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Explore the natural beauty of the Nerja River Walk

Explore the natural beauty of the Nerja River Walk

May 27, 2019 Lifestyle

Those of us fortunate enough to live in or regularly visit the Costa del Sol soon realise that this is a region that offers so much more than sand, sea and sun. Yes, the shoreline, restaurants, resorts, nightlife and trendy beach clubs are the focus during the summer months, but all around is a world of culture, history, rural villages, historic towns and bustling cities to explorenot to mention natural splendour in the form of mountains, forests, valleys, rivers, canyons, caves, cliffs, waterfalls and gorges.

Higueron West is at the convenient heart of it all, close to Málaga, Marbella, the mountainous hinterland and the coastal expanse of the Costa del Sol. One of the popular local destinations along the latter is the pretty resort town of Nerja, which has retained a relaxed and authentically Andalusian ambience. Situated a little east of Málaga at less than an hours’ drive from Higueron West, it offers beautiful sandy coves set amid cliffs and rocky islets, green fields rolling down from the mountains of the Alpujarras, excellent Mediterranean cuisine and of course the famous caves, whose fascinating interior is well worth a visit.

For those who like an active form of recreation, there is even more to enjoy, as exploring the Río Chillar area, or Cahorros as it is known locally, is a walking excursion that follows the course of the river upstream to a succession of spectacular natural rock pools. The route leading to the first pool is relatively easy, and if you’re a little lazy by nature this would be the place to get out the swimwear and take a refreshing plunge, but much more beauty awaits further inland.

Continue and you’ll be flanked by water and natural greenery, and greeted with birdsong. It’s a relaxing hike up a moderate gradient that requires a bit of perseverance rather than any major level of fitness, but always make sure to have enough water, some snacks, a jumper, small first aid kit and a hat and sun cream to hand before you set out. A rucksack with these items won’t weigh you down too much, but also make note that this is a protected nature reserve, so be sure to treat the environment with respect and never litter.

The full route, which culminates at the Vado de los Patos, measures almost eight kilometres, plus eight back to the starting point, so be sure to plan your hike in accordance with your fitness level. The full excursion takes six to seven hours by foot and best time to set out is in the morning, so you don’t have to hurry and leave yourself plenty of time to enjoy the beauty of the scenery, enjoy a picnic and maybe even a dip in one of the cooling ponds. You’ll have the best conditions between March and October, and to see nature in spring or autumn here is an experience to remember.

Good water shoes will make it an easy hike, and you may want to bring a camera to record all that gorgeous scenery, even if it’s just the one on your smartphone. Imagine butterflies darting about the wild flowers, birds, trees and if you’re lucky you’ll also spot rabbits, squirrels, eagles and possibly even a mountain goat. The birdsong will be accompanied by the gushing and gargling sounds of the river, especially as it passes through the gorge. With the proper preparation, this is an excursion you won’t forget.