Granada and Malaga
of Countryside near -La Paz
and Scenery tours with our friend Mick
||Built on the slopes of the Sierra de Loja,
as well as shops there is a walled old town with churches and
a Moorish alcazar (fort). A riverside walk leads through fields
and past limestone crags to the Infierno ("Hell") de Loja - a
wild but attractive area of waterfalls.
|Alhama de Granada
||A very pleasant old town. There is a way-marked
trail through the gorge and you can visit the baths (balneario)
in the hotel in the bottom of the gorge on the road to Bermajales
||Iznajar a picture-postcard village perched
above an extensive reservoir
||Antequera was old when the Romans came
here! Attractive town for shopping and sightseeing. Park near
the bull ring (right) to visit the shops or the Tuesday market..
Make your way up the main shopping street to a plaza at the foot
of the old town (above) where cobbled streets host a museum, churches,
restaurants and Alcazaba .
|El Torcal de Antequera
||El Torcal is a landscape shaped by millennia
of weathering of the Jurassic limestone into fantastic shapes.
There is a visitor centre (currently - autumn 2004 - being refurbished)
and a waymarked 1hr trail (right)
|Fuente de Piedra
||Watch the famous breeding colony of flamingos
and their chicks on this enormous salt lake. There is a Visitor
centre and there are a number of other salt lakes, notable Agua
Amarga (which means "bitter lake"), in this area.
|Ronda and the Sierra de Grazelema
||The "white town" beloved of coach parties
from the Costa del Sol, but still well worth a visit. The birthplace
of bull fighting and the setting for a harrowing scene in Hemingway's
"For whom the bell tolls" it is a very attractive town set on
the edge of a precipitous gorge. Grazalema the "wettest town in
Spain" is famous for its blanket industry and is surrounded by
beautiful mountain scenery.
||The Alhambra and Generalife
need a day to explore thoroughly and you would be well advised
to purchase tickets before you go. To explore the rest of the
city it is recommended to park in the large underground car park
on the Avenida de la Constitucion as you approach the city from
the west. From here you can walk or take an inexpensive taxi and
explore the city centre, cathedral and the Albaicin quarter at
your leisure. Alternatively why not take the train from Loja (San
||The "Ronda Sur", the motorway that takes
you round to the Alhambra also leads towards the Sierra Nevada.
A good road winds up the mountainside past a number of restaurants
to El Dornajo where there is a visitor centre worth a look. Further
up you reach the ski resort and up again past this come to an
area used for childrens' tobogganing, for walking etc. There is
a barrier across the road here, although a rough road used by
walkers goes over the top of the mountains and down into the Alpujarras.
||Various routes across the hills north
of La Paz lead to Montefrio with its church perched on a crag
above the town and the fascinating archaeological remains of the
early medieval village of Castellon at Peņa de los Gitanes close
by (ask for directions at the Tourist office in town centre).
These remains date from the 7th-8th century, between the Visigoth
period and the Moorish invasion and have an orderly layout reminiscent
of Roman times.
|Costa del Sol
||If you fancy a day at the seaside then
you could go to Malaga and 1) go west to the hot-spots of Torremolinos
(right) and the like where you will find a quieter beach at the
eastern end of this town, near the Parador and airport, or 2)
east to the quieter resorts used by the Malaguenos. Alternatively
drive south from Loja to Velez Malaga where you have a choice
of smaller resorts (right) to west and east (including Nerja with
its famous caves).
||Another 55km (half-an-hour) along the
motorway east of Granada is Guadix, famous for its cave-dwellings.
Until recently these were mainly the homes of gitanos but they
are now newly fashionable. There are also plenty of stalls selling
traditional, and very reasonably priced Spanish pottery both here
and at Purrullena just to the west.
||Drive to nearby Riofrio, wander around
the trout farms and by the fast flowing river to spot the fish.
Then go to one of the many restaurants to eat them!
|El Chorro Gorge
||The stunning gorge at El Chorro where
the Guadalhorce river cuts through a vertical cliff of limestone.