Things To Do
QUICK LINKS: Walking // Mini Golf //Golf // Fishing // Shopping // Horse Riding // Skiing // Major Attractions // Holidays & Fiestas // Water Parks // Amusement Parks // Nearby villages // Towns to Visit // Local Markets // Donkey Sanctuary
Whilst we endeavour to keep the information in this section up-to-date we must nevertheless stress that it is important to check opening times etc before travelling.!!
Walking: Around Cantueso there are excellent walks with varying degrees of difficulty, and to aid our guests we have produced a booklet of walking routes. They contain route descriptions, photos maps and sat nav coordinates. These are available to guests. See also our page “Walking in Axarquia”.
Mini Golf: Sometimes called Crazy Golf, it is now available at Cantueso. The first part of our course is complete and will provide hours of fun for both children and adults. You may play as many times as you wish, free of charge, during your stay. Unfortunately it is only available to guests staying in one of our self catering cottages.
Golf: Two golf courses are within easy reach. Baviera Golf Club close to Torre del Mar, at La Cala de Velez. 30 minutes from here. The course length is 5609 metres and for ladies 4714 metres both par 71. See full details at www.bavieragolf.com
Anoreta Golf Club is at Rincón de la Victoria, back along the motorway towards Malaga. It is an 18 hole par 72 course, 6016 metres long with spectacular sea views from the 17th hole (par 3). Time from here approximately 45 minutes.
Fishing: Lake, river and sea fishing are possible in the area. Lake Vinuela (always in our photos) and the neighbouring rivers of the Guaro and Rio Frio has Trout, Carp and Bass. Sea fishing is also possible from Torre del Mar or Malaga. See lots of information on www.andalucia.com and www.andalucia.org A visit to Rio Frio is also mentioned below in our section on villages to visit so if you like eating Trout as well as catching it you will be well served there.
Shopping: Everyday supermarkets can be found in Periana, Velez Malaga or Torre del Mar. English shops are also to be found at Puente Don Manuel. Nerja going Eastwards along the coast has many small but interesting shops.
However for the serious shopper a visit to Malaga is a must, and there are of course plenty of interesting places to visit while you are there. See Malaga Town below.
RETURN TO TOP OF PAGE
Torrox Costa (Costa de Oro)
Nerja (Junto a Eco-Ahorro)
Jardines del Trapiche
Algarrobo Costa (N-340)
Rincón de la Victoria (Zona de el Señorio)
Torre del Mar (Avd. de Andalucía)
Vélez-Málaga (Calle Magallanes)
Frigiliana (bus station)
Alhama de Granada (Barrio la Joya)
Ventas de Zafarraya
Puente don Manuel
Caleta de Vélez
Nerja – Rastrillo (Junto a Eco-Ahorro)
The markets tend to start packing up between 13 & 14h!
RETURN TO TOP OF PAGE
Horse Riding: There are several places to ride locally and these can be hourly or day long trips. Please ask us for the latest information.
RETURN TO TOP OF PAGE
Skiing: Snow skiing is possible from Periana as the Sierra Nevada ski area is about 2 hours away.
Normally skiing starts in late November and continues to April See www.sierranevada.co.uk for details and webcam.
RETURN TO TOP OF PAGE
Water skiing: Available in various resorts including Nerja and Torre del Mar.
Cinema: There is a 12 screen cinema at the El Ingenio complex in Torre del Mar. Usually one film each week is shown in its original language, normally that means English. Details and schedules can be seen at: www.cinesur.com 25 minutes from Cantueso.
It is the largest park of its kind in Axarquia and has over 20 different rides: superfast slides, inflatable ring rides and two large pools one with a wave machine. Children are well catered for with a special children’s pool. Highly recommended by all who go there.
The park is open 7 days a week from mid June to Mid September
Opening Times : From 11:00 to 18:00 (19:00 during July & August)
Prices: Children 4 to 12 yrs from 13.50€ Children under 4 free.
Adults: from 18.50€
The prices vary by 50 cents according to the month.
Nerja Donkey Sanctuary: Sadly the Nerja Donkey Sanctuary has had to close but you can still see Donkeys nearby.
