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On May 6th, 2014 we left our holiday rental home in La Cala de Mijas for an amazing day-trip by car, stopping at 4 locations, all of which we would recommend to anyone staying in the region with an extra day to spare.
The day before we planned out of trip based on my mom’s recommendations. She had visited the same locations, but on 3 separate trips. We decided to plot it all in Google Maps and get the most out of the day, Japanese tourist style (minus the bus). With the camera charged and the memory card emptied we were ready to go. Our trip itinerary:
- La Cala de Mijas
- El Torcal
- El Chorro
- Setenil de las Bodegas
We jumped in the car at 7:30am to get an early start on the day. It was so early that the brain hadn’t 100% started working yet, so I left the camera behind. Luckily we had two cell phones with decent cameras, so all was not lost. However, we lost some J-tourist points. We first went to the Snack Attack in La Cala for breakfast, not because we hadn’t already had breakfast, but because they make the most amazing coffee in Spain. Anywhere in Spain it seems. As my father used to say: It is okay to add sugar to the coffee when you are in Spain…or France or Italy. Basically, it is okay to add sugar to the coffee if you are on vacation, and that the vacation is not in the northern portions of Europe. After a quick rejuvenational coffee we were off, again. This time for real. It took us about 1h 15min to get to Comares, but the ride there was far from boring. We stopped a few times for pictures of the views from the top of the mountain, and for peeing next to the car, with the car doors open for shading.
Comares is located 725 meters above sea level, and was originally built by the Romans, as most cities in the region are. Actually, there was a town there before the Romans as well, but the Romans fortified it and made it an important outpost. The name Comares means “Castle on High”, and as you can see by the pictures it is properly named. There are porcelain steps placed throughout the city that forms recommended walking paths. If you park below the city, by the gate, you will be walking in the right direction. We, however, drove up and around and parked on the top, and thereby followed the steps in reverse wherever we went. In the town square you will find the tourist office as well as a café serving coffee, beer and possibly food. I forgot to check about the food portion.
Next we drove on El Torcal park, which my nephew has named “the best place he has ever been”. While he is only 8 years old and has a limited database to compare it to, this location is a must see if you are in the area. What is now a tall mountaintop with mindboggling, towering stone formations was once the seabed, about 200 million years ago. All the signs here are in Spanish so it helps to have Google Translate installed on your Smart Phone. That way you can just take a picture of the text and it will translate it for you. There are two paths that you can walk (free of course) to see the formations, yellow and green. They both start out from the parking lot, but the yellow splits off after a while and takes a longer route. The informational map we purchased for 3 euro said the yellow route would take 2 hours, but we finished it in 1 hour at normal walking phase with limited hanging about. After the trek we enjoyed some beers from the café as well as our homemade sandwiches, on the outdoor patio. No one seemed to mind, as long as we purchased something. A new beer I hadn’t tried before, called a Radler, was extremely refreshing. Having studied beer history knew that it should be a mix of 50% lemonade and 50% lager beer. Do try it on a sunny day if you see one.
After the quick rest we programmed the GPS to El Chorro. At this point we had forgotten if that was the town that was built under the overhanging mountain, or if it was a pathway constructed on the side of a vertical mountain wall. It was the ladder. If you want to scare yourself, or prepare for the walk, then check out this video. The hike itself is called Caminito del Rey and was constructed as a shortcut for workers on the dam. While it is not officially open, you can get there without too much trouble, but be sure to bring a safety harness with two carabineers, so you can clip in as you go. The guy in the video was nuts and just walked it without clipping in. Not recommended.
From the crazy hike we went drove up and over a hill and down towards a beautiful lagoon. It has a turquoise color and must be inspected further in the future. Unfortunately we didn’t have any time since we were headed to our final location, Setenil de las Bodegas. If you are lucky enough to buy a house here you won’t ever have to replace your roof as it would be the mountain itself. So many of the houses are constructed underneath the overhanging mountain. Setenil’s unique and extreme urban beauty make it one of the main tourist destinations in the Sierra de Cádiz. The houses, some below rocks and others on top of or even inside the rocks, create different street levels, forming charming nooks and corners such as those in the streets Calle de las Cuevas de la Sombra and Calle de las Cuevas del Sol. The present-day village has its origins in Medieval times and the area today officially referred to as Setenil stands on the ancient Almohad settlement. The castle overlooking the village is a Medieval fortress (14th-15th Centuries), which retains its keep and a well. Its heritage is completed by the Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación Parish Church, the old Town Hall and the Hermitages of Nuestra Señora del Carmen and San Sebastián. Do be sure to park your car prior to entering the main portion of the town. If you don’t you will have to fold your mirrors in to prevent hitting buildings! We spent the last hour of our trip at a bar by the river. They had the most amazing sangria and the bartender gladly wrote down the recipe for us. Next we will see if it tastes the same at home. Doubtful.
The ride home took another 90 minutes. We arrived in La Cala de Mijas around 9pm, just in time for jumping in the Jacuzzi with a glass (plastic of course) of some local red wine. What a day!
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Welcome to our Homes
Thank you for your interest in our Two Vacation Rentals in La Cala de Mijas, Spain. Both are in the same complex, have private Jacuzzis on the terrace, 28000 square meters of Sub-Tropical gardens, 2 saltwater Swimming Pools, and all within walking distance to the beach!
Where are we?
Our 2 Vacation Rental homes are located in La Cala de Mijas on Costa del Sol in southern Spain. La Cala is an old fishing village, with tons of charm, cobblestone streets, Moore ruins, an excellent "Blue Flag"-rated Beach and Restaurants from around the world