Walk to Acebuchal

Image Duration: 2.5 hours from Cómpeta village
Distance: 13km
Grade: Moderate
Terrain: Good track, not too steep 

The walk to the 17th century hamlet (aldea) of Acebuchal on the border between Cómpeta and Frigiliana  takes you through some magnificent scenery  there are surprises round every corner.  

The aldea actually belongs to the municipal area of Cómpeta. To say that the views to in the natural park of the Tejeda and Almijara mountains are “fantastic” is an understatement. The tranquillity of the sweeping gorges and surrounding valleys criss-crossed by goat tracks are a world away from the hustle and bustle of Cómpeta and Frigiliana  a walkers´and cyclists´ paradise.  Even in January the almond blossom is beginning to appear. The archaeology of the area is fascinating artefacts from the Iberic cultures which existed 1000 years BC have been discovered as well as Roman and Arabic coins.  The village has a tormented history, and in 1998 Antonio Garcia “El Zumbo” and Virtudes decided to restore the village to its former glory. This they have done with spectacular effect, a sympathetic restoration using local materials, so at first sight you think you are stepping back in time. Working mules are still in evidence, and there are no motor bikes or quad bikes in sight. Peace and tranquillity tucked away in the folds of the mountains, with a fascinating past you can read more at www.elacebuchal.es.

To arrive at this idyllic spot, leave Cómpeta on the Torrox road, walk along the road to the helicopter pad where King Juan Carlos´ helicopter landed during his visit to the village in 1998. The helipad is on the left a wide open space about 2km from Cómpeta just before the Pavo Real. There is a yellow structure which looks like a ticket office on the site.  Alternatively if you don't want to walk on the road, and if you can spot Finca Kristina on the right about .5km from Competa  a gated finca with a beautiful garden, then you can take the track to the left a little way on which is a goat track, and brings you down in front of the tool hire business.  If you don't spot the finca, and continue along the road, you can go left at the yellow sign of the plant and tool hire business and walk to the helipad that way.  This means that you do not need to walk on the road for the whole distance to the helipad. The Junta de Andalucia has prepared signs to Acebuchal, but they are not yet in place. Watch out for wooden posts with white arrows indicating the direction as you proceed along the track.

From the helipad, descend into the valley by taking the left fork, and zig-zag down towards the Fabrica de Luz de Cómpeta, which is under renovation. Cross the river (Rio de Torrox) via a little wooden bridge, and continue up to the sign directing you right to El Acebuchal. Unless you are very fit, do not attempt the route which goes straight on which brings you out to the Casa de Mina.

The route is not a difficult one it is a long uphill walk as you leave the river bed, but is not strenuous, though if you are to do the walk in a day, 5 hours is a long time to walk, so you need to be reasonably fit.  Retrace your steps and you will see different vistas spread out before you as is often the way.

Tina Irving
Caledonian Iberian ConeXions S.L.

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