Hiking Down Mount Calamorro

For our fourth hike in the Costa del Sol, we decided to take it easy.

Very easy, in fact, since we took a cable car from Benalmádena to the peak of Mount Calamorro, the highest point in the area, and then hiked down. If hiking isn’t your thing, you can certainly take the cable car both ways.

Thanks to my husband Kuba for letting me share his photos in this post. Check out his Instagram account @roaming_kuba for more stunning photos of our travels.

hike-

At the peak, we found a little café, chickens roaming freely, as well as several viewing points of the cities below. Also, if you’re like me and always need to know where the next toilet is, you’ll find one inside the café.

DSC00704-Edit-2DSC00713-Edit-2hike--5

Check out Kuba’s vlog to see the chickens, as well as the cable car ride and the rest of our hike. 🙂

There’s also a wild bird exhibit at the peak but we avoided it. Instead, we climbed a bit higher on the marked paths to other viewing points before starting our descent. Leaving the peak was easy since we chose the simplest option of following a paved path as long as we could. Soon we departed this path and chose our own, one that took us back to Cañada del Lobo.

We had lunch here and then continued down a familiar path. We hiked this same path in our last hike which also took us to Cañada del Lobo. We retraced our steps in reverse.

We got a bit turned around near the end of the hike and came across this underpass. We weren’t too far off from our planned route but we must have missed a turn somewhere. Thankfully, we found a hole in the fence nearby and continued on our way home.

DSC00729-EditDSC00730-EditDSC00728-Edit

It was nice not having to climb the mountain but the descent was tricky in its own way. I feel that going up a mountain is easier than descending since it’s easier to slip and fall down than it is to fall up!

Also, there are several other ways down the mountain, depending on how much time you have and how far you want to hike. The cable car ticket office provides paper maps of hiking routes, but to be extra thorough, I recommend researching the hikes beforehand.

The Téleferico de Benalmádena is just a few minutes walk away from the Benalmádena / Arroyo de Miel train station. It’s right next to the Tivoli World amusement park. Just look for the cable cars going up the mountain and head in that direction. You can’t miss it!

I recommend purchasing cable car tickets in person. The sign might not have one-way tickets listed (it didn’t when we were there) but you can definitely purchase them. Just ask the ticket attendant for a billete solo ida and you’ll be good to go.

For more information about the cable cars, check out Téleferico de Benalmádena online.

Advertisements

Río Chillar hike in Nerja, Spain

Searching online for free activities is one of the first things I do when living in a new location. Researching free things to do is as simple as asking Google. I came across several helpful blog posts on the Spain-Holiday.com website that suggested free activities in Málaga and the rest of the Costa del Sol.

Special thanks to my husband Kuba for these photos of our hike. Check out his Instagram account @roaming_kuba for more stunning photos of our travels.

nerja-

One free activity recommended was walking up the Rio Chillar in Nerja. Immediately, I was interested since this hike would require us to walk through the river’s cool water: a perfect hike for a hot summer day! It was also labelled as family-friendly, meaning it couldn’t be too strenuous of a hike if children can handle it.

Hiking is a free activity that Kuba and I both enjoy, as we get to spend time outside in the fresh air while filming and photographing. Not only is hiking good exercise, but it allows us to explore new areas outside of the city space.

Nerja is another coastal resort town (similar to Torremolinos, but smaller) located east of Málaga. To get to Nerja from Torremolinos, we took a short train ride to Málaga and then a bus to Nerja. I purchased our bus tickets on the Alsa website in advance.

The bus ride to Nerja only took an hour. After being dropped off in the city centre, we popped into a nearby Mercadona for some cherries before heading toward the trail head. In addition to cherries, we had plenty of other food to sustain us during the hike: corn cakes, cookies, crackers, and even little containers of brown rice which I had cooked that morning.

Walking to the trailhead from the city centre only took us 25 minutes. The first part of the hike isn’t so exciting as you’re walking through a dry river bed in the full sun. Fortunately, it wasn’t too long before the water forced us to change into our sandals.

The best parts of this hike were splashing through the cool, clear water in the shade and winding through rock formations carved out by the river. The sound of water rushing over the rocks was a welcome change to the bustling city noises we hear every day.

We decided to turn around before reaching the waterfalls and headed back to the city. Walking through the river wasn’t as easy as a normal hike since we had to take care with every step. Wearing my thin Xero Shoes sandals was nice because my feet were immersed in water for most of the hike, yet the soles are quite thin. My feet were sore from negotiating the slippery rocks underfoot.

nerja--4

We were exhausted by the time we returned to the city centre (we walked 12 miles total that day!) and had to wait a few hours for our bus back to Málaga. We relaxed in near the Balcón de Europa and ate the rest of our snacks. We didn’t find much in Nerja that interested us, probably because we were so tired after our hike. We also couldn’t find any public toilets there besides one at the main bus stop. Just be aware of that if you end up visiting Nerja.

Do check out this easy hike! It was relaxing to walk through water in the heat of the day. Most of the hike is shaded as well. Just remember to bring comfortable sandals or light shoes to wear. Flip flops won’t work as the water will sweep them away. Also, I recommend walking it during the week since it wasn’t busy at all. I imagine it would be packed on the weekends, and less enjoyable.

