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Hiking in Malaga: The Best Hiking Routes to Discover Malaga’s Nature

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The hiking routes in Malaga are very varied. You only have to consider how, in just a few minutes, you can find yourself on the beach or surrounded by mountains. Malaga’s terrain provides you with hiking routes for children and adults, by the rivers or in the mountains, for beginners or experts. But one thing is for sure: fun, natural beauty and experiences are assured.

Do you want to know which local hiking routes we recommend you in Alcazaba Premium Hostel? Prepare the backpack, boots, sun protection and water, because we go hiking in Malaga!

  1. Mount Gribalfaro
  2. Sendero Torrijos
  3. La Rahige
  4. Roman Theatre, Acinipo
  5. El Torcal, Antquera
  6. Guadalhorce Footbridge, Malaga
  7. Wolf’s Glen, Torremolinos
  8. Pico del Cielo, Alhama
  9. Senda Litoral, El Palo – Rincón de la Victoria
  10. Mount San Antón
  11. Parque del Morlaco
  12. Salto de la Rejía

1) Hiking in Malaga: A Route Through Mount Gibralfaro

This short path starts almost at the door of our hostel in Malaga downtown. It traverses emblematic places such as Gibralfaro Castle, its pine forests and varied viewpoints. Besides, this path surrounds the Alcazaba and ends at the little known Puerta Oscura Gardens and the recently restored Roman Theatre.

If you are new to hiking in Malaga, there is no better option than this route. Adults and children will learn and discover the local history while they wander more than 2000 years of history. The Gibralfaro Castle, 1340; the Alcazaba, 1063; the Roman Theatre, 7th century B.C.; all of this without forgetting that all these monuments and historical remains are based on the ancient Phoenician city of Malaka. In fact, what today is the castle, the centre of interest of this hiking route in Malaga, housed the Phoenician lighthouse before. The name of this enclave derives from this construction: Jbel-Faro literally means “lighthouse mountain”.

Let us recommend you our favourite hiking route in Malaga. From Alcazabilla street, head north toward Plaza de la Merced. From there, walk up Mundo Nuevo street and enter the pine forest area to easily walk up to the top of Mount Gibralfaro, crowned with its castle. When you reach the top, you could visit the castle or enjoy the panoramic view of Malaga from the various viewpoints. During the descent, you will pass through Puerta Oscura Gardens. You can finish your hiking route here with a visit to the Alcazaba and an energizing meal at Batik restaurant in our boutique hostel.

2) Sendero Torrijos: Hiking Route Through the Natural Park Montes de Malaga

This hiking route in Malaga is located in the heart of the Natural Park Montes de Malaga. Each step brings you closer to the history and life of this capital area. The Sendero Torrijos (a trail) is a route of no more than a kilometre, but you can make it longer if you want, thanks to the extensive network of paths that forms the natural park. If you seek adventures and look forward to experience the trekking in Malaga, this is your chance. The starting point is the Lagar de Torrijos (a winepress), built in 1843. Today it has become an Ecomuseum where you can learn everything about wine, bread and oil production in a traditional way.

Furthermore, this hiking route through the Montes de Malaga goes along the Arroyo Chaperas (a stream) and it has a barbecue area where you can enjoy outdoors with the whole family and friends during the autumn and winter seasons, when the risk of fire finishes (we recommend to consult the authorities).

The most adventurous can spend the night in the restricted camping area of Torrijos. A perfect way to completely discover this spot, to traverse more close paths and to find the remains of ancient winepresses, such as Benefique, or buried jars, where must was stored to its fermentation.

An authentic hiking route through the history of the Montes de Malaga.

3) La Rahige, a Trekking Route in Malaga by the Almanchares River

This trekking route in Malaga is a true marvel for the senses and still, for better or worse, a secret to many people. The footbridges of El Saltillo and the environment of La Rahige are located in the villages of Canillas de Aceituno and Sedella, in the north-eastern corner of La Axarquía region. At the foot of the Sierra de Tejeda (mountains), famous for its Tejeda peak (more popularly known as La Maroma), this route traverses the course of the river Almanchares.

