We followed the dusty dirt track snaking along the gorge, from the Nerja caves on a sunny Sunday morning.
Locals were heading to the picnic site that was located about 5km away from the main road, so for the first 3km we had to share the track with some cars. Leaves rustled in the gentle breeze and birds chased each other playfully as we started the ascent; first on a wide track and then on a narrow stony path. Cloudless blue sky and warm spring weather treated us and the scenery was dominated by rock scattered mountains.
There was a steady climb and the last section was very steep on the rocky mountainside. Other walkers were also making their way up to El Cielo (1508m) to enjoy the views and we were all greeted by the 360 degree panorama on the top. I slowly turned around, trying to take it all in. Like a group of tiny houses on a huge plotting board, the buildings of Nerja settled on the coast, sunshine danced on the sea and it was hard to tell where the sea ended and where the sky started. Rugged mountains filled the horizon and the snow capped Mulhacen – the highest mountain in mainland Spain in the Sierra Nevada – was easily recognisable. It was our first day in Nerja and many of the mountains in the Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara y Alhama Natural Park were yet to be climbed.
However about 8 years ago we stood on the very same peak, and enjoyed the same views. During that trip we didn`t spend enough time in the Nerja area and it was nice to be back. And we could never get bored of those mountain views.
Walkers posed for their must-have photos and then they sat on rocks to catch their breath and marvel at the views. We finished our coffee, had some cookies and slowly started our descent and retraced our steps to the caves. It was the warm up walk – 20km there and back route – on the first day of our walking holiday in Andalucía.