Sweat is running down my face. The hot sun scorches my neck. Dry dirt covers my legs with dust. The road, a dried up river, is cornered by plants on both sides. Far away, a dog barks. While this might sound like an adventure far from any civilization, it is the rather opposite. Actually, it has just been 30 minutes since I left the touristy, yet picturesque, Andalusian town of Nerja, on my way to the, possibly, even more touriste, yet picturesque, village of Frigiliana. The latter of these towns has been chosen as both Spain’s and Andalusia’s most beautiful several times, so it sure receives plenty of tourists. However, I doubt the most common way of transportation is hiking, so maybe it is somewhat adventurous after all.
During the first hour of the 8 kilometer long hike from Nerja to Frigiliana there is not much happening. The dirt road is followed by fast-growing, biomass trees, and while the mountains of the Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara y Alhama Natural Park lure in the backdrop, the scenery could not be described as jaw-dropping. By half past nine, the temperature is already 30 degrees Celsius and the road does not offer anywhere to hide from the sun. In other words; so far, not so good.
Shade! was therefore my first thought when arriving the second leg of the hike, a small ravine offering plenty of it. And from here on, it got a little bit more adventurous. Compared to real hikes in the mountains though, it was more like a walk in the park on a beautiful saturday morning, with your dog in one hand and a freshly made cappuccino in the other. You can, however, continue through the ravine, following a hiking system that goes through the Sierra Nevada mountain range all the way to Granada and Alhambra.
That would have to be next time for me, as my eyes were focused on the finish line in Frigiliana. The hike went on through the ravine and as I went along, the vegetation changed. Now, blooming cactus flowers accompanied me and on the rim big pine trees gave a little more green to the colour scheme. For most parts it is flat, and overall it is both safe and available for most people. However, you should be aware that it might not be as easily done with wheelchair or stroller, as the path gets rather narrow at times and is generally quite rocky.
One hour in the ravine later, the old town of Frigiliana is only about a hundred meters away. A hundred vertical meters… Your legs will burn, as will the sun, but I can guarantee that when arriving to the top, it will be worth it. Frigiliana offers a stunning view of the azur Mediterranean Sea, the coast of Andalusia and mountains coated with pine trees, as well as the whitewashed village itself. And there is something fulfilling about thinking that you walked here when tourist bus after tourist bus arrives to the most beautiful, and probably touristy, village of Andalusia.
Hiking from Nerja to Frigiliana:
Length: 8 kilometers
Time: About two hours from the north end of Nerja to Frigiliana old town.
Route: Check out the map
What to bring: Protection from the sun, water, some snacks.