Nerja, Spain Holiday - February 2018
In what has become an annual Winter event, 14 Footprint members flew from various points in the UK to enjoy a walking holiday in warmer climes. On this occasion Nerja, 40 miles along the coast from Malaga in Spain (named for its abundant springs – from the Arabic narixa). The area offered a variety of walks in the Axaquia and Alpujarra regions as well as walking in snow and along the coast.
The group had comfortable accommodation at the Nerja Club Hotel and getting to the walks was achieved by using both local transport and hired cars. Although a little cooler than usual for the time of year, the weather was pleasant and coats an optional extra (for most).
Day One / Monday
The group used public transport/bus to travel to Frigiliana, a typical and popular Spanish village. After a coffee stop at a pleasant Spanish café, the group split into two parties.
The A party walked out of the village, dropping down to a river crossing before walking uphill, then contouring around and dropping into another valley. Here we encountered another river, rather wider and faster flowing than the previous river which was more difficult to cross. Once on the other side the group had a strenuous uphill walk out of the valley before hitting a forestry track. After walking along the track for several miles we came to the Nerja Caves (visited by the group on a previous holiday) from where we caught the bus back to the hotel. A classic walk, of 8.5miles, 3129 feet of ascent and taking approximately 6 hours.
The B group remained in Frigiliana to explore the village and nearby paths.
Day Two / Tuesday
The group used cars to drive to Pampaneira - the start of the walk. From here the group walking together as one group made a slight uphill climb before walking along a magical snow covered path with marvellous views to reach Bubion – a quiet Spanish hamlet. Here the group made a coffee stop before following a slightly lower path back to the cars and a lunch break. The afternoon was spent exploring Lanjaron, a spa town famous for producing bottled water. The town is dotted with fountains each sporting a short poem by Frederico Garcia Lorca, a famous Spanish writer. A morning's walk of 2.69 miles, 1060 feet of ascent lasting 2 and a half hours with an afternoon of sightseeing.
Day Three / Wednesday
The third day of walking and this time a coastal walk from La Herradura to Almunecar and back. The start of the walk was delayed as one car and occupants took a longer, scenic route before they realised they had overshot the turnoff (courtesy of Miss SatNav). This meant the other cars and walkers had to wait for the errant car – this they did sat in a beach side café drinking coffee and admiring the sea and views which they managed with good humour and no obvious hardship. Towards the end of the walk several of the group made a detour to explore a local Marina stopping for yet more coffee. When ready to leave Malcolm went to pay the bill but mistook a passing delivery man for the waiter and, to the delivery man’s surprise, tried to press the money for the bill into his hand. After the delivery man refused the money the waiter was located, the bill paid and the group left, in high humour.
Day Four / Thursday
A non- walking day and the group travelled in various directions to pursue different interests.
Debbie, Hilary, Gail and Brian used one of the cars to travel to the Alhambra near Granada – a Moorish palace and fortress and a Unesco World Heritage Site well worth visiting. Well done Debbie for bravely driving both ways.
Richard, Rosie, Roger, Andy and Jaqui visited Antequere, a Spanish town famous for two Dolmens - earth covered burial mounds, the largest 25 metres in diameter and 4 metres high. The Dolmens are a Unesco World Heritage Site. The group also had time to visit the old castle ruins and some local Roman archaeology.
Colin, Malcolm, Eva and Greg visited the nearby Nerja caves. The prehistoric caves, stretching over 5 kilometres contain several large caverns which have numerous cave paintings. The largest cavern houses the world’s largest stalagmite of 32 metres.
Dave explored Nerja and completed a walk along the coast.
Day Five / Friday
The group drove inland in a North West direction to Salares - a picture perfect Spanish village with small whitewashed houses nestling in the valley, where the group had to step to one side on a narrow street to allow a donkey to pass.
The walk formed a figure of eight – the A group completing both loops, the B group completing the first loop then exploring the village.
After the obligatory stop for coffee the group followed a winding path through the village, crossing a river via a river and then walking uphill in a zig-zag fashion. Along the way we passed trees heavily laden with lemons and avocados. On reaching the top we contoured around derelict buildings (perhaps previously only accessed on foot or mule) to hear shouting and bells in the distance and spotting a shepherd (or goatherd) rounding up his flock. After a lunch stop we completed a loop to return to the original bridge crossing. From here the group again walked uphill and along a ridge before reaching a wide track which led us back to the village. completing a second loop. The second section of the walk was lined by olive and almond trees.
A delightful walk of 6.23 miles, 2114 feet of ascent lasting 4 and a quarter hours.
Day Six / Saturday
The last day of the holiday and arguably the best walk of the week. The group again went to Frigiliana this time using the cars. Winding our way out of Frigiliana the group climbed El Fuente – a popular peak in the area. The walk to the top was rewarded with wonderful views from the summit. The group then followed the same path down to the village – a fitting end to a wonderful weeks walking. Another classic walk of 6.23 miles, 2460 ascent/descent lasting 5 hours and 20 minutes
To Colin for organising the trip.
To Richard for organising car hire and walks.
To Richard, Greg and Colin for leading the walks.
To Richard, Colin, Brian, Debbie, Eva and Andy for driving.
To Colin and Hilary for supplying evening entertainment.
To all for being good company.