The most experimented hiking groups in Malaga recommend starting at the town hall of Canillas de Aceituno toward the peak of the mountains. When you reach a ditch, you’ll know you are on the right track. This is where a flat path begins toward the area of La Rahige. The different footbridges leave Canillas de Aceituno behind in the direction of Sedella and a magnificent panoramic view of La Axarquía opens up with La Viñuela reservoir as a backdrop.

The footbridges are secure, despite the visible deterioration, but it is also important to know that these footbridges can be avoided at the most difficult stretches by means of a parallel path leading to the destination. The Almanchares river and its crystal-clear pools offer the opportunity to take a deserved and refreshing bath.

This hiking route in Malaga also gives us another perspective of the local flora and fauna. Here you can see pines, wild olive trees, esparto grass, thyme and palmetto, among other plant species. But the looks focus on the mountain goat, which can easily be seen in the environment (especially in the early hours of the day). Other inhabitants of the area are the wild boar, more elusive, the eagles or the griffon vulture.

4) Roman Theatre in Ronda – Ruins of Acinipo

In the province’s far northwest lies one of Malaga’s historical treasures. Join us on one of the best hiking routes from Malaga’s Roman theatre to the Roman theatre of Acinipo or “Ronda la Vieja” (Old Ronda). Located on a gorge in the Serranía de Ronda, between the towns of Ronda (20 km away) and Setenil de las Bodegas (Cadiz, 10 km away), this historic site in excellent condition encourages to stroll through its fields and its surroundings.

The archaeological site already offers a route of about 3 km along the perimeter of the wall, next to the remains of houses and public buildings such as the thermal baths. But without the slightest doubt, the main attraction of Acinipo is its theatre, the best preserved element. With an intelligent use of the hillside’s slope where it is located, it allows you to admire the construction and, on its back, the gorge that rises over the surrounding farmland. With any luck, you will be able to enjoy the vultures flying over the place.

For the most demanding hikers, the visit can be combined with a more extensive hiking route of about 10 km along trails surrounded by vineyards to the nearby Setenil de las Bodegas with its unique streets and houses carved into the rock.

5) Hiking Route in Torcal de Antequera

One of the favourite places for trekking in Malaga is the Torcal de Antequera. The Torcal is a unique natural site and, as if that were not enough, it is also declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is the perfect place for hiking routes in Malaga for all ages and experience levels. Lovers of nature, geology, fossils, flora and fauna will find everything they are looking for in this little piece of paradise.

The impressive karstic landscape was created by the force of the sea, as the entire park was submerged in the Tethys Sea 200 million years ago. This explains the presence of skeletons, shells and carapaces of sea creatures in the interior of Malaga at 1200 metres of altitude.

The park has three proposals of the best hiking routes classified by green, yellow and red, according to their difficulty, accessibility and extent. You can also participate in guided tours by geologists and expert naturalists.

At the park entrance, which you can reach by car or bus, there is a very complete interpreting centre where you will find the detailed history of the place and information about the fauna, flora and activities it offers. In addition, in summer you can enjoy night tours and astronomy sessions. Don’t you think it is an amazing experience of hiking in Malaga that no one should miss?

6) Guadalhorce Footbridge – Desembocadura del Guadalhorce Natural Park

Without leaving the capital we have a small treasure hidden in the western end. The Guadalhorce river estuary holds a wetland in which, throughout the year, water and wild birds can be observed. Also in times of migration you could see large migratory birds that prepare for crossing the Mediterranean in search of better temperatures in Africa or, on the other hand, that take a break in spring after the difficult task of crossing to our coasts. The variety of birds that can be admired in this natural landscape includes storks, coots, flamingos, ruddy ducks, royal herons, cormorants, bee-eaters and hoopoes, to name just a few.

The Desembocadura del Guadalhorce Natural Park provides a hassle-free and accessible hiking route in Malaga. It is part of the Gran Senda de Malaga (Great Malaga Path) and has recently hosted more and more locals and visitors thanks to the installation of a new wooden footbridge that connects the capital with this place in a simple and fast way. Just a few years ago we had to make a great detour. Oh! And it’s the largest wooden footbridge in Europe. What do you think?

The environment, although limited, offers a labyrinth of small trails that also connect with the nearby beach of Guadalmar. Among the different wetlands, hikers can find various observatories that allow them to approach the birds without being seen and, of course, without disturbing them.