El Torcal near Antequera
A short drive from Cantueso is the natural park of El Torcal. It is one of nature’s wonders, created over 200 million years ago and provides a fascinating legacy of that period, when Europe and the Middle East was still one continent submerged under the Tethys Sea.
No matter whether you are a geologist or simply a curious traveller, the landscape will amaze with its limestone constructions resembling a far off planet. See our blog for more details and photos here.
Selwo Marina, (Benalmadena) is an innovative concept in fauna parks, exhibiting the most representative species of South America. It has the only Dolphinarium and Ice Penguinarium in Andalucia. Selwo Marina provides, within its 1.67 hectares of space, an adventure which takes you to different scenes in South America where you will discover, little by little, its most charismatic landscapes and fauna.
It is possible at certain times to swim with dolphins and there are many shows throughout the day and to make the most of your visit go early. Normally open 10.00 to 18.00hrs but some months it closes much later. About 1.5 hours from here. See also www.selwomarina.com
RETURN TO TOP OF PAGE
The Benalmadena Sea Life Centre offers an unforgettable experience for the whole family as you explore the wonderful sea creatures of the marine world.
Discover the kingdom of the seahorses and enjoy a wide selection of colourful tropical fish. Other attractions include a piranha tank, octopus, squid, and a touch and explore area full of crabs and other creatures (not the piranhas).
The Benalmadena Sea Life Centre also advertises the biggest collection of sharks in Europe. Indeed more than 20 species of shark are to be found there from around the world.
Tivoli World Amusement Park: The largest theme park/amusement park on the Costa del Sol is Tivoli World; in Arroyo de la Miel, near Benalmadena. There are a wide variety of shows in each of the parks themed areas; Western square – an authentic reproduction of a wild west town, Andalusian square – traditionally Spanish with Flamenco and Spanish ballet, and finally Tivolandia. In addition to the shows there are over 30 rides to be enjoyed, a theatre, extensive gardens, mini train and a Jurassic adventure.
Tivoli World is open from mid March through to the end of September. Opening times differ depending on which month you are visiting, make sure you check first. www.tivoli.es or
telephone : 952 57 70 16. About 1.5 hours from Cantueso.
RETURN TO TOP OF PAGE
The Caves of Nerja are a series of caverns close to the town of Nerja in Andalusia. Stretching for almost 5 km the caverns are one of Spain’s major tourist attractions. Concerts are regularly held in one of the chambers which forms a natural ampitheatre.
The caves were discovered in 1959 by a group of cavers, who entered through a narrow sink hole, known as “La Mina”. This forms one of the two natural entrances to the cave system. A third entrance was created in 1960 to allow easy access for tourists. The cave is divided into two main parts known as Nerja I and Nerja II. Nerja I includes the Show Galleries which are open to the public, with relatively easy access via a flight of stairs and concreted pathways to allow tourists to move about in the cavern without difficulty. Nerja II, which is not open to the public comprises the Upper Gallery discovered in 1960 and the New Gallery discovered in 1969.
RETURN TO TOP OF PAGE
Lobo Park (Wolf Park) near Antequera is a private wolf park where you may look a wolf in the eye for the first time in your life. The park has 4 different wolf sub-species (Canadian Timber, European, Alaskan Tundra and native Iberian wolves). The 40-hectares protected and untouched nature park has innumerable rare plant and animal species. Unlike other parks the wolves are socialized but NOT domesticated and live in a semi-natural environment.
All enclosures have been set up with vast space, something you don’t normally see in other animal parks. The surrounding nature has been kept natural, which gives you the chance to enjoy a walk through with a guide (Spanish and English speaking tours most days) in a landscape complete with oak trees and wonderful views of the El Torcal.
The Lobo Park is also home to several other animals such as a foxes and domestic farm animals. There are also Andalusian horses available for you to ride.
This beautiful park offers families fun and excitement, stimulating education programs, as well as a peaceful place to enjoy nature.
The Park is normally open daily:
10:00 – 18:00
Daily 11:00, 13:00, 15:00 & 16:30
Saturday, Sunday & Holidays every hour 11:00 – 15:00 & 16:30
The park is easy to find and only 8 km outside of Antequera (take the Antequera – Álora road)
RETURN TO TOP OF PAGE
Towns to Visit
The top ten attractions in or near Malaga are:
• La Alcazaba is a military fortress built by the Moors in the 11th century on the remains of a Roman fortress. The fortress lies on a hilltop with a good view over the town and sea and originally consisted of 3 protecting walls (only 2 still remain), more than 100 towers and an upper section with a residential area, including 3 palaces.
