From the higher Vélez-Málaga, you can go down the old livestock path, called Vereda del Camino Bajo of Algarrobo, to its fishing port, and then to the village of Algarrobo along the Mediterranean coast. Following the beaches of villages Mezquitilla, Lagos and El Merche, you will arrive at the outstanding Lighthouse of Torrox and then upstream to the village with the same name. Below this point, you will see the tops of the Tejeda Mountains.
Stage 3 continues east along La Axarquía coast, linking up the neighbouring towns in the two main river valleys in the region, both named after their respective towns Interestingly, it passes through the municipality of Vélez-Málaga, Algarrobo and again Vélez, where Mezquitilla Point roughly indicates the midway point. Once over the River Güí, the route enters the municipality of Torrox.
The initial section, distinguishes itself from the largely coastal route, by running almost four kilometres inland. The middle section then breezes over a number of smaller rivers flowing south into the Alborán Sea. Some of these are only short, but the Rivers Algarrobo, Güí and Torrox have their sources in the mountains of the Sierra Almijara, meaning larger volumes of water and more intriguing river mouths.
At first, the route makes use of the smaller roads, taking a southeast course in between subtropical plantations and golf courses. You later amble along the seafront boulevards through numerous towns and then along the verges of the N-340. In addition, there are sections of sand, the walkways of La Ferrara beach and the dried river bed of the River Torrox.
The coastline of La Axarquía is considerably less built-up than Malaga’s western stretch, with a greater focus on agricultural land use, much of it under plastic greenhouses and in subtropical fruit groves. This has meant that few pockets of nature remain, these include its river mouths and some of the last remaining dune systems on the eastern Costa del Sol. Owing to its superb climate, a number of Mediterranean civilizations have arrived on these shores, leaving the region with archaeological sites of the highest order.
The strategic and industrial importance of the Province’s history is exemplified perfectly by the site of the Roman ruins and its visitors’ centre, next to Torrox lighthouse.
In Stage three we can witness the old Málaga province joining hands with the Málaga province of the 21st century. The first one is represented by watchtowers and Roman and Phoenician archeological sites. The latter is focused on two types of industry, both derived from the excellent climate of Axarquía: tourism and agriculture.
The tourist area is concentrated around the coast and, surprisingly, you can recognise construction models which have been already given up in the Costa del Sol, corresponding with the style of the mid-20th century and co-existing with recent residential areas which have been built according to very different parameters. There are fi shing communities which maintain their roots; their houses lined up overlooking the horizon over the sea, their products which bring back the past both to locals and visitors. This could probably be one of the most attractive aspects for the visitors in Stage 3.
The other industry generated as a result of the benign weather conditions, is the agriculture based on growing sub-tropical fruit trees. These are mainly grown in valleys, taking advantage of the shelter and the most indispensable resource: water. You will be able to see highly advanced technology applied recently to the exploitation spread out on the Axarquían hill. On the other hand you will also notice the ancient terraces and walls which have been adapted to the present use and now harbour some of the new types of product destined for modern markets.
All in all, with this fusion of different possible components, Stage 3 offers a variety of landscapes which are worth mentioning; between urban and rural, with various sections of agriculture mentioned above, all of these landscapes are deeply interwoven into the very unique natural environment Stage 3 lets you explore.