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The Axarquia

The Axarquia is a historic region of Andalusia located in the eastern corner of the province of Malaga. It stretches from the provincial border between Malaga and Granada in the east (close to the town of Nerja) until the city of Malaga in the west. Velez–Malaga is its largest and most influential town nestled between the Mediterranean Sea and the Sierra Tejeda. Historically the town has been of some importance to the region as a whole and been the focus of power struggles between the Catholic Kings and the Moors with far reaching consequences. In 1487 it was conquered by King Fernando providing an important base for the further conquest of Malaga after almost 800 years of Moorish rule.


The highest peak in the region is the 2000m mountain “La Maroma” which directly overlooks its capital and dominates the landscape. Numerous rivers run through the territory including the Velez, Torrox, Chillar and Higuerón and combined with the mild weather associated with the area mean it’s an excellent location for agriculture. The Axarquia valley is full of fruit groves but it’s not just fruit that is produced here. The variety of locally grown foods is truly astonishing. Olives, almonds, avocados and tomatoes, just to mention a few are all commonly cultivated here.

The towns clearly show their Moorish heritage with picturesque narrow white streets, central squares and historical monuments. The terracing of the landscape also reflect this past.


The coastline of the Axarquia is a mix of beaches, cliffs, coves and headlands with watchtowers dotted along the length of the shoreline. These were erected in the late 16th century to spot pirate ships and warn the locals and other towns along the shore of Moorish raiding parties.


This part of the Costa del Sol still retains much of its charm whilst opening its doors to visitors. With less development and commercialization visitors get a better taste of Andalusia and a chance to soak up more of its history and culture whilst having the opportunity to enjoy all the benefits of a relaxing beach getaway. With all this taken into account, the Axarquia really is worth a visit.