The Gibralfaro Castle is situated just next to La Alcazaba which it is connected to by ducts from two of its towers. The place where the Gibralfaro lies is thought to have originally hosted Alcazabad a lighthouse built by the Phoenicians. On the remains of this lighthouse a fortress was built by Abderramán III and was later reconstructed as a castle by Yasuf I in the 14th century.
• Roman Theatre
The Roman Theater is located just below La Alcazaba. It was not discovered until 1951 in spite of its size, with a radius of 31 meters and height of 19 meters. Studies have shown that it hasn’t been used since the 3rd century and that the Moors used elements from the Theater in the construction of La Alcazaba.
• Picasso Home – Museum (Fundacion Picasso)
The early years of the life of Pablo Ruiz Picasso are closely linked to the city of Malaga, where he was born in 1881. Family tradition also played a large part in shaping his essentially malagueño character. His life and works would later see him become Malaga’s most famous native.
• Tivoli World is a theme park with many exciting rides to choose from. Many of the rides are adapted for small children and babies. There are daily shows varying from Andalusian flamenco, Wild West Shows, and an open-air theatre presenting live music, ballet and children’s specials. There is a wide gamut of international cuisine to choose from ranging from Texan to Russian. Tivoli World
• The Cathedral
The construction of the Cathedral in Malaga began in 1528 after capturing Malaga from the Moors. It was built on the top of a former Mosque, which was destroyed when the Moors lost the town. Construction was not finished until 1782, and as a result shows many different architectural styles such as a Gothic foundation, Renaissance facades and Baroque towers.
• Sagrario Church
This Church is situated between the Bishop’s Palace and the Cathedral. It was built on the ruins of the major Arab mosque in the 15th century, gothic style. Inside the church there is a fascinating altar built by Juan de Balmaseda.
• Santiago Church
The Santiago church, situated in calle Granada, was constructed in the 16th century in a mixture of Gothic and Mudéjar (Arab) style. This was also the church were Pablo Picasso was baptized.
• Palace Marqués de Valdeflores
This palace was constructed in the 18th century as an exhibition hall for the Malagueños but was later acquired by a noble family in 1895 as a home. In 1986 it was bought back by the government and today hosts different associations.
• Bishop’s Palace (Palacio Episcopal)
This palace is situated next to the cathedral and is considered to represent the typical Malagueñean architectural style from the 18th century. Today the Museum Diocesano is hosted in the palace.
• Customs Palace (Palacio de la Aduana)
Today this palace, built in neo-classic style in the 18th century, serves as the headquarters for the regional government. The palace also hosts a smaller exhibition hall.
• The Town Hall (Ayuntamiento)
The town hall was built between 1912 and 1919 and is one of the most remarkable modernistic buildings in Malaga.
• The House of the Consulate
The house of the consulate, which is situated on Plaza de la Constitución, was built in the 18th century in a neo-classic style and is today declared a national historical monument.
• Malaga Bullfighting Ring
The bullfighting ring in Malaga dates back to 1874 and has a total capacity of about 14,000 people.
• The Malaga Botanical Gardens
Finca La Concepcion, as the gardens are called, date back to 1855 having been started by the Marchioness of Loring and later extended into an exquisite open air collection of tropical and sub-tropical flora.
La Concepcion is one of the most beautiful and important tropical gardens in Spain and one of the best in all of Europe.
The botanic garden is situated on the Carretera de las Pedrizas (CN 331) at km 166 which is on the way out of Malaga heading for Antequera.
At 20:30 from 1st of April to the 30th of September
At 17:30 from 1st of October to the 31st of March
The Gardens are closed on Mondays, the 25th of December and the 1st of January.
Telephone: +34 95 225 21 48
There is a guide service (fee paid apart from entrance charge), but the Garden can be visited without a guide, too. There are three types of guided tour that last between a little more than an hour and four hours.
