The El Saltillo Route

The El Saltillo route offers an exhilarating hiking experience for those seeking adventure. Known as “El Caminito del Rey of Axarquía”, this trail connects Canillas de Aceituno with the neighbouring village of Sedella and with the Gran Senda de Málaga, taking hikers through the natural beauty of Sierras Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama Natural Park. The journey takes approximately four hours to complete, and you’ll be accompanied by stunning vistas, including views of the Axarquía, La Maroma (the highest point in Málaga) and even the sea.

To access this route, you can drive to Canillas de Aceituno and park in the free public parking area. The official starting point of the El Saltillo route is at the water nozzles of El Pilar, next to the Town Hall.

The paths become narrower and steeper as the trail progresses, but the reward is worth the effort. After crossing through the village’s highest area, the path takes you along private land parcels with trees, and soon you’ll encounter a water canal that will accompany you for most of the journey.

The journey to La Maroma Peak is not finished yet. However, thus far, the pathway leads you to a large water storage area known as El Albercón, offering magnificent views of the village and even of the Viñuela Reservoir.

This long-form article about Canillas de Aceituno is a work in progress. The remaining sections will focus on further exploring the Ruta de El Saltillo is a trail located in the Sierras Tejeda, Almijara, and Alhama Natural Park, connecting the village of Canillas de Aceituno with the neighbouring village of Sedella, as well as the Gran Senda de Málaga. This linear trail is free and open to the public, and the journey is approximately 4 hours, up and down, covering a distance of 7 to 11 kilometres. The trail offers stunning views of the Axarquía region, La Maroma (the highest point in Málaga), and even the sea. It’s sometimes referred to as the “El Caminito del Rey of the Axarquía” due to its impressive landscapes.

Along the route, you’ll be accompanied by an aqueduct carrying water or a pipe that zigzags along the path, transporting water to the village. The trail also crosses the ravine of the Almanchares River, where the famous suspension bridge is located, one of the largest suspension bridges in Spain.

You can vary the route depending on the difficulty you’re seeking and available time. If you’re travelling with small children or older individuals, keep in mind that the section that continues towards Sedella after the suspension bridge is more complicated. An alternative, easier variation might be more suitable after visiting the bridge.

Before setting out, ensure you have enough food and water. You can purchase supplies in the village; some local bars offer takeaway sandwiches. It’s also recommended to stay overnight in the village, known for its gastronomy, especially the oven-roasted goat, blood sausage, and olive oil cakes, as well as its whitewashed streets.

The official and most accessible starting point for the route is from the water spouts of El Pilar, next to the Town Hall in Canillas de Aceituno. From there, you’ll find signs guiding you throughout the route to El Saltillo. You’ll start the route by walking through the village to its highest point. After a crossroads, you’ll take the path to the right, which will lead you past private plots of land with trees, and soon you’ll find the water aqueduct that will accompany you for much of the journey. About half an hour into the journey, you’ll reach a large pool known as El Albercón, used for storing water for field irrigation. From this point, there are excellent views of the village and the Viñuela Reservoir. Continuing on the left path, the trail becomes less steep as you reach the Cerro de Juan Zamora area, cross the ravine of La Mina, and arrive at the remains of a country house and fountain.

Hopefully, this information gives you a good idea of what to expect during the first part of the hike. I would recommend checking local resources or reaching out to the local tourism office for more detailed information about the rest of the route.