Ultimate Guide to Sports in Malaga

Ultimate Guide to Sports in the Axarquia Region

Why Choose Malaga Luxury?

Our villas have been designed from the ground up as Sports and Wellness retreat centres. We simply have facilities for relaxation and muscle repair that are not available anywhere else on this side of Malaga. Normally these kind of facilities are reserved for Spa hotels in Marbella, Puerto Banus, Sotogrande etc, but these have far higher cost, and you don’t get the same kind of anonymity as you do with our private villas.

We also have maximum flexibility in terms of group size, so you can be sure of finding the right fit for you and your family or team. Or both! Because we have 2 villas right next to each other, you can ensure a private experience for up to 24 people.

So if you are an athlete who likes to bring his team mates, trainer, chef, mentor and family – we have you covered.

So I’ve mentioned the chef…our kitchens have been meticulously specified to cater to the demanding chef. No expense was spared on the appliances, and the cooking spaces are nothing short of beautiful. We have created the kitchen with a social feel in mind, so bar stools are located within talking distance of the chef, and the space is connected to the living area in a totally open plan ground floor, with incredible views over the Mediterranean.

spa zone with jacuzzi and sauna

Why visit the Axarquia?

The Axarquia region © OpenStreetMap contributors

The Axarquia, comprising of 31 villages towards the East side of the Malaga region is very rich in its variety of sports activities available, and even more importantly, we have a climate which has been voted the best in Europe! With an average of over 320 sunny days per year, it is the perfect destination for all kinds of sports and adventure activities.

Hundreds of top athletes across many disciplines prefer to train in the winter months in Malaga. Especially if there’s cold, wind, rain and snow in their home country, the Axarquia is the perfect time to train in all seasons. The combination of interesting terrain, beautiful surroundings and the best climate in Europe make our villas the perfect place for you and your team to improve your abilities and have an incredible time in the process.

Geographically, the area is diverse and includes mountain ranges, flat coastal areas, lakes, rivers, grassy plains and everything in between. This provides the possibility for a huge variety of activities  for you and your group.

And when you’re finished with your exciting day of adventure, you can enjoy the rich cultural heritage that this area has in abundance. Sample some exquisite tapas with fine Spanish wines, watch the sun set into the sea, or relax in the Spa zone and relieve the tension in your muscles using the hydromassage bath, cold therapy shower, and open your pores in our authentic Finnish saunas.

What Sports are Available East of Malaga?

Cycling in Malaga

Now this is one of my personal favourites, as I regularly enjoy cycling both road biles and mountain bikes as often as I can. There are literally hundreds of routes available to the adventure seeking cyclist, and you can always find a suitable route, no matter what the weather.

I tend to go out with a friend on Sundays, and sometimes we hitch a lift and get dragged along by one of the local cycling clubs. But every single day there are many professional and amateur cyclists alike enjoying the varied routes we have on offer.

Axarquia has a cycling club based in Nerja (just round the corner from the villas) called CC Narixa. They ride out at least every Sunday and most sometimes have a safety car in case anyone has a mechanical failure or injury.

With the advent of Strava and other cycling companion apps, it is very easy to scout out the best routes, and I’m sure any of you serious about cycling will already be well versed in choosing your routes. Having said that, we can organise a local cycling guide if you would like to have a guided cycling tour at any point in your stay.

There are plenty of options to rent bikes of any type nearby, and storage at the villas or at the bike shop, whichever you prefer.


Climbing in the Subida de Castillejos race
Climbing in the Subida de Castillejos race
Above the bullring in Malaga city
Above the bullring in Malaga city

The region is perfect for riders of all levels, as you can choose to stay on the flat, and head all the way into Malaga capital for an easy yet satisfyingly long ride, or dive into the mountain ranges to work up some climbs and really push your limits.

If I haven’t been out for a few weeks I tend to stay on the flat for a week and then slowly build back up until I’m keeping up with my machine of a friend Rutger Diergaarde, and we get to witness the insane beauty of the countryside with the almond blossoms in bloom. It’s really rather stunning.

