Places to see around Alora

A stunning range of scenery, diverse wildlife and Moorish architecture
On this page you will find just a selection of the wealth of places round and about Finca Limoneros which never fail to enhance our guests' stay here. Click the links below to take you to any particular place, or just browse through the page.
  • A great base for touring Andalucia
    A central point between Seville, Malaga, Ronda, Granada and Cordoba
  • El Chorro
    The magnificent sheer cliffs and gorge, famous to climbers everywhere
  • Bobastro
    Unique Moorish ruins of fortress and church
  • Ardales and the lake district
    The gorgeous azure lakes of this stunning natural park
  • El Torcal and Antequera
    Dramatic moonscapes and an ancient, rapidly expanding Andalucian town
  • Casarabonela and Alozaina
    Picturesque white villages nestling below dramatic cliffs
  • Laguna de Fuente de Piedra
    The largest flamingo breeding ground in Europe
  • Alora is located very centrally in Andalucia, and is easily accessible from Malaga airport, so is ideally situated for visiting many of the most attractive cities.

    Granada has the world-famous Alhambra, a superb example of Moorish palatial and garden architecture.

    Córdoba has La Mesquita, once a mosque but now the Christian Cathedral, and thought by many to be en even more attractive and breathtaking building than the more well known Alhambra. It is also a major centre for guitar music and holds a grand festival every year - this June (2003) Bob Dylan and BB King are rumoured to be playing.

    Sevilla, the capital city of Andalucia, is the home of flamenco and one of the greatest cities in Spain.

    Málaga is often underestimated but is full of interest. The premier seafood port in the country, it is also a deep water port and many large cruise ships berth or stop over here. A ride on the tourist bus is not to be missed.

    Ronda straddles a spectacular gorge and is home to the oldest bullring in Spain.

    And of course the Costa del Sol with many beaches and resorts such as Marbella and Mijas is only 40-45 minutes drive away.

    At the heart of the region lies the beautiful white town of Alora, built on three hills rising from the Río Guadalhorce.

    Álora itself is a friendly town - little more than a village still - where it is more common to meet the bank manager or estate agent in one of the local bars rather than in their office!

    It is built on three hills, one of which is dominated by the ancient Moorish castle - some parts of which have been dated back to Phoenecian times, possibly some of the oldest remains in Europe. To the West, the steep rocky cliffs of El Hacho form a dramatic backdrop, whilst to the East the town overlooks the fertile and green Rio Guadalhorce valley.

    The town itself centres on two squares, the higher containing an impressive fountain and the lower the main church.

    For more about Alora, its history, character, bars and restaurants, see our About Alora page.
    Finca Limoneros is situated on a typical Spanish country track, below the main village of Alora, and overlooking the valley, yet is only fifteen minutes walk from the centre of the village.
    El Chorro is home to a huge natural gorge (La Garganta, also the name of a hotel and restaurant in the village of El Chorro) through which water churns and which is spanned by an ancient and rusting iron bridge.

    The setting of the towering limestone edifices of the Sierra de Huma forms some of the most spectacular scenery in Andalucia.

    At the foot of the gorge the lake is dammed and used for hydroelectric power.

    The village of El Chorro is located here across the dam from the main road, though it amounts to little more than a bar, church, hotel and railway station, with a few houses and a climber's shop!

    At the head of the gorge the entrance to the gorge rises sharply from one of the reservoirs (see Ardales and the Lakes below) and from the 'saddle' the drop is a sheer 300m or so to the river.

    The suspended footpath known as El Caminito del Rey starts here and runs the whole 3km length of the gorge. It is now unsafe to walk in many places due to crumbling away of parts of the path.

    Driving up the gorge from the village there is a turning to the 1000 year old Moorish ruins at Bobastro.

    Here, the remains of a church carved out of a solid outcrop of rock are something of a unique experience, the like of which is virtually unknown elsewhere.

    At the top of the mountain here is a reservoir which is part of the local hydroelectric scheme. Water is pumped up here at night when power demand is slack, and allowed to flow downwards during the day to generate electricity when it is most needed.

    At the very top is a Spanish bar from which the views of Andalucia are absolutely stunning. It is also an excellent place from which to see Griffon Vultures (all year round) and their cousins Egyptian Vultures (summer only).

    Ardales is a pretty white village built against a large rock outcrop, inside which there are ancient caves containing prehistoric paintings.

    The area around about is most famous for a number of beautiful lakes, which on a sunny day (which most days are, here!) are an amazing shade of aquamarine.

    The shores of the lakes are great places to picnic or have lunch at a number of excellent and very reasonable ventas / restaurants along the banks. Very popular, especially at weekends, with Spanish people, but virtually undiscovered by foreign tourists.

    For the more adventurous, rock climbing and hang gliding are possible in the area, whilst the reservoirs provide the focus for more gentle activities such as fishing and canoeing - but power-driven boats are banned here.

    The natural park offers wonderful terrain for walkers, with shaded paths through oak forests and olive groves and gentler, scenic routes along the shores of the lakes.

    Further north is the lovely old white town of Antequera, with its wonderful setting and ancient castle.

    Close to Antequera lies the spectacular mountain outcrop of El Torcal de Antequera.

    Huge pillars of naturally layered limestone have been formed by exposure to the elements over thousands of years, evolving into incredibly impressive and beautiful shapes.

    The scenery here is reminiscent of a lunar landscape, without doubt one of the most spectacular in Andalucia, and justifiably carries the title 'the enchanted mountain range'.

    Though the overwhelming impression is of bare rock, the spring and autumn rains encourage some spectacular flora such as the pink and yellow flowered wild roses, lilies, nazarenes and vivid red peonies with their distinctive velvety texture.

    El Torcal is understandably popular with climbers and walkers, and being now designated a Natural Park there are a number of well marked out routes of various grades of difficulty.

    Only 10 Km away from Alora is the picturesque white village of Casarabonela, nestling underneath its high mountain ridge and surrounded on other sides by olive groves.
    A further 10 Km takes you to Alozaina, another pretty village built, like Álora, very much on hills. To the right snow is visible on the peaks of the Sierra de las Nieves national park, a reminder that this route twists and climbs gently but constantly into the mountains from the Rio Guadalhorce valley. This picture was taken in December 2003.

    To the north of the Ardales area and beyond Campillos this vast salt lagoon is home to thousands, some years more than ten thousand, Greater Flamingos, an unforgettable sight.

    Many other species of birds live and breed here, making this a very important site from the ornithological point of view. See our Birding pages for more information.