16th European Conference on Object-Oriented Programming
University of Málaga, Spain
June 10-14, 2002
General information > Local information > Excursions
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A good idea to start with is to visit Ronda. Ronda is one of Andalucia's loveliest and most romantic towns, steeped in history. It stands on a towering plateau in the mountains of Malaga Province, and is famous through Spain for the river gorge which divides the medieval from the 18th century parts of the town. This gorge is known as El Tajo – The Cliff and is spanned by a stone bridge, which once housed a prison. Visitors love to peer down into the gorge, to see the waters of the River Guadalevín.
Ronda is also famous for its bullring, the oldest, and the most beautiful one in Spain; the arena itself is also the country's largest. When there are no fights, the bullring is open to visitors, and has a fascinating museum with many mementos of Spain's most renowned bullfighters. Ronda is located 50 km – 1 hour's drive - from San Pedro de Alcantara on the Coast. The road winds up through the mountains of the Sierra Bermeja, and then descends into the Serrania de Ronda and the town itself. One of the most charming and fascinating towns in Andalucia, it is very popular with day-trippers from the Costa del Sol, and has a wide range of cafés and restaurants. However, it retains all of its traditional charm and languid atmosphere.
Perhaps the best known part of Málaga province is its highly developed costal strip named the Costa del Sol. West from the City and the airport we drive through the developments Torremolinos, Fuengirola, Marbella and lastly Estepona. The 100km of coastline westward from Malaga to the Cadiz provincial border. The coast is highly developed from the point of view of international tourism. Communications revolve around Malaga International Airport ( 8 km west of the city) and the N340 backbone coast highway.
Here you can find the most complete entertainment variety in Europe. The abundance of facilities, the wonderful climate and the hospitality of the people make the Costa del Sol the most all year round tourist destination in Europe. From the renowned Parque de Attractions Tivoli to the two gambling casinos - plus water funparks, zoos, and numerous magnificent well kept beaches (The average water temperature is 18 C -and 24 C in August-). There are no shortage of places to enjoy yourself on the Costa del Sol.
The eastern Costa del Sol, though highly developed
for a tourist point of view, it is not anything like the western side.
Most hotel accommodation is centred around the area of Nerja. From
Malaga eastwards there are cliffs of up to 200m where the Sierra Almijara
joins the sea. This section ends at Mara on a coastal plain. It has an
urban landscape surrounded by traditional agriculture. Nerja is the most
important centre on the coast and has grown rapidly. it is surrounded
with tourist pueblos. Nerja is famous because of the Nerja
The coast is backed by a series mountains that have to be crossed to reach the inland fertile valleys. The main A92 motorway runs inland from Malaga to Antequera, the C339 winds inland from San Pedro to Ronda. Areas worth visiting are the Serranía de Ronda and all its pretty white villages peppered accross the landscape. The Sierra de las Nieves and Montes de Malaga nature parks, not forgetting El Torcal park with its unusual rock formations that credit it with being some of the most beautiful and impressive limestone landscapes in Europe. El Chorro is Malaga's lake district.
Within El Torcal Park's 17 square km are some of the most beautiful and impressive limestone landscapes in Europe. The whole area was under sea until one hundred million years ago. Then the violent movements of the Earth's crust forced it upward into hills and mountains up to 1.300 m, the limestone still kept its layered horizontal formation. Because of this, over the millions of years the rain and wind have been able to chisel away at these layers to form incredible shapes.
To reach the heart of the park it is possible to drive up to 1.100 m. above sea level along a good access road into the park. Simply go to the village of Villanueva de la Concepcion and follow the sign to El Torcal out of the town about 1 km. At the parking area you will find an information centre, small museum, with an interesting of wildlife, flora and fauna of the park. Orchid enthusiasts will be captivated by the 30 varieties of the plant growing in the park.
Three routes through the park for walkers have been
marked out with different coloured arrows on wooden sticks. The green
route is the shortest and easiest, 1,5 km. and takes about 30 minutes.
The yellow route covers most of the green area, is 2,5 km. long and takes
you to "Las Ventanillas" The Windows, at 1.200 m. for panoramic views
of the valley of Malaga. Finally the red route is the longest and most
difficult, 4,5 km. taking about three hours, with a viewing point 1.339
m. up where you can see the whole of the El Torcal Park and the Africa
Coastline. You need good walking shoes or trainers, in the warm months
take a bottle of water.
Until around a decade ago the Axarquía region of Andalucía was little known. Then, northern European expatriates discovered the pretty hilltop village of Cómpeta, started buying up some of the run-down 'fincas' and farmhouses in the area and putting it on the map.
Today, rural tourism comprises a large part of the local economy. However, the area is still breathtakingly beautiful and has not been spoilt by the interest and influx of foreigners. The main attractions are the area's dramatic hill and mountain scenery, its unspoilt, white washed villages and the strong sweet wine that is made from sun dried grapes. Because of the region's sub-tropical climate, this is also a region where some of the more tropical fruits, such as mango and kiwi are grown.
The Axarquía is excellent for hiking and several companies now run walking holidays from the UK, centred around Competa. Horse trekking is similarly very popular here. The landscape is riven by deep valleys lined with terraces and irrigation channels that date back to Muslim times. Nearly all the villages that dot the olive, almond and vine planted hillsides are of Muslim origin with narrow, windy streets. La Axarquía joined the 1569 Morisco rebellion and afterwards its inhabitants were replaced with Christians from farther north.
Signposted routes with names like Ruta del Vino link
groups of villages in one-day drives along the snaking mountain roads.
The so called capital of the area is Vélez Málaga,
4 kms north of Torre del Mar and which fairly unremarkable, although
the hill-top Muslim castle is worth using up some camera film. The highest
mountains in the area stretch east from the Boquete de Zafarraya.
The Guadalhorce river, after collecting the Antequeran region's water and crossing the Desfiladero de los Gaitanes range, matures and forms its own valley, the Guadalhorce, which is the most important one in Málaga. This valley is both a pathway and fertile corridor for gardens and people and an amphitheatre to the sierras which hold its waters, its shelter and its landscape. The gardens are speckled with work-houses and farm-houses, crossed by roads, pathways, railways and canals.
They cover the bottom of the valley and climb in plots over the hillocks. Coin sits within the Guadalhorce Valley. It is a principality within the region of Malaga. Because of it's quite unique geographical location, it has it's own micro-climate and has an abundance of water.