7) La Cañada del Lobo: Hiking Route Near Malaga

In this beautiful hiking route, you can walk among pine trees as well as oaks, cork oaks, palms and olive trees. An authentic paradise of typical Mediterranean flora. In the neighbouring municipality of Torremolinos, a few minutes by car, train or bus from the capital of Malaga, this wonderful and hidden natural park offers you a climb to viewpoints that will show you some of the most enviable panoramic views of the Costa del Sol.

La Cañada del Lobo or “Wolf’s Glen” is crowned by a sculpture of a howling wolf in the middle of a viewpoint. This area is ideal for mountain and outdoor sports, as evidenced by the many cyclists and runners that you can find on the trail network. All these trails are well signposted and at the top, you can find accommodation and hostel services. It is an ideal place for the most experienced hikers and also to spend a day with the family because the trails let you adapt to the difficulty and the intensity of the route. It is ideal for touring in September and October when the days are not yet very short nor very cold. In winter, from the viewpoint, you can admire the snow on the summits of Almijara, Tejeda and, further in the background, Sierra Nevada.

8) Hiking in Pico del Cielo, Sierra de Almijara

This beautiful route through the Natural Park of Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama will allow us to climb one of the most characteristic peaks of the coastal panorama of the province of Malaga. Its characteristic pyramid shape gives a name to this summit of the eastern end of the Axarquia.

It is a hiking route of medium-high difficulty, mainly due to its last meters of steep ascent and its technical terrain. The path starts from two points: the parking lot of the famous Cuevas de Nerja or, higher up, in the Pinarillo picnic area. This second option allows the excursion to be shortened considerably. You can get to the caves car park by public bus and to the Pinarillo area in your car or by taxi from the caves.

Being a hiking route in Malaga and with a certain level of difficulty, this excursion is recommended for the period from autumn to spring, when it is less hot and does not affect so much the absence of shades on almost the entire route. With its 1500 meters of maximum altitude, this trekking route will make you feel at the top of the world.

9) Litoral trail, El Candado – Rincón de la Victoria

Welcome to the Gran Senda in Malaga! This is considered the first section of the Gran Senda (Great Route) that runs through the main points of interest in the province of Malaga. With a markedly urban character, it also travels through some natural treasures of the Malaga coast such as the Peñón del Cuervo (Crow Rock) or El Cantal and its cliffs.

You can start this route from our hotel in downtown Malaga. Go through Paseo del Parque and join the path from Muello Uno or the promenade of La Malagueta. From there, heading east, your steps will take you to the fishing district of El Palo with its artificial coves. A little further on, we leave the urban environment behind to delve into a landscape of beaches and low cliffs on the Peñón de Cuervo beach. There, from the nearby watchtower in the neighbourhood of La Araña, you can have a spectacular view of the Bay of Malaga. This is where the archaeological site Complejo Humo is located, where you can learn more about the prehistoric inhabitants of the area.

A few meters away is now the municipality of Rincón de la Victoria, which welcomes us with the town of La Cala and its wide promenade. Near the end of this hiking route through Malaga, you will find one of the main attractions of the hike: the cliffs of El Cantal. This enclave allows you to travel, between ramps and stairs, the last stretch of the coast until you reach Rincón de la Victoria. An ideal place to watch sunrise or sunset from its different viewpoints and benches. If accessibility is a problem, you can skip this stretch of cliffs through the old train tunnels. Keep in mind, when planning this route, that it is a linear excursion and that the return journey back will be over our steps.

Now all that’s left is choosing which hiking route in Malaga you like best or which one you want to start with. You have already seen that Malaga has hiking routes for children, easy, technical, hiking routes by the rivers or in the mountains, etc. We won’t say these are the best hiking routes in Malaga. You will decide that. What is clear is that, after visiting these places and enclaves, you will have a broader and deeper vision of the province, its nature and its history.

10) Climb to Mount San Antón: The Best Panoramic View of Malaga

This hiking route is highly recommended for two reasons: on the one hand, it is very easy to do, so you can walk it in the company of children or people who do not have much experience in hiking and, on the other hand, after the climb, you will have a great reward since you will enjoy one of the best panoramic views of the city of Malaga.

