Want to set up a business in Spain? Read how the locals and expats in the Axarquia area have set up their business. Or use this section as a guide as to where to shop, drink or eat.


Unique and specialist walking tours and mountain walking lodge From the Himalayas, to the Blue Mountains, the Andes to the Drakensberg, The Rockies to the Golden Triangle, the natural, historical and unique wonder of these spectacular regions is equalled here in Andalusia, and particularly in the Axarquia mountain ranges. David and I have trekked and hiked extensively across the world, and here, in the mountains surrounding the beautiful white washed village of Competa, we have found a walking and hiking paradise. And it is our mission to share and teach about the immense history, the wonderful landscape, flora, fauna and wildlife of this splendid region, so that it may be enjoyed, understood and preserved. Preservation of this region is most important to us and we have started a programme to provide education about the environment here, free to children and their families in Andalusia, so that we can not only promote the area, but ensure that the next generation grow up appreciating as much, its importance in this little corner of the world. Working with Axareducacion, and the Ayuntamiento Park Rangers, we walk with children once a month, providing a fun and insightful day of information, games and prizes, finished off with food and refreshments at our walking lodge, Finca Los Pinos.


Living here in southern Spain we enjoy the fantastic benefits of over 300 days of sunshine per year, healthy Mediterranean diet and hopefully less day to day stress. We all want to stay healthy and this need does not stop when we live in such a great environment, but unlike countries with a colder climate we have the luxury of exercising outdoors all year round. Take for example running. Running is extremely popular and a lot of people choose the treadmill over running outside as they perceive that they will be less prone to injuries. Recent studies have shown, however, that on a treadmill the joints and ligaments are put under a lot more stress due to the repetitive nature of running on the same surface at the same angle for mile after mile. This contrasts with running outside where every step is different which strengthens your joints and ligaments and also improves balance and activates other area such as your core muscles for an all over body workout. There is also the added benefit of wind resistance outdoors which enables you to burn more calories in the same amount of time. Another study showed that on a treadmill the perception of speed is distorted so runners tend to run slower than if they were running outdoors. There are other great and surprising benefits of exercising in the great Spanish outdoors:


Sitting outside in the sun, looking out to sea from the bay of La Herradura, whilst having a coffee and talking to Stephen from Sail and Stay, is what living and working in Spain is all about! Stephen has managed to turn his hobby of sailing into a full time job, whilst living in the sun. His successful business, charm and likeability factor has meant that Sail and Stay has been approached a couple of times to be on television on “Living the Dream” type programs. The most recent will


I visited Bodega Bentomiz a couple of years back for their wine tasting and tapas tour. In fact I went a few times, once with friends and then, because it was so enjoyable, I took the family a couple of times too. I have to admit, since those visits I had not returned as I felt I had seen it, done it and could enjoy the wines whenever they appeared on the menu locally. However, I was invited by owners Clara and Andre to visit the Bodega again - and what a surprise I got: it has really changed. The bodega is located above Sayalonga, just off the main road and now the short track to it is all concreted and there is a large fenced car park area, with easier access to the Bodega. The whole building is now completed and an example of incredible architecture that fits perfectly into the landscape. A result of Andres' hard work and vision, it is a magnificent Bauhaus-style building that's clad in slate outside and is light and airy within.


About 6 years ago we had an erosion problem with our newly terraced land. Since our home was located in the campo above the village of Sayalonga there was no real viable solution. You cannot permit a wall on rustic land. We wanted an economical and eco friendly answer. We spoke with knowledgeable internationally known ecologists and discovered this incredible grass called Vetiver. Vetiver originates from India. It is used by governments in over 100 countries including Spain. The scientific name is Chrysopogon Zizanioides and the variety is Monto. Our first plants came from Italy 6 years ago. We have been successfully planting and experimenting with the grass the past 6 years in all types of soils, environments, slope angles, etc. We have hundreds of thousands of plants. Anna grew up on the largest orchid nursery in Africa and can grow anything. A hobby became a business.

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