If any of you have experience with cold therapy, you’ll understand how fantastic it is for rapid recovery. It’s why we’ve installed dedicated chilled water tanks so you can have an icy cascade shower for total immersion, or just focus on the legs if you prefer. There’s also the possibility of having an ice bath in the jacuzzi. We can arrange delivery of a whole bunch of ice if you would like the opportunity!

There are also myriad possibilities for Mountain Biking in the Malaga region, as well as further afield where we have the Sierra Nevada in Granada province. There are some serious downhill runs for the thrill seeker, as well as cable cars for easy ascent.

Here are some example mountain biking routes in Malaga.

Hiking & Walking in Andalucia

Would you like to enjoy some of the best walking and hiking routes in Europe? Look no further – we’ve got it all here on our doorstep. Our close friends run a hugely popular walking company called Walk Andalucia, and they know all there is to know about the area. However many people use their smartphones and pick out their own routes, which are easily found using Google Maps.

So you can either go it alone, or we can arrange a guide for you and your party. We can arrange transport to and from starting points, and provide food and drinks for the occasion.

But rest assured, we have a range (pun intended) of walks to suit both inexperienced walkers and hardened hikers alike. If you would like us to help you choose some walks, we will be more than happy to tailor a day or a week’s worth of walking for you.

Again, what’s better after a nice long hike than a soak in the jacuzzi? Or enjoying an ice cold beer or some wine watching the sunset from the terrace, overlooking the infinity pool… heavenly good.

Hiking above Maro to Pico del Cielo

Some of the most famous peaks in the area include:

  • La Maroma, which is the highest mountain in the Axarquia area. It has an elevation of 2065m and offers a multitude of different routes, from Canillas de Aceituna, Alcaucin or Robledal, which is on the Granada side of the mountain.
  •  Pico del Cielo (Peak of the Sky) is the closest peak to Nerja and has an elevation of 1508m. You can either park at the Cueva de Nerja (which is also well worth a visit), or drive up the track a bit further if you want to cut some of the flatter walk out. I took 6 hours up and down last time I went. It was an incredibly beautiful experience!
Another famous mention here is the Caminito del Rey, which is an incredible walkway along the mountain edge. Recently reopened after much renovation, this walk is for thrill seekers who enjoy spectacular views.It’s an 8km walk, with an expected duration of 3-4 hours. More information can be found here.

Swimming and Water Parks in Malaga region nearby

It goes without saying that there is ample opportunity for open water swimming in the sea near to our villas. In fact there are several triathlons and other open water competitions taking place in the region throughout the year. You can find a full calendar of the events here. Events include Short, Sprint, SuperSprint, Half distance, Middle Distance and Olympic.

Not only do you have the opportunity to swim in the mostly calm Mediterranean sea, there are also several lakes and rivers where you can enjoy what is now known as ‘Wild Swimming’. These include Lake Viñuela, Embalse de Bermejales and Rio Chillar. In the Autumn, Winter and Spring seasons you can often find refreshing waterfalls hidden away for some fresh water refreshment.

If you enjoy cold water exposure, these are also perfect places to enjoy the health benefits of cold water. And don’t forget it’s for this reason we’ve installed cold water tanks for Hydrotherapy treatment in the Spa zones…

There are many municipal swimming pools, which are very well maintained, and incredibly cheap to visit. Most of these are no frills lane pools, but they are clean and deliver a familiar experience if you are used to lane swimming. We have been taking our children to the pool in Torrox village for swimming classes, and these are also available in Nerja, which is a similar distance away from the villas.

Information about Nerja swimming pool can be found here, and Torrox here.

In the Summer, the water parks open. This is a super fun day out for all the family, which we can tell you from our own experience with 4 and 6 year old children. The best ones we can recommend are Aqua Tropic and Aqua Velis. Both are a short drive away, but as well as providing really great water slides for all ages, they have plenty of lush green grass for lazing with the family. Bear in mind that Aqua Tropic in Almuñecar is a salt water park, and Aqua Velis is chlorinated. We’ve had tons of fun in both.

Food and drink are available at restaurants/snack bars in both waterparks, but you can also be super prepared and take your own packed lunch / picnic if you prefer, or if you have any dietary requirements that might not be met by your typical snack bar type establishments! Gluten free individuals might find this difficult, as very rarely will you find a dedicated fryer. Best to bring your own food to the waterpark.


