Known as the breadbasket of Malaga, the valley of the Guadalhorce River is teeming with olive trees, orange groves, and farming communities. This hike from the rugged steppes surrounding El Chorro to the mellow rolling hills of Alora is an ideal walk for ambling, rambling, or just taking it easy.
Type of Hike: Dirt/Paved Road
Distance: 14.4 kilometers
Time: 4 hours in one-direction (El Chorro to Alora)
Number of Wrong Turns: 0!
Start at the El Chorro train and bus station where you’ll find plenty of markers and posted info about the trails surrounding this area. This is the also where you catch the shuttle to El Caminito Del Rey, one of the more epic hikes in the neighborhood.
On The Hike
“You’re going the wrong way,” a French guy told me as I rounded the first corner out of El Chorro. “The trails to the mountains are in the other direction.” I already knew this, but had picked this hike specifically because I wanted to see a bit more of the Andalusian countryside. My other reason? All the other hikes ended at spots with no transportation back home.
Coming out of El Chorro, the hike winds its way along the base of the mountain range. There’s a short climb, but the elevation gain on this hike is fairly minimal.
The trail follows a secondary road all the way to Alora, about 14 kilometers away, but the path stays high on the hillside with sweeping views of the valley below.
Details, Details, Details
Where to Stay: For hiking, climbing, biking, and general outdoor adventure, there’s enough out here to consider staying in one of the small villages like El Chorro or Valle de Abdalajís. Keep in mind that these places are very small so services may be limited.
How to Get There: I took the only train from Malaga to El Chorro (50 minutes/$8.00 USD) and then one of the multiple trains from Alora back to Malaga ($2.00 USD). There are typically more options between Alora, Malaga, and El Chorro when it comes to public transportation, but not this summer due to construction and the pandemic.
When to Go: As there’s only a single train departing Malaga in the morning, that’s the only time to go on this hike. As always, I would try to skip the summer months (July hiking is brutal), and if you aim for the fall, there will be plenty of fresh pomegranates waiting to be picked and eaten.
Supplies and Stocking Up: There are few services in El Chorro and very little little along the route, so stock up on water, trail snacks, and lunch in Malaga. Alora is a decent sized city with plenty of shops.
I grew up in a farming valley so even though the trees, crops, and weather are completely different here, I did find a peaceful comfort strolling down these quiet dirt roads. Compared to some of the more Instgrammable spots of the Malaga province, this may not be one of the marquee hikes of the area, but if you’re looking for a genuine taste of the Spanish countryside, check this hike out.