Beautiful picnic spots and walks by John Keo:
The Maro Cliffs Natural Park
As one of the easier picnic places to access, Maro Cliffs Nature Park is a great one for those who are not into walking long distances in order to get great views. There is an old abandoned farmhouse overlooking the lovely little beach of La Cala el Canuelo.
Drive east from Nerja along the old N340 coast road for 15 minutes, you come to a roundabout where you will turn right into El Canuelo carpark and park the car there. You will then walk the dirt road towards the beach of El Canuelo. After about five minutes walking or 300 metres, there will be a trail leading off to the left. Follow the narrow trail for another 10 minutes or 400 metres until you emerge at the threshing circle with the most beautiful view of the coast east and west.
Take out the chilled chardonnay, Manchego cheese and Jamon de Serrano and enjoy the view, the breeze and the ambiance. Explore the little old cottage and wonder what life must have been like back in the days when the miller and his family lived here. Open your book and have a read or a snooze in the sun…….Perfect.
Threshing circles or “era” in Spanish were very common along these mountains and coastline. I once heard that the name Costa del Sol was a marketing invention from the 1960s and that this coastline was regularly referred to as Costa del Viento, The Windy Coast… Perfect conditions for the business of threshing and separating the wheat from the chaff. I don’t know if the tale is correct but let’s not let the truth get in the way of a good story.
If you are feeling energetic you can always continue down the hill to the watchtower below. This is a restored coastal defence watchtower erected to warn the population of pirates on the horizon. Fires were lit to warn the people to evacuate into the hills away from the coast. This was a busy coastline for Barbary and English pirates who terrorised the locals with raids.
There is a steep winding trail from the threshing circle down to the tower where you will see the second picnic spot. It takes about 20 minutes to reach the tower. It’s a lovely tranquil ledge next to the tower looking east to Cerro Gordo and a wonderful place to have a picnic and chill out but remember, you still have to climb back up to the car park.
This Nature Park has several good hiking routes and is often overlooked by walkers. When the clouds are low in the hills behind Nerja and Frigiliana then take a little trip east down the coast to the Acantilados de Maro y Cerro Gordo and explore some stunning cliffs walks and secret beaches.
Don’t worry about bringing your swimwear; they’re mostly nudist beaches anyway…
John Keo Walking Tours
Hiking and Walking in Nerja, Frigiliana, Maro and El Acebuchal.
Join John on one of his adventures, email: John@HikingWalkingSpain.com
or call (0034) 647 273 502