suite rooms - all south-facing. The living areas include a wonderfully atmospheric beamed lounge - cool in the summer and kept cozy on winter nights with blazing log fire - dining room, small library and 'honesty' bar. Outside, the terraced gardens, with 100-year old carob and palm trees surround both sunny and shaded patios. The pool affords stunning views of the valley below and the pretty Moorish village of Archez with its 13th century Moorish tower.
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Day 1 Arrive at Canillas de Albaida
We meet you at Malaga airport and take (1 hour) you to Canillas de Albaida. (Staying at the Finca el Cerrillo, Half Board)
Day 2 Competa Walk 6km/4mi/3hr
A 5 minute transfer takes us to the church of Santa Ana in Canillas de Albaida from where we head towards Competa passing smallholdings with avocados, maize, artichoke and citrus trees. We stop at the Bodega Almijara where Maria will show us around and explain about wine making in the region. Of course you'll get to enjoy a taste! It's then on to Competa for a tapas lunch in the lively main square, Plaza Almijara. We wind our way back to Santa Ana Church and either take the transfer back to the hotel or continue walking along the mule path from the village back to the Finca.(Staying at the Finca el Cerrillo, Half Board)
Day 3 Sedella Walk 6km/4mi/3hr
Today we head to the white village of Sedella where a track takes us above the village passing Roman terraces, still farmed today. We head up through almond groves to the Molino de Montosa, beneath the imposing La Maroma (2096m) the highest peak in the region. On a clear day we can see North Africa's Rif Mountains. It's big bird country here too with regular sightings of griffon vultures and other birds of prey. After stopping for a picnic, watched over by a statue of a vulture, we head back down to Sedella and enjoy a cool drink in Salvador's bar before heading back for a lazy afternoon by the pool or in the library. (Staying at the Finca el Cerrillo, Half Board)
Day 4 Independent exploring in Malaga
Today we take you to the beautiful city of Malaga where you have the day to explore at your leisure. Your starting point is the Castillo de Gibralfaro, a Moorish fortress with spectacular views to the port and town below. From here venture down into the old town where you can explore the Alcazaba, the Moorish Palace next to the Roman ruins. The C16 Cathedral is in the heart of the old town and a short distance from here is the Picasso museum with over 200 of the artist's paintings on display. (Staying at the Finca el Cerrillo, Half Board)
Day 5 Salares and the Arroyo Valley 5km/3mi/2hr
We head along a track through olives and citrus groves before dropping down past the bat house with resident horseshoe bats. Then it's time to continue on alongside woodland, listening out for the river running beneath us and watching out for golden orioles. We enter Salares over the Arabic bridge which provides a great photo opportunity! There is an interesting church, Santa Ana, still bearing an old Moorish minaret. Lunch is taken at Theo's bar before a transfer back to the Finca. (Staying at the Finca el Cerrillo, Half Board)
Day 6 Nerja Caves and Gorge Walk 7km/4.5mi/2.5hr
A 45 minute transfer takes us to the spectacular Cuevas de Nerja where a 750m walkway takes us through a series of caves to a large column 32 meters high. We then head back out to start our walk along the Barranco de Maro. Wildflowers line the gorge with amazing rocky overhangs providing shady spots. After lunch explore Nerja town where you can people watch from the Balcon de Europa, a rocky promontory made famous by King Alfonso XII. Relax on the beach or head to Nerja museum to discover more about the caves. Then back to the Finca before dinner in a local restaurant. (Staying at the Finca el Cerrillo, Half Board)
Day 7 Loma del Daire 8km/5mi/4hr
Today is all about views - a 4x4 drive takes us into the Sierra de Alhama Natural Park where we stop at a viewpoint - a stunning vista of jagged peaks and the coast. The drive and the views continue until we reach the start point for the walk. We begin with a gentle climb surrounded by cistus, rosemary, thyme and an abundance of wildflowers. The trail flattens and contours round the mountain, below Cero Verde, before meeting up with the historic silk trail taking us into Granada province and returning to the viewpoint. (Staying at the Finca el Cerrillo, Half Board)
Day 8 Leave Canillas de Albaida
We take you back to Malaga airport after breakfast.
Walks are along mule paths and tracks with some short ascents and descents. Transport is provided most days to get you to the start of the walk or back to the hotel.