Adults 4€ each
Children from 6 to 16 years 2€ each
Retired and OAP’s 2€ each
For most visitors to Spain the Alhambra Palace is a must. Try to book a visit before you arrive in Spain as tickets are limited. See www.alhambradegranada.org
Granada has its usual quotient of churches, museums etc. typical for a southern European city. However, Granada has the Alhambra which is considered by some to be one of the 10 wonders of the world. In case you don’t know, the Alhambra is a massive castle constructed over many centuries.
It consists of gardens, fortifications and sumptuous palaces. It was the home of many of the Arabic Sultans who ruled the whole province for centuries. If you read the Koran it continually repeats the idea that heaven is a garden with running water. From this perspective you could say that the Alhambra is an Arabic attempt to create heaven on earth. Nowadays it receives 8000 visitors per day and is Spain’s most visited monument.
Journey time approx 1.5 hours.
The county town of the region and one that has everything you might need in the way of shops, but with few tourist attractions. The market on Thursdays is worth a visit 25 minutes from Cantueso.
Torre del Mar
The first shopping complex (el Ingenio) alongside the motorway has the Eroski supermarket and several other large shops. Nearby there are also Dunnes, Lidl, Mercadona and Corte Inglés. For Eroski the entrance is off the large roundabout under the A7 motorway, take care not to miss the exit. Just head for the car park which looks to be full of tents. They are the sunshades for cars.
In the town itself there are good sandy beaches, plenty of bars and restaurants. Also the Aqua Velis water park. See above. 25 minutes from Cantueso.
Very popular resort and usually quite crowded in summer. About 80 restaurants and bars! Originally a fishing village but has now expanded greatly. The most popular viewing area is called “The Balcon de Europe” which is a promenade that juts out to sea. Nearby are the famous caves which are well worth a visit. 50 minutes from Cantueso. See our blog for one families story of a day out in Nerja here.
Cordoba the one time capital of Moorish Spain rates high on the things to do list of most tourists and whatever time of year you visit there is always much to see. Top of the list is the architectural wonder the Mezquita-Catedral (Mosque Cathedral). However during May there is the Patio Festival which gives us a unique opportunity to step into private homes and to see marvellous displays of plants and flowers in private gardens and patios. You cannot help but marvel at the variety of the decorations and plants, at a time when the geraniums, roses, carnations and other flowers are in full bloom.
See blog for further details
VILLAGES TO VISIT
West of CANTUESO:
It is a beautiful village with just over 3500 inhabitants just 1_ km from CANTUESO. It is a nice tranquil place to walk around, you will meet very nice people and can relax with a drink in one of the many bars. See also our specific pages About Periana and the calendar of special events and festivals.
Periana is quite famous for its olive oil and you can visit the cooperative where it is made. It makes
a nice present to take back home. Turn left after the Town Hall and just follow the signs: Aceite de Periana – Coop. San Isidro.
As well as growing olives the local farmers also produce Peaches, Lemons, Pomegranates, Avocado, Oranges and Algarrobo or Carob. The Carob trees grow amongst the olives and produce a long brown pod which previously used as a chocolate substitute and now more usually for animal feed. It is also known as a Locust Tree and which is why, when the bible said that St John was in the desert and ate locusts, he was not eating the grasshopper variety.
Baños de Vilo
Leave Cantueso and go back towards Periana and turn right at the roundabout and head out of town. Stay on the road direction: Rio Gordo and after ca. 3km there is a right turn sign-posted.
There is an old Roman sulfur bath on the left about 400m after turning off and before you reach the hamlet itself. The bath is worth to visit and to enjoy a refreshing bath in the cold sulfur water (very good for skin problems). It is a very nice small village with plenty of beautiful flowers.
See our blog for more details and photos.
Lies about 6km out of Periana, and almost as famous for its olive oil as is Periana.
There is a museum of Olive Oil with antique machinery etc. There is also a shop where you can buy olive oil. Lighter than the “Periana Gold” but interesting to compare.
Alfarnate and Alfarnatejo
Above Baños de Vilo is a good asphalted road that you can see zig-zagging up over the mountains towards Alfarnate – a pretty little village. Quite close by, but very different, is another small village – Alfarnatejo – and from there you can take a wonderful drive back down through the mountains to the Periana/Rio Gordo road again.
