Overlooking Nerja is the Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama Natural Park. It is a beautiful park of green valleys, jagged ridges and scenic viewpoints. It is also a favorite of hikers from all over the province of Malaga.
In this post I cover 3 great hikes – to 3 different peaks – that can be done from Nerja. I don’t have a car and a lot of travellers coming here won’t either. So the idea with this post was to highlight hikes that are accessible to people without their own wheels.
El Cielo is the best known and most popular of the hikes around Nerja.
At 1508 meters high, it is located 6 km from the coast. It is a tough hike in terms of endurance (4 hours one way to get to the top) but from the peak you have glorious views of the coastline and the mountain ranges that continue beyond.
Another thing going for El Cielo is its accessibility. You can hike this starting from the Nerja Caves (which are easy to get to from Nerja by either bus or the tourist tram).
Negatives: for me the biggest negative is that half of the hike is along a park road. That’s a bit boring. Around the 2 hour mark however you get onto a scenic trail. The views only get better the further you go up. There is a loop option, a way down that’s different than the way up but most people go up/down along the same path.
Much more detail on hiking El Cielo
Almendron is a fantastic hike with great views. The hike is a loop which means you never get the same view twice. Tons of variety and beauty. I love this hike.
It is just a few meters higher than El Cielo at 1514 meters and takes about the same time (about 7 to 8 hours to do the whole thing).
Negatives: the biggest issue with this hike is the accessibility. Yes, you can walk to it from the Nerja caves but the actual trail starts deeper in the park than El Cielo (It’s about 5 km from the Caves to the trailhead along the park road). If walking from the Nerja Caves expect to add about an hour (both ways) to the hike – making it a 9 to 10 hour hike. If you have a car you can shave that time off by driving into the park (but only from November to May. Otherwise the road is closed to cars).
Almendron is my favorite of the 3 hikes listed here.
Much more detail on hiking Almendron
El Fuerte is the easiest and most accessible of the hikes.
The starting point is the town of Frigiliana (which you should visit. It’s a pretty town). It’s an easy 10 minute bus ride from Nerja. Once in town you’re about 15 minutes from the official start of the trail…from there it’ll take you between 2 and 2 ½ hours to reach the 963 meter peak of El Fuerte.
An easy and scenic hike, it’s much easier than either El Cielo or Almendron. You’ll be finished in about half the time, leaving you time to explore Frigiliana, have a beer, and take the bus back to Nerja.
Much more detail on hiking El Fuerte
Another hike I should mention…
It’s also in the Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama Natural Park but it’s not close to Nerja. It’s La Maroma, the highest peak in the park and the highest peak in Malaga province at 2069 meters.
You need your own wheels though – although there are different approaches to the peak, the best trail to La Maroma is on the northwestern side of the park not far from Alhama de Granada. It’ll take you about an hour of driving to get to the trailhead.
It’s a fantastic hike though.
Do you have a favorite hike in the region?
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Related: A Walking Tour of Nerja (Video)
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thanks for sharing Frank. Spain seems to have a LOT for those who like to hike! I like the look of the Fuerte hike, and the beautiful town of Frigiliana!
Lots of beautiful geography in Southern Spain! 🙂