Hiking in Malaga: Top 10 Off-Track Trails

Malaga is a beautiful city located in the southern part of Spain. It is a popular tourist destination because of its warm climate, beautiful beaches, and vibrant culture. It is also home to some of Europe’s most beautiful hiking trails. You can go hiking in Malaga and enjoy breathtaking views of the countryside. It is a perfect excursion for those who want to experience the beauty of nature away from the crowds. This blog will discuss the top 10 off-track trails in Malaga.

1. Caminito del Rey

Caminito del Rey is a hiking trail located in the El Chorro Gorge near the town of Ardales in the province of Malaga. The trail is known to have stunning views of the beautiful Gorge. The trail is not for the faint of heart, as it is quite narrow and steep. However, it is well worth the effort as the views are simply breathtaking. Interestingly, this wooden platform was built on the cliff of the Gorge in the 20th century to facilitate workers’ access to the hydroelectric dam. Also, did you know that the trail was named “The King’s little walk” because King Alfonso XIII was the one to open the path officially? The trail is 7km long one way, and It takes approximately 3-4 hours to complete.

You can do the hike with a guided tour or by yourself, and you should book in advance since tickets get sold out fast!

hiking in malaga
Photo by Valeriano G on Unsplash

2. Torcal de Antequera – Hiking in Malaga

Torcal de Antequera is a nature reserve located in the province of Malaga. It is known for its unique rock formations and stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Around 150 million years ago, the Tethys Sea covered the whole area, and movements of the earth’s crust caused the creation of hills and mountains. The hiking trail is approximately 3 km long one way and takes about 4 hours to hike back and forth. The trail is relatively easy, but it does require a bit of stamina as there are some steep areas in the path. The trail’s highlight is the Mirador Las Ventanillas, a viewpoint where you can enjoy the unique rock formation.

If you plan to do this hike read our guide about the Best Things to do in Antequera: Top 7!

hiking in Malaga-Torcal de Antequera

3. Rio Chillar

Rio Chillar is a hiking trail located in the Sierra de Almijara mountains in Nerja. The path is approximately 8 km long up to the summit and takes about 6 hours to complete. The trail is relatively easy and is suitable for families with children. Remember that you will be walking in the refreshing Chillar River, so wear appropriate shoes and bring a towel. The Rio Chillar is a beautiful river flowing through the mountains and offers plenty of in-water opportunities, such as swimming and refreshing dips. That’s why either spring or summer is the best period to visit.

hiking in Malaga-Rio Chillar

4. El Saltillo – Hiking in Malaga

El Saltillo is a hiking trail located in the Axarquia region of Malaga. The trail is approximately 7 km long and takes 4-5 hours to complete. The trail’s highlight is the Puente del Saltillo, the third-longest bridge in Spain that spans a deep gorge. You can find more information by reading the guide El Saltillo: the new Caminito del Rey.

hiking in Malaga-el Saltillo

5. La Concha

La Concha is a mountain located in the Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park. It is the highest mountain (1,200 meters) in the Marbella area, and you can find the path between Istán and Ojén. The return trail is 14 km long and takes around 7 hours to complete. The trail is relatively difficult and is only suitable for experienced hikers. The highlight of the trail is the Pico de la Concha, which offers breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea, and the city of Marbella.

hiking in Malaga- La Concha

6. Mijas – Hiking in Malaga

There are many hiking trails that will lead you to the famous Pico de Mijas. It is part of the Sierra de Mijas and is the highest peak in the range, standing at 1,150 meters above sea level. From the summit, you will be able to enjoy panoramic views of the entire Costa del Sol as well as the Mediterranean Sea. The trail is well-marked and easy to follow, making it suitable for hikers of all levels. The path is around 14 km long and takes 5-6 hours to complete.

However, it is essential to note that the trail can be quite hot and exposed during the summer months, so it is important to bring plenty of water and sunscreen. It is also recommended to start early in the morning to avoid the day’s heat.

7. La Cañada del Lobo

La Cañada del Lobo is a hiking trail located near Torremolinos, in the province of Malaga. The trail is approximately 10 km long and takes about 4-5 hours to complete. There is a variety of Mediterranean flora and there is a viewpoint with a sculpture of a wolf that has a spectacular view of the Costa del Sol. The trail is not very difficult, but it does require a bit of stamina as there are some areas. Overall, La Cañada del Lobo is a great choice for hikers looking to experience the natural landscapes of Malaga.

8. Rio Verde, Istán – Hiking in Malaga

Rio Verde is a stunning hiking trail that starts near the village of Istan and leads to Charco del Canalón, which is a beautiful natural pool surrounded by lush vegetation. The trail follows the course of the Rio Verde. It is 5 km long and takes about 3 hours to complete. The river’s name indicates that algae cover its rocks making them slippery and giving the river a greenish color. The best part of the trail is the Sendero Charco del Canalón, which is a beautiful spot to stop and take a refreshing swim in the cool water. The trail is relatively easy and suitable for hikers of all levels, although there are some slippery sections and rocky terrain to navigate.

hiking in Malaga-Rio Verde

9. Escalera Arabe

The Escalera Arabe, which translates to Arabic Staircase in English, is a must-visit hiking trail for those looking to explore off-the-beaten-path trails in Malaga. It is believed that the trail’s man-made staircases were built in the 15th Century for trading purposes, adding a historical and cultural element to the hike. Hikers can expect a challenging climb of approximately 9km, with a constant view of El Chorro valley. The breathtaking panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea and the surrounding mountains are worth the challenging hike. This trail is perfect for intermediate to advanced hikers who are looking for a unique hiking experience in Malaga.

hiking in Malaga- Escalera Arabe

10. Pico Huma – Hiking in Malaga

Pico Huma is a stunning mountain peak located in the province of Malaga. The peak stands at 1,179 meters above sea level and is a 14 km path that requires at least 5-6 hours to complete. For those looking for a longer hike, you can combine the Pico Huma trail with the Arabic Staircase hike that we have suggested in the article. The combined trails can be challenging but they are worthwhile and recommended for intermediate to experienced hikers. The trail offers stunning views of the countryside, making it a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the lush and green landscapes that Malaga has to offer.

hikinh in Malaga- Pico Huma

The trails we have discussed in this blog offer stunning views of the surrounding countryside and are perfect for those who want to experience the beauty of nature away from the crowds.

If you are planning a trip to Malaga check out the Top 20 Fun Things to Do in Malaga. And if you would like to go camping in Malaga read The top 5 spots to Retreat into Nature.

You can always visit the official website of Andalucía for more information. Also, you can read more about the main sights in Malaga here.