This stage is symbolized by a huge chalky massif of the Sierra Tejeda, and connects various villages and small towns of Axarquía. It stretches to the middle of the mountain, where different rural constructions of diverse civilizations are set.
Stage 7 ventures deep into the heart of La Axarquía’s mountains in its middle section. A reoccurring pattern occurs here, the route leaves one village, climbs up into the Sierra (mountains) then drops down into the next village. Five villages are connected in this way: Cómpeta, Canillas de Albaida, Salares, Sedella y Canillas de Aceituno, crossing at least one important valley on each occasion. Due to the Sierra’s layout, the Path takes an entirely westerly course, and stays mainly within the bounds or on the edges of the Natural Park of the Sierra of Tejada, Almijara and Alhama.
The boundary of each municipality is drawn so that each contains an area of Sierra for grazing or forestry purposes, so this tends to be the most common use of land. The route frequently takes advantage of the long irrigation channels, however their true purpose is to carry water from the mountain sources to the settlements and farmland. On other occasions, it follows traditional footpaths running between towns or connecting them with the Sierra, alongside picturesque and illustrious country estates. Unsurfaced tracks allow access to and maintenance of the Natural Park and estates, and these make up the rest of the route. Roads run parallel to these tracks, and always just below. The section around El Saltillo, most of which has been newly created, deserves a special mention.
Bridges from Roman, Arabic and more modern times, such as the famous El Saltillo bridge are used to cross over several of the rivers in the area. These run south from the Sierra Tejada down into the Mediterranean. In contrast, the route climbs up to lookout points, with some memorable views of the nearby mountains and La Axarquía’s attractive mountain villages. In addition to the terraced groves at Canillas de Albaida or Cómpeta, there is delightful Holm Oak woodland just before Salares and Pine forest around Sedella and Canillas de Aceituno. Nevertheless, the undeniable stars of the stage are the bridge, the walkways and the channel at El Saltillo. Some of the wildest and most impressive scenery in La Axarquía is found around here.
You will be crossing some of the rivers which flow direction south towards the Mediterranean Sea, from Sierra Tejeda, walking over some spectacular bridges Roman and Arabic in origin. You will also walk up to various watchtowers from where you will be able to admire the nearby mountains and beautiful villages of the Axarquía wilderness. You will be able to visit some of the villages. Additionally to the terraced orchards in Canillas de Albaida, there are pretty oak forests before the village of Salares, and pine woods close to Sedella. The succession of rivers and woods, villages and historical bridges, mountain landscapes and the possibility of adapting the dynamic of the itinerary to your taste make Stage 7 a much recommended stage of the GR.