There are 3 beautiful golf courses within 35 minutes drive from our luxury villas, and if you are prepared to drive a little further, there are at least 80 golf courses along the Costa del Sol. Spain is possibly one of the best places in the world for playing golf, mainly due to the consistently good weather, as well as luscious green fairways and meticulously maintained greens and surroundings.

Our villas are situated in a very quiet location, well away from the hustle and bustle of the West side of Malaga. So if you want to head across that way, it’s no problem. But at the end of the day you’ll be able to enjoy our facilities to give the muscles what they need for swift recovery after a hard day.

The closest Golf course is a mere 15km from our villas, and is called Baviera Golf. Further West we have Añoreta Golf, which is a 25 minute drive. To the West we have Los Moriscos, which is in the beautiful province of Granada, but only 35 minutes away by car.

We have the best climate in Europe. 320 days of sunshine means you'll most likely have a sunny day!
Year round climbing is possible in Malaga
Year round climbing is possible in Malaga

Rock Climbing & Bouldering

Due to the incredible nature of the landscape, there are are plenty of places to go climbing and bouldering. We have  various levels from absolute beginner to extemely advanced and everything in between. There are also plenty of possibilities for gear hire nearby.

You may also be familiar with what is known as a Via Ferrata. There are several of these mountain routes, which allow lesser experienced climbers to enjoy much more challenging routes. There are 3 such routes in Comares, which you can find details of here. There you can also traverse the largest zipline in Spain, with a length of436m and a height of 110m!

You can find out about other Via Ferratas here with this useful page.

Other popular climbing destinations in the Malaga region include El Chorro,Teba Canyon and El Moral Cove. If you’re interested in taking part in any kind of climbing activity, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.


There are several amazing places to go canyoning in the malaga region. With stunning gorges and technical descents that are on offer, you will have an incredible time that you will remember forever.

The best thing about canyoning is it is an all year round sport. This makes it the perfect activity for your stay with Malaga Luxury.

The main canyons in Malaga are in Guadalmina, Buitreras, Tajo (Ronda), Simo del Diablo and Jorox


Horse Riding

Equestrian activities are hugely popular in Malaga region. Andalucia has a large history of horse riding, and you can see this reflected in the various ferias throughout the year, as each village has its major party and bulls, horses and donkeys are ridden in procession.

Analucia even has its own breed of horse, which dates back to the 15th century! It is widely considered one of the most beautiful breeds in the world, with high intelligence levels and an easy going temperament. You can find out more about the Andalucian Purebreed horse here.

There are a number of stables which have facilities for horse riding, day treks, beach rides, countryside rides and other forms of horse riding. If you would like to incorporate any of this in to your stay at Malaga Luxury, please get in touch and we will arrange something for you.

Jet skiing & Other Water Activities

Being right next to the sea, and near several harbours as well as rivers and lakes, our villas are located close to many water based activities. Here’s a list of some of the water activities available:

Kayaking, Sailing, Boat Trips, Surfing, Windsurfing, Kite Surfing, Free Diving, Scuba Diving, SnorkellingWater Skiing,Banana Boat, Jet Skiing, White Water Rafting, Rowing, Canoeing, Stand up Paddleboarding, Wakeboarding, Cable Skiing, Parascending / Parasailing

quad bike

Other Land Based Activities

There are many other activities and sports to choose from in the region. In no particular order here’s a list:

Mountaineering, Orienteering, Caving, Fishing, Off Roading (4x4s), Quad Bikes (ATVs), Skiing, Snowboarding, Bungee Jumping, Hunting! Microlighting, Motorbiking, Zip Lines, Birdwatching,  Bowls, Football, Golf, Go-Karts, Tennis, Padel, Polo, Triathlon, Marathons and much more.

Air Based Activities

Malaga is home to all kinds of aerial activities, due to the mountainous geography and also the sea providing many possibilities. Here’s a list of the most popular possibilities:

Hot Air Ballooning, Flying, Skydiving, Paragliding, Hang Gliding and Paramotoring. This last one is super fun and well worth trying out if you get a chance!

Paramotoring across the coastline in insanely fun