Best trips from Malaga to Cadiz province
If you are in Estepona, Marbella or arriving in Malaga airport there are many incredible places that you can visit in Cadiz. In this blog I will be talking about best trips from Malaga province to Cadiz province.
Cadiz has over a third of its surface protected, the highest in Andalusia, while its climate is similar to Canary Islands. In fact, Cadiz and Huelva in “la costa de la luz” are the provinces with the highest amount of sunlight hours of Spain. On the other hand Cadiz has the rainiest place in Spain, Grazalema natural park, and different geology throughout the province. This climate, geology, and the locations, the southest point of mainland Europe, creates unique landscapes in Cadiz.
Below I will be giving different ideas of what to visit in Cadiz near the border with Malaga. From gorgeous white towns within the list of the most beautiful towns of Spain to incredible protected natural parks.
Trips from la “Costa del Sol” to coastal white towns in Cadiz
The following are trips from coastal Malaga province, Marbella, Estepona, Fuengirola, or even Malaga city from under two hours.
Jimena de la Frontera
Jimena is a gorgeous white town in Cadiz province. From the castle there are gorgeous views of los Alcornocales natural park and Gibraltar. Nearby there is a very interesting hike called “Ruta río Hozgarganta”. Jimena de la Frontera is 1:40 from Malaga airport.
Restaurant: El ventorrillero /The windmill is a local restaurant with traditional dishes from the mountains. It focuses on rice, meats, stews, wildmushrooms and more.
Castellar de la Frontera
Castellar is oficially considered one of the most beautiful towns of Spain in Cadiz. Mostly because the castle that it has is outstanding. This white town is one of the entrances to the largest cork oak forest in Spain, los Alcornocales natural park. Castellar de la Frontera has one of the best preserved castles in Europe. It has only one entrance, and the white houses are all still inside of the incredible high walls. All streets inside have been wel taken care of and traditionally narrow. Castellar de la Frontera is less than 1:30h away from Malaga airport
Restaurant: Restaurante Virgil, is a local restaurant with traditional dishes from the mountains. It focuses on rice, meats, stews, wildmushrooms and more.
Tarifa is a coastal white town. It is famous for its sport tourism, kite surfing, surfing, cycling, hiking and more. If you go in May-June, I recommend to check when they do their bluefin tuna festival and spend a day trying its bluefin tuna tapas competition. Tarifa is one of the four towns that still use the millenial bluefin tuna fishing method, almadraba. Tarifa is around 1:30h away from Malaga airport.
Restaurant: Restaurante la pescadería is a good place to try bluefin tuna, the local fish dishes.
Bolonia is within Tarifa municipality but it has the Roman remains of Baelo Claudia. It is two hour away from Malaga city, but the Roman ruins are among the best in Spain to see how a Roman city looked like. These ruins are within one of the most beautiful beaches in Spain, within El Estrecho natural park. Bolonia is around 2:00h away from Malaga airport
Restaurant: Otero restaurant is a really nice restaurant I recommend with great views, sometimes live music and the Roman ruins are just in front.
Trips from Malaga to Cadiz’s white towns in the mountain system
The following are trips from coastal Malaga province, Marbella, Estepona, Fuengirola, or even Malaga city that are under two hours driving to the famous white towns in the mountainous area of Cadiz province.
Setenil de las Bodegas
Setenil is listed as one of the most beautiful villages in all of Spain! It is such a unique White village because it is actually built within the caves of a canyon. Scientists have found evidence of a large community of prehistoric people in the caves, making Setenil one of the oldest inhabited areas of Spain.
Restaurant: Bar restaurante Domínguez is a local restaurant with traditional dishes from Setenil. With some Moorish influenced dishes, “migas de Setenil”, meats, rice and more.
Zahara de la Sierra
With its picturesque views and the 13th century castle at the top of the hill, it is another must-visit white town. The views are among the best in Cadiz. If you arrive on a sunny day, the water of the local lake is completely turquoise. In all, the perfect village to get away from it all. You can do an olive oil tour just outside of the village.
Restaurant: Bar restaurante La Era is a local restaurant with traditional dishes from the mountains region. They are the same owners as in the bar Josefi, and their food is fabulous for local food with great value.
With steep mountains as a dramatic backdrop and amazing landscapes you have plenty of hiking routes around this white village. Coming from “Ronda”, you will have wonderful views along the route. Curiously, the Natural Park of Grazalema receives some of the most rain in Spain. So if you come to visit remember to bring an umbrella just in case!
Restaurant: Restaurant Cadiz el Chico is a local restaurant with traditional dishes from the mountains. It focuses on rice, bushmeat/ gamy meat, stews, wild mushrooms and more.
