Rio Chillar, the chill-out river, is located just five minutes’ drive from the Nerja centre, at the Sierras de Tejeda mountains. It’s a very popular spot for Spanish families. Both kids and grown-ups can enjoy fantastic walk full of splashing in the crystal clear water.
Step by step
The route down the river starts very inconspicuously as initially the water barely covers your feet. On the sides of the river bed you will see some bushes, rocks and trees. Nothing spectacular. After 20 minutes of walking, the landscape gradually changes. The river enters a narrow gorge and the water starts to get slightly deeper, but don’t worry, in most places it should never reach your knees. The high cliffs provide plenty of shade, making the walk really enjoyable for everyone.
And that’s when the real fun starts! Jumping and splashing around, dipping in one of the several natural pools formed by the river, sitting underneath a waterfall – all these irresistible attractions can be found in Rio Chillar. Your kids will burn all their energy in no time. It takes around 3-4 hours to complete the whole route. However, you don’t need to reach the very end of the river to experience all the joys of Rio Chillar. Enjoy!
Tips for the trip
A good pair of shoes is recommended as there will be lots of slippery pebbles and rocks under your feet most of the time. If you haven’t got anything suitable, visit a good sports shop with a wide range of light water shoes. During summer weekends Rio Chillar can get a bit busy, try to avoid that time. However, arriving in the morning can be a a good way of avoiding the crowds. Never visit Rio Chillar right after intense rainfall or when there is a forecast of rain as heavy rain causes water levels to rise very quickly.
1. Aracena caves – the small sleepy white town of Aracena hides a marvelous treasure under its streets. It’s the Cave of Wonders, large network of limestone caverns connected by corridors.
In each magical cavern you will find weird and wonderful stalagmites and stalactites forming most incredible patterns, a sheer wonder of nature.
You can only explore the caves in a guided tour of 30 people max. It is prohibited to use camera one you enter the caves. During 1,5 hour tour you will explore only 10% per cent of the caverns, but that is enough to leave you awestruck. Entrance fee for an adult: 8,5 Euros.
2. Nerja caves – Cuevas de Nerja are home to world’s largest stalagmite which is 32 meter long. The large caves are connected by steps going up and down in a circular route. It takes about 45 minutes to see all the caves on display. It is possible to visit the caves with and without a guide. In the summer time, the place can get crowdy. Entrance fee for an adult: 9 Euros.
3. Gibraltar caves – St. Michael’s Cave, one of the 150 caves in the Rock of Gibraltar, is an absolute must-see when you pay a visit to the British exclave on the southern Spanish coast. This impressive network of limestone caverns and chambers can be accessed from the Upper Rock Nature reserve.
St. Michael’s Cave boasts long history of military use. Today, it is often used as a venue for music concerts, because it created a vibrant musical force. Entrance fee for an adult: 9 Euros.
It is also possible to explore the Lower St. Michael’s cave which can be visited by appointment only and requires some bending, climbing and sliding to get from one chamber to another!
4. Pileta Cave, near the village of Benaoján, Sierra of Grazelema. Situated at 711 meters altitude in the south slope of a rocky hill. This prehistoric cave was declared National Monument by the Spanish state in 1924.
Pileta Caves are most famous for the paintings that can be found in different chambers inside. Some of those galleries date back to 31,000 B.C. The paintings show various animals and some mysterious signs as well. Only guided tours are available. Remember to wear shoes that can provide traction as it can be slippery inside. A visit lasts ca. 1 hour. It is impossible to use cameras inside the cave. Entrance fee for an adult: 8 Euros.
5. Cave houses of Guadix – the small city at the foothills of Sierra Nevada is famous for troglodyte caves. Around 2000 of those cave dwellings are inhabited today by locals and form a district called “Barrio Troglodyte”! It is also possible to rent some of those houses. There is a Cave-Museum of Traditional Culture in Guadix as well. Cueva Museo is located in front of the church of San Miguel.
From winter to autumn there is a steady 18-20°C temperature inside the Guadix cave houses. That means that the house owners don’t have to pay for air conditioning in summer and don’t need to pay for heating in winter. The size of a typical troglodyte house depends on the hill from which the house was carved out. Houses usually face to the south allowing for most sun exposure throughut the day. The rooms closest to the entrance are those that need warmth and light most: the kitchen and the living room. Further behind there are bedrooms and bathroom. At the very end, different storage rooms are set up.
6. Sorbas caves – located massive underground world which comprises of more than one thousand gypsum caverns connected by different corridors. The entrance to the cave sis located only 2 kms from Sorbas (near Almeria) in the Karst en Yesos de Sorbas Park.
