The main importance of the area centres in the longitudinal extent of the mountain chain, connecting the Sierra of Malaga with the neighbouring Sierra Nevada. Its fertile lands, producing abundant tropical fruit, make it of interest to tourists.
If the value of the Park, in a natural sense, is in its rocks and ravines, in its towns a fantastic historical inheritance with a Moorish and Mudejar feel can be found; with bright whitewashed walls and elegant arches, stone steps and Mozarabic brick towers, where the night tingles with Jasmine and Orange blossom. In this respect, the towns of Salares and Frigilina are outstanding. But the greatest pearl of this region, for its rich patrimony, is Alhama de Granada
The area includes the Malagese towns of Alcaucín, Canillas de Aceituno, Canillas de Albaida, Cómpeta, Frigiliana, Nerja, Salares, Sedella and the Grenadine towns of Alhama de Granada, Arenas del Rey, Jayena and Otívar.
- Alhama. Counts on an interesting monumental and ethnographic ensemble of Roman, Andalucian and Moorish origin, with whitewashed walls, twisted archways, steps and towers. Of outstanding interest are “las Termas de Pajares”, (The baths of Pajares), where a pool of the Islamic period is preserved, the walled area where some remains of watch towers that once guarded the town are found and the “Casa de la Inquisición”, ( House of the Inquisition), a magnificent Neo-Gothic building.
The House of the Inquisition The Pallares bathes
Axarquia in Malaga is of pronounced Moorish character, the Alminar Tower in the town of Salares being one of the most representative architectonic samples of the Moorish style.
THE REGION OF AXARQUIA
Some people say this region is like a miniature Malaga with its mountains, valleys, peaks and coast. In any case, it has the most towns of all the districts of Malaga and is in the easternmost part of the province. Hence its coastal zone is called the Costa del Sol Oriental.
- Velez-Malaga is considered the capital of La Axarquia. Its old town has been declared an artistic and historical area. The town has a significant Mudejar and Baroque architectural heritage, with palaces, churches and monasteries amongst its picturesque streets. Archaeological sites in Velez have proven the existence of Phoenician and Roman settlements under the modern town.
- Chilches. The small coastal village of Chilches, in the Vélez-Málaga area is located a short distance from the coast and close to the watchtower of the same name. The tower built of stone and brick, has a tapered shape. Under the door there are 4 portholes. It is of Arabic origin and was rebuilt after the fall of Granada in 1492 as part of an improved coastal defense system.
- Benajarafe. Outstanding for a watchtower called Torre Moya, unique for its semicircular East Coast rim. This consists of two floors and a roof, being a superb example of military engineering, invulnerability and ingeniously warlike design.
- Almayate. A town born near the quarries that supplied the material for the construction of the Cathedral of Malaga and which now a days is moving towards the coast. It is a rich agricultural area where sugarcane and horticultural products are cultivated, as well as cut flowers, tropical fruits, etc.
Frigiliana: The main attraction is its Mudejar Moorish district with its narrow, winding, stepped alleys filled with flowers. There is a route that follows ceramic panels which contain the chronicles of the battle for the Frigiliana peak.
- Nerja: An historical village whose first buildings date to 1487. Of note is: The Balcony of Europe, a 10th-century castle that has now become a sea lookout and in the Boquete de Calahonda, begins the Paseo de los Carabineros, a beautiful coast road nestled in a natural rocky setting.
The eastern area of the Axarquia has 30 miles of beaches stretching from Rincón de la Victoria to Nerja, on the border with La Herradura, in the province of Granada. It is slightly different from the rest of the province of Malaga in the following respects: the way its beaches are used and the type of tourism they attract. Torre del Mar, Torrox and Nerja have long sandy beaches but around Nerja and Maro beautiful cliffs form small coves which hide a nudist beach.