El Chorro lakes

A well kept local secret and the perfect escape from crowded beaches and busy streets

El Chorro and the lakes of the Guadalhorce
North of Malaga, below the towering limestone massif of the Valle de Abdalajid, just beyond the village of Ardales is a complex of reservoirs and a hydro-electric plant. The area is one of the most popular destinations for a day out in the country for the inhabitants of the coast. You can swim in the turqouise waters of the Embalse del Conde del Guadalhorce, rent paddle boats and kayaks, fish for carp and black bass. You can walk the many trails that snake around the spectacular rocky outcrops or take a lazy lunch at one of the several lakeside cafes and restaurants.

Close by is the legendary and recently rennovated Caminito del Rey.

Ideal for a day out of swimming and picnicking, hiking and mountain biking, there are also neolithic necropoli hidden in the forest, several 'miradors' with terrific panoramic views and the spectacular dams themselves.

The area is clad in pine forest planted in the mid 20th century giving it a delicious fragrant atmosphere and enchanting views. There is much to explore so give yourself a full day, or combine it with a visit to the Caminito or the Torcal.

While it throngs with people at weekends and over the summer, out of season weekdays it offers a tranquility and beauty that is a great contrast to the city and Costa del Sol.

We recommend:

Taking a lunch in the Restaurante El Mirador with its old school rustic style and incredible views over the sparkling water of the lake.

Walk up to the 'mirador de los tres pantanos', the three lakes viewpoint. Just follow the track up from the restaurant for 600 metres and then follow the paths from there around the mountan to return to the lakeside.

Have a picnic in the lakeside park where there are tables, a small kiosk for refreshments and you can hire a peddle boat and take a swim.

Visit the ruins of Bobastro and a church carved out of the mountain

The nearby village of Ardales is a typical Andalucian white village. While not the prettiest, it does boast some outstanding tapas bars along its quaint main street.

The castle in the village of Teba, some 10km away is worth a visit for its views and history of Moorish conquest and loss, a battle actually fought by one Sir James Douglas, a Scottish noble. Quite a story

Useful links
A history of the dam