Got a getaway on the horizon? If you’re looking for a destination that will both immerse you in the tranquillity of the wilderness but also offers the most exciting outdoor activities, fascinating history and delicious gastronomy, the Costa del Sol is for you. The natural beauty of the province of Malaga extends far beyond its beaches: from natural parks like Sierra de las Nieves and Fuente de Piedra salt lake to the Maro-Cerro Gordo cliffs, the foothills of Sierra de la Almijara and the karstic rock formations at Torcal de Antequera. The biodiversity in these areas will leave nature lovers’ speechless as you observe majestic birds, go on hikes and bike rides, discover the underground caves and take on the challenge of the via ferratas. In this post, we are going to take a look at some of the best outdoor activities you can enjoy in the Costa del Sol.
Via ferratas: adrenaline overflow
The province of Malaga has got the perfect activity if you’re looking to push yourself to your limits and get your adrenaline pumping: via ferrata. Somewhere between rock climbing and mountain climbing, via ferratas are vertical and horizontal routes that will take you to hard to access areas of the mountainscape. Ideal if you’re not quite ready to try rock climbing, via ferratas are equipped with rungs, ladders, cables and sometimes even hanging bridges and ziplines. The Costa del Sol has over twenty via ferratas to choose from, offering a range of different difficulty levels. Which one will you take on first?
Wild animals in their natural habitat
Sierra de Grazalema is one of the most popular mountainscapes in the province of Malaga thanks to its impressive scenery and diverse wildlife. If you’re travelling with children, a great activity is to watch the animals in their natural habitat; an experience that couldn’t be further than a visit to the zoo. In Sierra de Grazalema you might just be lucky enough to see deer, mountain goats and otters in the river Majaceite. There are also over 200 different species of bird to see from the majestic griffon vulture and the booted eagle to small singing tits, wagtails and owls.
Hikes and bike rides
Whether you’re in the wilderness or in the local towns and villages, hikes and cycles have one thing in common: the most spectacular landscapes. If you’re keen to explore the scenery of the province of Malaga on foot or by bike, La Gran Senda is a good place to start. This series of interconnected hiking routes will take you across the entirety of the province of Malaga, leading you to beautiful villages and areas of natural beauty. Along the way, you will be immersed in the mountainscape of Sierra de las Nieves natural park and the breath-taking scenery of Sierra de Tejeda, Almijara y Alhama.
Senda Litoral is another trail that is ideal to explore on foot or on two wheels. Part of La Gran Senda, Senda Litoral flanks the shores of the Costa del Sol for over 200km, taking you through 14 seaside municipalities, from Nerja, where you can enjoy the views from Balcón de Europa, to Manilva, where you can explore Castillo de la Duquesa.
If you’re somewhat of an explorer at heart, you’re going to love heading underground to visit the impressive caves in the province of Malaga. Although most of these are not suitable for people without specific caving knowledge, you can visit some accompanied by trained and qualified guides. Sierra de Grazalema is home to both Garganta del Hundidero and Cueva del Gato (listed as a Natural Monument). Both are part of the biggest area of caves in Andalusia, known as the Gato - Hundidero system, which was created as the water of the river Guadares eroded the limestone. Inside you will be immersed in a series of jaw-droppingly beautiful canyons, siphons, lakes, chasms and rooms.
The municipality of Benaoján, meanwhile, houses Cueva de la Pileta, which is known for its archaeological findings and stunning underground landscapes. Another must-visit during your time in the Costa del Sol is Cueva de Nerja, one of the largest caves in Andalusia which sits 158m above sea level.
Canyoning is an incredible adventure sport that gets you up close and personal with mother nature. Taking place in canyons or gorges traversed by rivers, the sport involves making your way through the natural area. The routes vary wildly: you may find areas of dense vegetation, arid patches as well as sections with little and even no water. Not far from Júzcar (known as the “blue village”) is Sima del Diablo, a canyoning spot that is ideal for people with little technical knowledge. There is easy access to the gorge and you will have an amazing time jumping into the water, sliding down rocks and abseiling down steeper parts. An unforgettable experience that will freshen you up on the hottest summer days.
The Costa del Sol is the ideal destination to try your hand at all sorts of different outdoor activities in the most stunning natural landscapes. A great place to stay are the many country hotels and campsites located across the province. You will be taken aback by the contrasting colours of the blue sea, the sparkling white villages and the radiant green inland, where you will come across some of the most extraordinary - and perhaps unexpected - landscapes in the province. The Costa del Sol’s wild, authentic and undiscovered side awaits so you can enjoy the most amazing experiences in the great outdoors.