Do you need some help choosing the best things to do in Axarquía?
It’s entirely possible that you’ve never heard of this little-known region. Maybe you even need a hand pronouncing its name (a-shar-KEY-a, by the way!).
If that sounds like you, then you’ve come to the right place: we’re here to tell you everything you need to know about Málaga’s best-kept secret, and share our pick of the best things to do in Axarquía.
Axarquía is a treat for all the senses: narrow streets open out onto white sand beaches, mysterious caverns run for miles under rugged mountains, and everywhere the air is imbued with the sweet scents of wine and raisins.
With around 320 days of sunshine per year, this breathtaking hidden gem is the perfect place to escape the crowds no matter the season.
The subtropical coast enjoys pleasant temperatures of 25°C in summer and around 10°C in winter, while in the valleys and high mountains cooler temperatures make for perfect hiking weather.
Enjoy famous delicacies such as gazpacho, or be adventurous and try lesser-known regional treats such as ajoblanco (chilled garlic and almond soup) or chivo al horno (oven-baked goat).
Sounds good? Then get ready, because we’re here to let you in on Málaga’s best-kept secret.
6 best things to do in Axarquía: Mountains, Moors and Muscatel!
Looking at flights already? Put your trip planning hat on, because we’re about to give you our pick of the 6 best things to do in Axarquía…
#1 Vélez-Málaga Walking Tour
With its fascinating blend of Moorish and Christian heritage, Vélez-Málaga is the perfect place to discover the history and traditions of Andalusia.
Our knowledgeable local guide will take you on a journey back in time, through the winding streets of the Moorish era to the monasteries and churches of the Catholic Reconquest and the manors and palaces of the Golden Age.
The tour finishes in true Spanish style: with a glass of wine and a couple of delicious tapas at a local bar!
#2 Tropical Tour
There’s no need to go all the way to the Caribbean to enjoy a holiday in the tropics: Spain’s Costa Tropical has it all!
This delicious day trip takes you to a subtropical plantation, where a local farmer will give you the inside scoop on all the colourful tropical fruits that are grown there.
After the tour, you will enjoy brunch with a view: a delicious platter of tropical fruits, finished off with a fruit sorbet, in a breathtaking spot overlooking the sea.
Next, you’ll head back to Vélez-Málaga, where you’ll visit a fruit farmer cooperative and try even more tropical fruit!
#3 Wine & Raisin Tour
Have you tried Axarquía’s famous muscatel wine?
This sweet fortified wine is made using muscat grapes, which are grown in the region’s lush valleys. Blue skies, beautiful scenery, the aromatic smell of grapes in the air…
It’s not hard to see why a wine tour is one of the best things to do in Axarquía!
On this tour, you will explore the region’s fragrant vineyards, before visiting a local winery, where you can discover the traditional methods and tools that local farmers once used to harvest the precious grapes, and sample three locally-produced wines.
And since you can’t have wine without tapas, you’ll finish the tour with a delicious tapas lunch, washed down with two different kinds of wine!
#4 Viñuela Lake bike tour
The diverse landscapes of Axarquía are the perfect place for an adventure!
On this tour, we’ll be heading up to the beautiful Viñuela Lake for a guided bike tour with views over the Sierra Tejeda, and the white villages that dot the green mountainside.
We’ll provide your bike and helmet: you just need to enjoy the ride.
#5 El Saltillo hiking trail
You heard it here first – El Saltillo is Málaga’s newest “must-hike” trail!
The route made headlines in October 2020 with the opening of its brand-new hanging bridge: the third-longest in Spain, and a dizzying 79m above the ground.
Take a deep breath of the sweet scent of pine forest, and hold it while you cross the vertiginous suspension bridges that hang from the vertical cliff wall!
#6 Catamaran Trip
It is time to relax and enjoy a great mediterranean experience!
Probably you have seen the beautiful coast of the Axarquía, but to see it from the other side is a completely different experience. And if you are lucky, you will enjoy the company of dolphins around the catamaran.
Depending on the season you can enjoy both a morning tour or a sunset one. A very romantic moment, yes!
You can also enjoy a dip in the endless sea and a tinto de verano in your hand. And how about enjoying a delicious paella cooked on board, some snorkeling and views to the beautiful Maro Beach Cliffs and its waterfall?
White villages and winding streets: Discover Axarquía’s most picturesque towns!
The region’s Arabic name evokes its fascinating history: Axarquía remained under Moorish rule until well into the 15th century.
The influence of Arabic architectural styles can clearly be seen in the maze-like streets, whitewashed houses and fortified walls of the famous “pueblos blancos” (“white villages”).
Strolling the quiet streets of these charming traditional towns is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Axarquía.
One of the most famous of these is the village of Frigiliana, which clings to the mountainside of the Sierra de Tejeda, its brilliant white houses overlooking the sparkling blue waters of the Mediterranean.
Lose yourself in the labyrinth of ancient cobblestone streets, or watch traditional artisans weaving beautiful pieces out of esparto grass, just as they have been doing for centuries.
Head down from the mountains to the coast and you’ll find Nerja, a beautiful seaside town surrounded by rugged coves.
The spectacular Balcony of Europe offers endless views over the Mediterranean sea, while the famous Nerja Caves conceal the oldest work of art known to man.
Venture back inland and up into the high mountains to visit Comares, a photographer’s dream of a town!
Perched high atop a cliff, this little town once served as a lookout point, thanks to the panoramic views that it offers over the whole province of Axarquía.
Nowadays, you can still visit the ancient Moorish fortress, and the most daring visitors can escape their enemies by riding the longest zipline in Spain!
Finish your tour of Axarquía with a visit to the region’s capital city, Vélez-Málaga.
Take a trip back in time with a stroll around the city’s old quarter and admire the fabulous Mudejar palaces, churches and manor houses, or enjoy a day by the seaside in the coastal suburb of Torre del Mar, where the sun shines all year round.
Visit Axarquía with Plan A: an authentic local experience
At Plan A, we are all Axarquía locals who are head over heels in love with our home, and we’re so excited to share our pick of the best things to do in Axarquía with you!
On our small-group tours, we will show you everything this spectacular region has to offer and introduce you to our own, secret Andalusia: beautiful, authentic, and far away from the crowds.
We can take care of all the details of your trip, and offer you our expert advice in English, Spanish or German: all you’ll need to worry about is what to pack!
Are you ready to discover the best things to do in Axarquía for yourself? Whether you’re into hiking, history or gastronomy, Málaga’s best-kept secret has something for everyone.