This was an affordable day trip for us since it only cost €26.60 total for transportation to and from Torremolinos. Our roundtrip bus tickets cost €18.40 and our train tickets cost €8.20 overall. For a full day of hiking through a river and a bit of exploring Nerja, I’ll take it!

This was our second hike since we arrived in Torremolinos and it definitely won’t be our last. 🙂

If you’d like to see more of our hike, check out our vlogs from that day:

Have you visited Nerja?

What do you think about hiking through a river?

Hiking, a festival, even vegan popsicles!

We just finished up our second week here in Spain. Life is good! Time is passing quickly and we feel like we’ve been in Torremolinos for longer than a few weeks already. Perhaps it’s because we keep a full schedule of work and play, or because we like it here and feel right at home. 🙂

Pinar de los Manantiales hike

We went on our first hike in Torremolinos this past week. Kuba really likes hiking and trekking up mountains. I don’t feel like I’m in the best shape for a rigorous hike just yet, so we started out with an easy hike named Pinar de los Manantiales just outside the city centre.

Kuba found this hike through the WikiLoc app, an offline hiking app full of maps and routes of hikes around the world. This app is useful because you can use it offline, meaning you don’t need cell reception to find your way. It beeps at you if you stray too far off course, and it remembers your route if you decide to venture off the trail. That way, you’ll always be able to find your way back to where you started.

The hike had a slight incline and wasn’t too strenuous. We went further than the map recommended and climbed a bit higher, which was worth it! It took us around two hours including time to stop and film along the way. It was a nice way to break in my new Merrell shoes.

Check out Kuba’s vlog of our hike if you want to see our view of Torremolinos down below. 🙂

Playa de la Carihuela

We like to walk along the beach front promenade in the evening. Sometimes Kuba will go for a quick dip in the sea, and then we’ll toss the frisbee around until he dries off. Usually, we stick to the Playamar beach area just past Playa del Bajondillo because there’s plenty of free space for frisbee and palm trees for shade, but last week we decided to walk the other way on the promenade, South of Torremolinos toward Benalmádena and Fuengirola.

img_5842

Playa de la Carihuela didn’t seem as busy as the Bajondillo area, but it was still lined with plenty of cafés and shops. Unlike the promenade that goes along Playa del Bajondillo and Playamar, the promenade here was strictly for pedestrians only, as bikes were directed down another path. We’ll need to investigate this alternative path further as we hope to rent bikes one of these days.

We definitely prefer strolling along the beach during the week as it’s less busy. Even though we don’t visit the beach every day, I’m glad we have the opportunity to do so because the beaches here remind me of those in California. The palm trees remind me of the beaches in Santa Barbara; the wide sandy beaches remind me of Venice Beach. I feel right at “home” here. 😉

el Festival de las Culturas

This past weekend the 2nd annual Festival de las Culturas took place in Torremolinos in the Plaza de la Nogalera from Thursday to Sunday. We found out about this festival thanks to Facebook, as we regularly browse through local events just in case we find something interesting.

Various countries were represented in this festival (I think I counted 16) including Mexico, the US, Thailand, and India, among others. Typically they were represented with a food stall or artisan crafts but also with music and dance performances. We didn’t spend much time here since most of the food was meat-heavy (and the smell of grilled meat put us off) but we couldn’t resist these colourful umbrellas.

img_5907img_5906

Visiting local events like this is fun because it makes us feel less like tourists. I’m sure plenty of tourists enjoyed this event as well, but listening to music and unwinding in the plaza, which happens to be a few minutes walk from our flat, is a nice feeling. We’re never in a rush here since we have three months to soak it all in. 🙂

vegan popsicles in Fuengirola

img_5925

Fuengirola is a quick train ride down the coast so we figured why not explore the city for the first time.

Based on what I found as I browsed HappyCow, Fuengirola is full of vegan-friendly shops and cafés. A vegan-friendly popsicle shop, named Stickhouse, piqued my interest. Kuba and I both tried the chocolate popsicle, and we opted to have it freshly dipped in chocolate and rolled in almonds. Yum!

Not all of Stickhouse’s popsicles are vegan, however, but several of the fruit and chocolate ones were. The man working there was very friendly and knowledgeable about the vegan options. I haven’t had a dipped chocolate popsicle like that in years, so I was happy to indulge. 🙂

In the end, we didn’t find much else to do in Fuengirola besides walking along the beach. We just prefer the quieter beaches of Torremolinos, I guess!

That being said, I wouldn’t mind returning to Fuengirola at some point to tour the Castillo de Sohail since entry is free. (It’s open Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 – 14:00.)

the week ahead

This week we plan to visit Nerja (another resort town east of Málaga on the coast) for a hike up the Rio Chillar. We don’t have anything else set in stone besides a day trip to Madrid on the 27th. This will be my third time in the city. We are meeting up with another nomadic vegan couple, as well as revisiting some of my favourite sites. Madrid will always be special to me because it was my first trip to Madrid that inspired me to quit my job in the States and start downsizing my life. 🙂

We are considering visiting Granada or Sevilla as well. Do you have any recommendations for these cities or any other cities in Spain?

Thank you for reading! ❤