A Walk down the Higueron Valley in Andalucia

Route Description and Map to Walk from Frigiliana to Nerja in Spain

From the scenic white hill village of Frigiliana, this walk drops into the cool depths of the Higueron valley, then winds along its rocky course through a spectacular gorge to its junction with the Chillar River, and finally to the attractive coastal town of Nerja.

When the river is in spate, it’s often easier to paddle than go dry-shod, but wet feet are amply rewarded by the wonderful variety of scenery: glorious views of the gorge and surrounding mountains, cascades of scarlet oleanders and golden broom tumbling down their slopes, shaded pinewoods and open hillsides carpeted with flowering shrubs and herbs, avocado orchards and olive groves, meadows and verges ablaze with spring flowers, dancing butterflies and singing birds.

And it’s downhill almost all the way!

Start and Finish

The start point is the Paraje del Ingenio in Frigiliana, map reference 203723. (Mapa Topografico de Sierra de Almijara, 1:25000)

It’s best to take the bus to Frigiliana from the main bus station by the Plaza Cantarero in Nerja, as the walk ends conveniently back at this bus station.

Route Directions for the Walk to Nerja

From the Paraje del Ingenio, take the concrete sideroad signed “Ruta Turistica” running between the Bar Virtudes and the Guardia Civil post, which then drops steeply into the Higueron gorge. At the bottom (map reference 204724, distance 0.400km) cross the (sometimes dry) riverbed, and take the footpath leading downstream on the far side.

This path winds along the river bed, sometimes actually in the river, at others running along one or other bank for about 800 meters. The water is rarely more than ankle deep, but it’s wise to use a stick or walking pole and to avoid this route after heavy rain.

About a kilometer downstream, the path diverges from the stream to and begins to climb diagonally up above the left bank (map reference 204714, distance 1.600km). After a short distance, steps have been cut into the rock to provide a safe and easily negotiable path through a tight gorge, with the Higueron rushing down a series of falls and rapids 20 or 30 meters below. A rope handrail has also been erected but looks somewhat precarious, and probably shouldn’t be tested too severely.

Below the last and biggest waterfall, concrete steps descend once more to the stream bed, which now winds for about 300m between two sheer 15-20m high faces of rock barely 5m apart.

Soon the path emerges into a broad open valley to join a rough track running from La Molineta down the Higueron to its confluence with the Chillar (map reference 217695, distance 4.050km). Crossing the Chillar, the route now follows the well graded and occasionally metalled track down that river’s left bank to Nerja.

Skirting below Nerja for several hundred meters, still following the river course, the track passes a ruined honey factory on the left.

(map reference 216679, distance 6.400km) Take the footpath immediately beyond the factory. This emerges at the top of the cliff onto a road leading directly back to the bus station.

Frigiliana-Nerja Route Data

Distance: 6.4km.

Vertical Interval: 550m.

Time: 2 ½ – 4 hrs.

Difficulty (1=Easy, 9=V.difficult): 2. But take care when wading the stream.

Walking in Andalucia – Caution

Mountain walking is a delight, but also potentially dangerous, especially in bad weather. Always:

  • Wear stout, non-slip footwear and carry a walking pole.
  • Carry water and weatherproof clothing.
  • Tell someone your route and return time.
  • Be prepared for sudden storms or mist.

Other Walks in Axarquia

 Full downloadable walk directions and map for a walk in the Salares Valley and other walks in Axarquia.

The Liman Trail

Climbing El Fuerte

A Walk in the Alpujarra