Walk up El Hacho de Alora

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This is a walk of around 8km, with an easy ascent on tracks then descent by footpath to Alora village. There are two optional extensions of around 3 -4 km, to high points. All times are approximate and fairly leisurely.

Relevant maps:

Cartografia Militar de España Serie L. Escala 1:50,000 Sheet 1038 and 1052

Mapa Topográfico Nacional de E Escala 1:25,000 Sheets 1038-3 and 1052-1

To get to the start of the walk

From the traffic lights at the north end of Alora, take the Ma 441 towards Carratraca. After 1km park by the Venta de La Higuera. Around 100m further on towards Carratraca there are two roads to the left. The one doubling back towards Alora, signposted Campo de Futbol, is where you will come from back to the car at the end of the walk. The other, heading away from Alora, is the start of the walk.

Or, you can drive or walk from Fuegoblanco (walking takes about 30 mins). From Fuegoblanco, go up the lane to the Alora El Chorro road and cross it to go straight uphill towards the convent. Towards the top, continue through a picnic site and sports area and a further 100m until you reach a tarmaced road. Turn left and after about a half km you will see two roads to your right. The one to your left as you face them, signposted Campo de Futbol, is the one you will return from to the car at the end of the walk. The one on the right, heading away from Alora, is the start of the walk.

The walk

100m on the Carratraca side of Venta La Higuera take the track heading North, away from Álora.

Follow this through olive and almond groves for around 3 km, ignoring any turns to the left until you reach an obvious T junction by a small yellow house. Take the rather moth eaten tarmac road to the left. (1hr)

After almost 1 km, (1hr 20 mins) you will see a small radio transmission mast. There are two footpaths on your right, one going straight ahead, and another to the left of it, and downhill, which will be your way down.

At his point, you have a choice of two longer extensions, each around 3-4 km, or a very short detour.

To go to the top of El Hacho and the radio mast, continue along the main track, which turns sharply left and uphill here, another km (25 mins) to the trig point (559m) on the left of the track. The final Km brings you to the main transmission station from where there are views over the Guadalahorce valley. (45 mins). Descend the way you came, as far as the small radio mast to continue the walk (1 hr 10 mins).

To take the more scenic detour to the Monte Redondo, take the footpath straight ahead of you towards a flattish high point. The track skirts to the right of this and you can see it down the right side of a stream valley and then doubling back left up the other side. Simply keep following the track, which gets smaller and less defined until it peters out at a high point (Monte Redondo 517m) with fabulous views down the Guadalahorce valley towards the coast. Go back the way you came, as far as the small radio mast to continue the walk.

Whatever you do, it is worth taking a very short detour to the obvious rocky outcrop to the left of the footpaths for a fabulous view down over Alora village. To do this, continue on the main track, which turns sharply uphill. After a few hundred metres, turn right towards the outcrop. (10 mins). Return to the small radio mast to continue the walk.

To continue the walk, from the small radio mast, take the middle footpath downhill. Follow this main path about a half km and past a sharp curve, then take the smaller footpath downhill to the left. After a house, turn left onto a track at the T junction, along the line of the crags, until you reach Alora. (1hr 55mins).

On reaching the village, take the first obvious road to the left (Calle Omar). At the 5- ways junction, carry on in the same direction slightly uphill past a row of houses on the right. When you reach the sports ground, follow the road sign to Carratraca, which takes you around to the right of the sportsground. Continue on the road until it meets the Alora to Carratraca road, where you started your walk. (2 hrs 15 mins)

Features

-Abundant wildflowers in spring

-Aerial views over Álora

-Panoramic views over the Guadalahorce valley, Sierra de los Aguas and towards Malaga