There are four routes for beginners are for experts. The easiest route can be completed in 2 hours. Even the Ruta Basica requires some basic physical fitness as it involves some climbing, squeezing and crawling. The most diificult route can take 4,5 h to complete. Not recommended for individuals with cluastrohopbia! Entrance fee for an adult: 15 – 50 Euros depending on which route you decide to take.
1. Tarifa kayaking – Playa Chica (the Mediterranean part of Tarifa) as well as Valdevaqueros-Punta Paloma route are the top two places for kayaking on Costa de la Luz region. There is a surf ski company operating in Tarifa (sit on top type of kayak), Epic Surfski Centre.
2. Algeciras kayaking – starting point Getares beach in Algeciras and the finishing point Punta Carnero, very popular route, great for beginners. Punta Carnero offers unforgettable views of the Gibraltar Strait and Morocco.
3. Cabo de Gata-Níjar near Almeria – amazing route on the beautiful sea. Great views of the rocky coastline, magical cave tunnels on the way. Depending on how much you want to see, the trip can last anytime from a few hours to full day. There are companies organizing kayak tours there. Much recommended.
4. Nerja-Maro kayaking – stunningly beautiful route along the Maro beach, crystal-clear water, beautiful rock formations, small waterfalls – all this make you feel as if you were in a paradise. The water is very shallow in most places, so it’s safe as well. There are companies organizing kayak tours there. Much recommended.
5. Fuengirola kayak rental – if you spend your holidays on Costa del Sol and have little resources to organize a kayaking trip, head off to Fuengirola. There is a water sports centre where you can rent a single boat (25 Euros for half day)/double boat 935 Euros for half day) and much more – Cristopher’s Kayak Rental.
6. Vinuela lake near Malaga canoeing – perfect for beginners as the lake is much calmer than sea, beautiful turquoise lake, only 50 kms inland from Malaga. It’s possible o rent a canoe at the local sailing club.
7. Zahara de la Sierra reservoir kayaking – the picturesque lake, surrounded by mountains and guarded by the beautiful white village, is a perfect venue for kayaking in summer. The western side of the lake, to the right of the A-2300 road, has three good starting points where you can easily park your car. Much recommended.
Great sunny weather more than 300 days a year. Fantastic sunrises over the Mediterranean nearly everyday. Wide range of excellent seafront hotels and apartments. Plenty of different bars, restaurants, snack bars as well as different recreational options. Good beach amenities. Lots of golf courses around. Good public transport. No wonder the beaches on Costa del Sol are a magnet for British holidaymakers and expats. Have a look at our list of the best beaches on the Spanish Coast of the Sun, from east to west.
Popular beaches on Spanish Costa del Sol
1. Playa del Cañuelo in Nerja – a real gem on Costa del Sol. This spectacular beach is located within the protected area of the national parkland which means you need to walk for about 1,5 km to reach the beach. Alternatively, in the season, you can take a ride down to the beach in a small shuttle bus. The beach boasts beautiful crystal clear water, great for snorkelling. There are some wonderful rocks scattered throughout the beach as well.
Playa del Cañuelo in Nerja
2. Rincon de la Victoria beach near Malaga – located in a coastal village only 12km east of Malaga. This beautiful wide sandy beach is loved by the locals. The beach boasts a lively sea promenade with some great bars and restaurants. On the minus side, Rincon de la Victoria beach tends to get very busy in July and August.
3. Misericordia beach in Malaga – one the nicest beach in the capital of Costa del Sol, 2 km long and 30 metres wide. Located on the southern outskirts of the city. Very wide beach with lots of parking space. Never overcrowded. There is a distinctive tall 19th chimney clearly seen from the beach.
4. Playa de la Playamar beach in Torremolinos – located only 7 kilometres west of Malaga Airport. Vast beach with plenty of quiet spots, however tends to get a bit crowdy during summer weekends. Kept in excellent conditions. Beautiful clean sand. Some great swimming spots.
6. Torre Bermeja beach in Benalmadena – wide and clean 700 metre long beach where you can enjoy sun all day long. Torre Bermeja regularly cleaned. The sand is darkish. Beach goers can rent sunbeds, umbrellas, boats, jet skis. There is a beach football and volleyball pitches prepared as well. In addition to that Torre Bermeja boasts some nice bars and restaurants.
7. Puerto Banús beach near Marbella – best beach in Puerto Banus, Marbella. Well taken care of, long, wide and family friendly. Within walking distance from the beach you will find some fantastic restaurants, bars as well as designer boutiques and jewellery shops.
8. Playa del Cristo in Estepona – located near the centre of Estepona. Unlike nearly all the beaches on the Costa del Sol that face east and south, El Cristo looks more to the west allowing for more sunshine in the evening hours. Playa del Cristo boasts mesmerizing sunsets and shallow water which is simply perfect for kids. It’s well protected from the wind as well. El Cristo would be a perfect beach were it not for it’s small size and low quality parking.