Salares Valley (Axarquia) – Western Circuit

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Salares is a picturesque white village, typical of the mountain pueblos of Axarquia and still largely unspoiled. It includes a beautiful 14th Century church incorporating the tower of the earlier Moorish mosque and an ancient Arab mule bridge.

The first half of the walk winds high above the fertile valley of the Rio Salares, on which the village stands, with sweeping views across the valley and deep into the spectacular mountains of the Sierra de Tejeda. Several shepherds graze their flocks across the slopes, which ring with the music of their bells. The valley is a kaleidoscope of colourful scenery. Small vineyards, olive groves and orange, lemon and almond orchards crowd along the riverbanks. Higher up are evergreen oak and pine forests, giving way in places to pasture and stands of poplar, chestnut and eucalyptus. Many of the higher slopes are clothed in garrigue, predominantly cistus and lavender, cropped by the goats to a pink and grey-blue carpet. There are a host of other wildflowers and herbs to be seen too and the air is sharp with the pungent aroma of sage, rosemary and thyme. Birds and butterflies abound. Old farms and cottages punctuate the landscape, some still working, but most now spectacularly crumbling ruins. Ancient mule tracks dating back to the Moors criss-cross the valley and water splashing through old acequias, or irrigation channels, provides a counterpoint to the ringing of the goats' bells.

Most of this 5.6km walk is easy going on graded tracks with firm footings, but the paths on the return stretch down the Salares Valley are steep and slippery in places.

Spain - Southern Spain - Malaga - Axarquia

Features

Ancient Monument, Birds, Butterflies, Church, Flowers, Food Shop, Great Views, Mountains, Pub, Public Transport, Restaurant, River, Waterfall, Wildlife, Woodland
10/12/2010 - Sandra Drew

We did this walk a year ago and made same mistake at point 7 near 'majestic oak' i.e we continued straight ahead when we should have turned right near oak. 'Soon however' is too vague instruction. We ended going up & down for quite a distance a steep and poor track. Returning to the oak we spotted a small cairn marking the steep zigzag path we should have taken.

18/09/2009 - Peter Gordon

Not to be confused with Saleres [route 4310].

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