Peñón de los Enamorados (1775m) Andalucia - Southern Spain


This walk was described in our guide book as being a contender for one of the 'best hikes in Andalucía”, and we weren’t disappointed. The path gently rises through stands of Spanish firs, firstly with glimpses to the sea, then once the tree-line has been reached, we had magnificent views all around. The walk could be circular, but when reaching the top of El Pennon, we decided to go down the same way, a distance of 8 miles/12.8km, with 600m of ascent.

We were up early, leaving our base in Torremolinos for the one-hour drive to Yunquera. We stopped at Nieves bar, Yunquera, with friendly owners, for our usual breakfast of coffee and toast. Yunquera is a very pretty village, with a number of bars, and a useful petrol station. The bar was busy with men drinking coffee and brandy for breakfast.

There is a roundabout with a sign to Miradores, and we followed the road/track for 6km (20mins) to Puerto del Saucillo-at the end of the road. There is a big viewing platform here, information board and free parking for about 10 cars, with more spaces on the road below. It would be worth driving here just for the views from the mirador.

The walk starts at an information board, taking the more southerly track of the 2 that leave from the car park. We left the car park at 9.50am walking up a lovely path through the pine trees. After 15 minutes there is a sign to Pozo de Nieve/ice pit, which is found 20 meters off the path to the left. There is an information board and an ice cave with a fence round it. At one time, snow would have been collected here, then the blocks of ice would have been transported down to the local villages. Fortunately, we have fridges these days.

At 10.25am we reached the Spring of Canada- now a water-trough-with pretty views north-east over the mountains. After 45 mins of walking (225m ascent, 2.1 km) there is a sign saying Sendero La Torrecilla-our path. Once out of the tree-line it was very windy, but the views to the Mediterranean, Sierras de Ojen, and mountains of Mijas made up for it. We passed a small enclosed area, before rounding a corner, finding a grassy area with planted trees(11.35am). Each tree had wire round the base to prevent animals from eating them, but most of them seemed dead-perhaps the weather had been bad, or a lack of rain had affected them. There is a split in the path, to the right there is a circular route back to the car park. We continued onwards to El Pennon, reaching the southern side of the peak (which may resemble a wedding cake), turning right by a cairn towards a solitary oak tree. (12pm, 540m, 3.5 miles). From here there are some cairns to follow, or we just headed to the top scrambling up some rocks.

We reached the top-marked by a small post-at 12.20pm, 593m ascent, 2.5 hours, 3.6 miles. It is difficult to describe how fabulous the views are in all directions, we could see snow at the ski resort at Sierra Nevada maybe 50 miles away, the Mediterranean Sea, the Sierras of Mijas, Ojen, and Grazelema, and numerous mountain ranges all around.

We left the top at 12.50pm. Our guidebook describes a circular walk, but we decided to go back down the way we had come up, mainly due to the views over the coast, and avoiding a valley with potential spikey plants. We passed a couple of people coming up (looking very cold) and a few runners. But for a Saturday we thought it was very quiet. We reached the spring at 2.35pm, then arrived back at our car at 3pm, 7.25 miles walked, with 630m of ascent.

This has to be one our favourite walks in Spain. The views from the top are absolutely incredible.

Distance 7.25 miles (11.5km)

Duration of Walk 5 Hours 5 mins including breaks

Elevation Gained 2011 feet (613m)

Pace 42 min a mile


It is essential to choose a clear calm day to get the most from this fabulous walk. Make sure you are properly equipped, between January and March there is sometimes a metre of snow on the slopes. Hence an ice cave is found here. At other times it can be very hot, or windy.

We were there on April 1st, there was beautiful sunshine, no snow, but at times a cold northerly wind was blowing. A tour party we passed, who envied our winter hats, gloves and coats. We wore shorts, but had the option of wearing the trousers in our bags.

It is possible to walk to the top of La Torrecilla from the same starting point, about 7 hours return. Next time!! We had hired a SUV car, and were very pleased that we had. The 6km road from Yunquera to the start was intermittently tarred, with pot holes and difficult areas. Cars were at the top, but it must have been a difficult drive.

As usual wear boots, take a phone, take sun hats, sun tan lotion and food and water as after leaving the start there is no-where to replenish supplies. It can also be chilly on the top (as we found), especially if it is windy or the clouds roll in, so take a wind proof jacket, hat and gloves. Being located in southern Spain, I would advise not doing this walk in the summer months as it would be far too hot.

On our return journey to Torremolinos, we stopped by the small town Alozaina which is a very pretty place, again with superb views.

Check the weather forecast before setting off, as it would be a shame not to have a view, or encounter bad weather.

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.

We now have Garmin watches. These link to our phones, they can record the walk, and give readings of distances walked, metres climbed, heart rate etc. We are loving them, and are very popular with our Friday walking club!

Dial 112 for the emergency services

Websites used

Resources used

Walking the Mountains of Ronda and Grazalema by Guy Hunter-Watts. Cicerone publication. Walk 2 page 45