La Maroma, Andalucía, Spain


La Maroma is the highest mountain in Malaga province, but it actually shares its peak with Granada province. From the top are stunning views north to the Alpurjarras, to the south the Mediterranean, with views to Malaga and Torremolinos. We have looked at the mountain from various locations including the beach in Torremolinos, and felt it calling us. La Maroma is actually 2069m high but our walk started at around 1200m. The path is easy to follow, being marked most of the time. There are at least 3 routes, the one we took is from the north, snow may be found in the winter months.

We left Torremolinos where we were staying at 7.30am. Driving via Velez-Malaga, through Zafarraya, then arriving at Hotel Los Camps de la Alcaiceria at 9am, only 5km from the start and popped in for breakfast consisting of a very large portion of toast with coffee for €3. Alternatively the hotel has accommodation and apparently serves a delicious dinner. The bar area was fascinating with at least 50 hams hanging up, and the heads of various animals hanging on the walls. Make sure you check it out.

After breakfast we drove down the track to the right of the hotel which is signed (Robledal 5km), along a dusty stony track and after turning right twice again we arrived at a huge free car park with about 3 cars in and a large picnic area. This was mid October and the temperature gauge registered 4 degrees, but as usual we had shorts on hoping the day would warm up. However, we were on the north side of the mountain.

There is an information board in the car park, saying to the top 7.8km, 4.15 hours, hard, and a map. Not having a map or a guide book with us, we took photos of this and referred to them later. Leaving at 9.40am the path is generally well signposted, taking the road past a gate which prevents vehicle access, following posts with green and white and an arrow. We continued through the beautiful pine and oak forest, where sap is collected for resins and paints. After about 0.5km at the second junction we went left, signed for La Maroma, at 10am. It is a lovely path through pines, with the wind rustling in the trees and some bird song, and glimpses of the view. The path gets narrower, leaving the forest following the left hand side of a ravine. At 10.45am we reached a viewpoint to the left, with an information board Valle del Temple, with great views north to the Sierra Nevada.

Continuing uphill along the rocky path with cairns and some dashes of yellow paint and a dwindling number of trees at 11.15am we left the tree line, with views to the west and the top of La Maroma. After being careful of the steep drop to the right we stopped for a snack. At 12.15pm we reached the top of the ridge (1900m) with a welcome sign saying left for the fountain and La Maroma right 2km. We continued in a southerly direction with our first views of the sea following cairns and an indistinct path over rocks, before turning right along the ridge overlooking the sea.  

Many cairns are found along the plateau approaching the top, with a very large trig point coming into view. This indicates how bad the weather can be up here, snow in the winter months, sea fogs and wind at other times. At 1.15pm we reached the top, it was very windy and we hurriedly put on extra layers and hats, having been very warm in the sun all the way up. The views were again tremendous, if slightly hazy. There are lots of wind shelters, but these did not work well enough today. We did not hang around for long here, as it was just too cold, and I feared the strong wind blowing might be an indicator of worse weather arriving. We were joined by about 6 other people whom we had seen since we left the car park, lovely to see other people out and reassuring too.

The trig point with two plaques on it, one to a local climber and another about the track. On-line we had seen pictures of walkers standing on top of the trig-this would be a real challenge for us-and definitely not in the wind. La Maroma is known locally as Casa de la Nieve, the house of snow, originating from the local custom of using a cave to make ice. Another time we may visit the huge fenced off hole on the south side of the summit, where people used to obtain ice, and carry it down to the surrounding villages. La Maroma means "the rope", named after the rope that was used by ice-collectors when cutting out the ice, they must have been very brave to collect ice in this way. Happily these days we have fridges.

Leaving by the way we had come at 1.25pm, we enjoyed the sea views, before turning left across to the other side of the col. We sat eating our lunch (2.20pm) less windy here, with views to the north. We left the col at 2.40pm, arriving at the Valle De Temple viewpoint at 3.35pm, continuing down until reaching a wide track at 4.00pm with marker posts. At one point the path was blocked by a herd of goats, which are bigger than one may imagine, going carefully round them, arriving back at the car park at 4.35pm, 7 hours after leaving.

This walk was actually a lot easier than we thought it would be, but maybe we were feeling a bit fitter after a whole week of walking. We met some nice friendly people,  I think it is always nicer and safer to have people around, unlike many walks in Southern Spain, where we have had whole days alone. The route was relatively easy to find.


The views were fantastic but with some haze, another time they might have been even better - we will have to return. The food at Hotel Los Camps de la Alcaiceria gets good reviews. But we were there at the wrong time for dinner in Spain, instead we drove the 90 minutes back to Torremolinos. Another time we could stay at the hotel and check out walks in the local area.


Distance  10.24 miles (16.5km)

Duration of Walk 6 Hours  30 minutes

Average Pace  40 Min/Mile

Steps  36627

Elevation Gained  3194 feet  (973m)


Take a phone and charger, sun hats, sun tan lotion and plenty of food and water as after leaving the start there is nowhere to replenish supplies. It can also be chilly on the top, especially if windy or the clouds roll in, so take a wind proof jacket, fleece, gloves and a woolly hat. I would advise taking a compass too in case you lose your way.

Wear boots, the only way to go, we wear Lowa boots, originally designed in Germany, and very popular with walkers there. Having worn out previous pairs, with an excess of 1,000 miles walked in them, we are now on our third pairs. They are available from Lowa on-line, in Decathlon, and probably other places too.

As we wear shorts, after walking through long grass or undergrowth we always check our legs for ticks-and carry a tick card to remove them just in case. Or gaiters could be worn for those sections.

The problem with rocky terrain is that it might be fairly easy to fall and damage something. On our walk there were a few people around, and little mobile phone signal. I imagine that there is no mountain rescue service-the civil guard may come out, but may charge. So take care.

We walked up and down the same way, but there is a circular walk back to the car park. We did not do this as we could not acquire enough details about it, but maybe another time.

 Being located in southern Spain, I would advise not doing this walk in the summer months as it would be far too hot, and would require carrying too much water. But people do walk up in a late summer evening, camp overnight on the top, and wait for the sunrise. That would be fantastic-but not for us!!

Check the weather forecast before setting off, as it would be a shame to walk all this way and have no view.

We try and use public transport when in Spain, being cheap and plentiful, or walk. But this area is fairly inaccessible by public transport, so we had hired a car in advance.

This area of Southern Spain is accessible from England either by driving through France and Spain, or flying to Malaga then hiring a car or catching  the reliable, cheap public transport.

Websites used Hiking route Boots  Hotel Los Camps de la Alcaiceria Breakfast

Resources Used

We did not take a map or a walking guide. We had looked at the route on-line, before we left. The walk is fairly obvious, and on an information board on arrival at the car park, we took photos.


A book that I have subsequently purchased is The Mountains Of Nerja, by Jim Ryan, Cicerone press. Walk 15 follows our walk.