As a peculiarity, you should know that Monte de San Antón is part of the Montes de Málaga and that it consists of three peaks and not one (as usual), all of them of great beauty: east peak (507 meters), west summit (491 meters, where the famous cross of Monte de San Antón is located) and the southeast or lower peak (372 meters). During the tour, you will have to decide which of them you want to climb, but do not worry because the road is well signposted and you can identify them during the route.

senderismo en málaga en el monte de san santón

Prepare your water reserves and sun protection. Now, if you don’t know which of the peaks to climb, we recommend that you choose the route that reaches the western summit or route of the Cross of San Antón. You will have the opportunity to enjoy a beautiful viewpoint from which you can see the coast of Malaga. From here you can admire the entire coastline of Malaga. And on clear days, the view extends to the summits of North Africa on the other side of the sea, the Sierras de Mijas and de las Nieves to the west and, to the east, the Sierra Tejeda and Almijara, in addition to the famous Sierra Nevada. During the winter and spring days, you can distinguish it as one of the few snowy peaks in the area. For some reason, it is the southernmost ski resort in Europe. Hiking enthusiasts will be able to see our next proposal from here.

11) Parque del Morlaco – The Lung of the City of Málaga

The forest park of Morlaco is a perfect option to spend a good time in contact with nature without leaving the city of Malaga. It is located in the east of the city, very close to the Pablo Picasso promenade. This makes it very accessible both by car and bus, with lines 11, 3, 33 or 34.

One of the main attractions of this park is that it has 161,720 square meters of the green area where you can enjoy a wide variety of fauna and flora at any time of the year. During your hiking route, you will find leafy wooded areas with wild pines that intermingle with cypresses or eucalyptus, among others. It’s also easy to bump into a red squirrel, a common hedgehog, or see chameleons.

parque el morlanco rutas de senderismo en malaga

Another of the characteristics that we love about this enclosure is that, if you like to go hiking with your pet, in Morlaco park you will find two areas reserved for dogs, one for the smallest (up to 10 kg) and another for the largest. In addition, the entire park is well conditioned with drinking water sources for people and animals, with children’s leisure areas and tables and benches to relax or have a picnic.

If you dare to visit it, do not worry about the entrance because it is completely free. The hours depend on the season: in summer, you can access the enclosure between 8:00 am and 10:00 pm. In winter, the park closes before, at 20:00 h.

As a curious fact, we tell you that this forest park is relatively modern. In its origin, the enclosure housed a plaster mine that was exploited from the eighteenth century to the twentieth century. It was not until the 1950s when the guardian of what was then private property, decided to start planting locust pines and other species until today in this magnificent lung of the city of Málaga. Do you want to discover Malaga’s wildest park?

12) Discover the Salto de la Rejía: The Highest Waterfall in the Province of Malaga

The waterfall of the Rejía, on the river Caballos, is located in the Sierra de las Nieves, in the municipality of Tolox, and is considered the highest in the province of Malaga with more than 50 meters of fall. A natural spectacle that hiking lovers should not miss if they are in this area of the province.

cascada de tolox de ruta de senderismo en malaga

There are several options to reach this enclave, but we recommend the route that follows the path of the Waterfalls, a beautiful approved path where you can enjoy the greatest number of waterfalls in the province of Malaga (Salto de la Rejía, la Virgen and Los Horcajuelos). This route is circular and, due to its difficulty, is recommended for hikers with some experience and good physical condition.

paisaje cascada tolox malaga

During the tour, you can enjoy one of the most beautiful natural spaces in southern Spain, since La Sierra de las Nieves is listed as a Biosphere Reserve. The ravines, gorges and mountain ports complete this unique and different enclave in Andalusia.

The route is simple and well signposted. It starts in Tolox, on the road that starts from Fuente Amargosa and goes up to the port of Las Golondrinas, in a southwest direction. From there you will only have to follow the signs that will guide you along the route and that will take you through the valley of Los Caballos until you reach the waterfalls. 

If you go in summer, we recommend that you carry the swimsuit in your backpack to have a good dip in some of the streams and lagoons that you can find along the way.

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