This white town is not within the list of the most beautiful villages in Spain, but has its own charms and you can find it on the way from Setenil de las Bodegas and Zahara de la Sierra. From the castle, which has a small cost to enter, the views are outstanding. The incredible church near the castle of Olvera, and the panoramic views are a must visit if you are nearby.
Hiking in Cadiz near Malaga province
The cork oak forest in Los Alcornocales natural park is the largest cork oak forest in Spain and one of the largest in the world. This park shares borders between Malaga and Cadiz.
From La Costa del Sol there are several hikes in Los Alcornocales natural park. Many of these hikes are easy day trips from Estepona, Marbella and even Fuengirola. There are even some hikes that start in Malaga province and cross to Cadiz. If you are interested in learning more about these hikes please click here.
Hiking in Grazalema Natural Park
The following hikes are in Grazalema natural park. These hikes are easy day trips from all Malaga province. In fact, it will take about the same amount of time to arrive in Grazalema from Estepona, Marbella, Malaga city or even Antequera.
Grazalema natural park shares borders with Seville, Malaga and Cadiz. This park is also part of the Mediterranean intercontinental biosphere reserve, which goes from Malaga to Morocco. The almost 52,000 ha park in Cadiz has spectacular rugged limestone landscapes of cliffs, gullies, caves and gorges. This rocky landscape is very different to the green landscapes found just south of Grazalema natural park, in Los Alcornocales natural park.
Gorgeous hike to enjoy views and walking along woodland from the tertiary time period, called pinsapar. This Spanish fir is one of the oldest European forests, together with the laurisilva that you can find in Los Alcornocales natural park.
In Cadiz you will only find pinsapar in Grazalema natural park. This hike has medium difficulty and takes around 4-5 hours to do. If you want it easier it is better to hike it from Grazalema to Benamahoma, where you descend around 850m, instead of climbing up. Around 10km each way.
In case you do not have enough time to do the other hike, this hike is much shorter. It has a medium difficulty because of the 500m climb to the top. This hike is worth it because of the views of Grazalema natural park and of the white town of Grazalema.
This hike is in a protected area, so you must ask for a permit to the office of Grazalema natural park. Part of the hike goes along deep canyons or gorges, and you have to go into the water. Some local companies can gear you up and you can do some canyoning to make it more interesting.
The hike la garganta verde has medium-high difficulty. It is slightly short and takes around 1:30h if you do it by yourself. The entrance is between Grazalema and Zahara de la Sierra. To ask for a permit from the natural park contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or call +34956709733.
The most famous hike in this natural park. It is a linear hike, that you can do both ways. The rio Majaceite hike starts in Benamahoma white town and goes all the way to El Bosque. Since it is well known the hike may get busy in summer. The Rio Majaceite hike is easy and takes around 3:00h, with a little over 10km.
This is the hike to climb to highest peak in Cadiz province, El Torreon. It is in the road between Grazalema and Benamahoma and it needs a permit to climb. Moreover, to ask for a permit contact email@example.com, or call +34956709733. Nevertheless, the views from the top are just breathtaking and it is worth it. It takes between 3:00-4:00h depending on your physical shape, around 6km including both ways.
Private tours in Cadiz province from Malaga
My name is Carlos and I have a tour agency based in Vejer de la Frontera, Explore la Tierra. I focus on doing private culinary tours, cultural and hiking tours within Cadiz province. Please, read below what type of activities I do. I am certain you may want to join some of them!
Cadiz province is home of one of the most known international wines, the famous sherry wine. I do private sherry and Andalusian wine tastings throughout Cadiz province. Join our culinary and cultural tours where we go and visit the famous white towns of Cadiz. You will learn about the traditional bluefin tuna fishing method, almadraba, or visit a local olive press, almazara. I look forward to showing you the incredibly diverse gastronomy and traditions that the province has to offer.
In these private guided hiking tours in Cadiz province I offer incredible hikes in La Breña, El Estrecho and Los Alcornocales natural parks. You will learn about local traditions and about the culinary, medicinal and gastronomical use of the Mediterranean plants. I worked in the environmental and conservation fields in Canada, UK and Spain for over 5 years and know many of the species in the area.
Cadiz province is one of the most biodiverse provinces in mainland Spain. Habitats range from dense forest reminiscent of cloud forest to Mediterranean forest, dune systems, and more. Moreover, enjoy the majestic views of Cadiz and the Strait of Gibraltar. Cadiz has the highest % of protected habitat in Andalusia, while its climate and sunlight hours are similar to Canary Islands. I look forward to showing you this incredibly diverse province in the most southern point of mainland Spain.
If you are looking into a nice trip from Malaga to Cadiz province, please contact us. If you want to join me in any of these tours, please do not hesitate to visit my website and contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.