A dream destination for rock climbers and geologists, Malaga’s lake district of El Chorro is a popular Sunday rural escape for city folk and villagers alike, looking for a chance to enjoy a BBQ, a waterside view or maybe a multiple course lunch in one of the many bars or ventas. The area is big enough to accommodate everyone whether one the peace of hiking alone or a laugh with friends and family in a busy restaurant.
The area has some of Europe’s most extraordinary gorges and geological features, and of course the now iconic ‘Camino del Rey’; the precipitous elevated walkway that took its name from a royal visit by King Alfonso XIII in the 1920s. It’s now closed (awaiting renovation) and is only really enjoyed by adrenalin-junkies and climbers.
At the turn of the twentieth century, the area was developed for hydroelectricity and reservoirs for Malaga city. It is also home to a remarkable Mozarabic church at Bobastro – you can see my blog about that a few years ago here.
It’s not far inland and makes for a great escape to the country with plenty of hiking routes and inspiring views of emerald green lakes, verdant pine forests and striking rock formations – this is a photo essay of our Sunday in El Chorro.
If you haven’t made it up here yet, then add it to your ‘to do’ list as it’s a rewarding day. It’s close to the village of Ardales and not far from Ronda or Malaga.
Interestingly, today El Chorro remains important ‘grid energy storage’ for the nearby wind turbines (vast quantities of water are pumped up from the iconic gorge to a high altitude reservoir at times of excess production and then the water is released to recover the energy at times of high demand in Malaga.)
Which hotels do you recommend to stay and swim in lakes in this area( El Chorro)
We are planning to come september 2015
Thank you for your message.
The lakes are close to me, so I always go for the day, so don’t have experience of hotels in the immediate area. The nearest hotel I have personal experience of is Villa Padierna Spa (http://villapadiernathermashotel.com/?lang=en). Although 5 star luxury it is a strict spa, so there restaurant is dry.
There are quite a few hotels local to the lakes, but they are basic. Check online for reviews.
Wishing you a great trip!
Hi would you re comment these lakes for swimming / kayaking?
I think there are restrictions as they are in fact reservours for drinking water – you would need to check with the local tourism office. I see people swimming etc, but as artifical lakes, the sides are very deep and potential dangerous and the authorities ask to keep comtamination to a minimum.
Loved the lakes
love the scenery it s beautiful.