Not far past Alfarnate is a small town of Rio Frio situated alongside the Málaga to Granada motorway in the foothills of the Sierra de Loja. Trout fishing here is recorded back as far as 1664, and in recent times there have been record catches with brown trout up to 5.2kg. The river runs through the village and the fishing season lasts all year round, but if you do not wish to fish you can always sample the trout in one of the many restaurants.
See our blog for more details and photos
Do you suffer from: respiratory problems, asthma, high blood pressure, anaemia, fatigue, rheumatism, liver disease or even intellectual exhaustion? Well if you do, there is help available through the magical properties of honey. It is claimed that different types of honey have a variety of medicinal properties and the main types in Málaga include: Orange blossom, Lavender, Rosemary, Eucalyptus, Chestnut and even Avocado. And whilst we offer no guarantees regarding the efficacy of these claims ): we do recommend this as a day out from Cantueso, especially if you have children.
North of CANTUESO
Ventas de Zafarraya
Is a small village with approx. 1000 inhabitants, ca. 5km from here.
It is an important place for the vegetable trade. The area around Ventas de Zafarraya is a very fertile vegetable growing region.
Alhama de Granada
Alhama is a very nice old town with approx. 6500 inhabitants only 25min. drive from Cantueso
See the “Tajos”, a deep ravine (á la Ronda), with two large abandoned mills at the bottom and a Roman bridge. There are several churches and lots of beautiful old houses. It is a friendly town to wander through.
Worth visiting are the hot springs Baños Arabes about 3km out of Alhama. These original Roman and Moorish baths lay within a hotel. You can visit the old baths and relax in the hot water on Mondays. To get there, take the road out of Alhama leading to Granada. About 1.5km out of town, it is sign-posted – Balnearios – to the left just before a bridge.
Getting to Alhama: As you drive through Ventas de Zafarraya and out the other side, the main road bends to the right. At that point there is another road that goes straight ahead. This road takes you to Alhama through the llano – flats of Zafarraya, a fertile agricultural plain, a silted-up volcanic lake, some barren hills and more rich land.
The other road, that swings to the right at Ventas, is shown on maps as a scenic route and is a lovely drive but takes a little longer.
As an alternative route, at the Alcaicería there is a dirt-track on the right hand side of the restaurant which will also take you to Alhama and is a bit of an adventure into the interior but very beautiful. Follow it for several kilometers until you come to a tarmac road – turn left and after a few meters turn right at a T-junction and you are into Alhama.
If you turn right instead of left where the dirt track hits the tarmac road, after a kilometer there is a pleasant rustic bar by a small lake. A few meters on from that, up on the left, there is a large swimming pool with bar and restaurant known as Pato Loco – mad duck, the same name as the lake.
East of CANTUESO
A very nice small town about 3km up above Puente Don Manuel, nestling against the “Sierra Tejeda”. It will be sign-posted out of Puente Don Manuel. From there you have access to the Natural Park “Sierra Tejeda” – beautiful and great for hiking!
El Acebuchal The hidden village
There are many stories told about this hamlet, mostly apocryphal, and all involving terrible deeds during the civil war. Some will tell you, the inhabitants were rounded up and shot or that they were involved with feeding the bandits in the surrounding hills and because of this the roofs of their houses were removed to prevent anyone living there.
The fight against the bandits went on for many years and to avoid the residents being able to provide shelter or sustenance they were put under much pressure by the Guardia Civil. They were in fact finally forced out by a decree which only allowed them to be there during the daytime. This meant living in a nearby village such as Frigiliana and walking to and from El Acebuchal every day and as there was no motorised transport back then, totally impracticable. All the inhabitants finally left in 1949 and the cottages quickly became derelict and in many cases roofless. Spanish people in recent years have called the hamlet “Pueblo el Fantasmas” or village of ghosts, due to the 50 or so years that it was deserted and derelict.
Well worth a visit with pretty walks and a bar for refreshments.
More photos and a fuller story on our blog here.
South of CANTUESO
Puente Don Manuel
It is half way down the road towards the coast between Periana and Velez Malaga. It has plenty of bars, and restaurants. It also has two shops selling British products, one of which, “Arkwrights” is open all hours every day and sells English newspapers. The second is alongside a very good Spanish bakery. There is also a vet located behind the second shop.
It is a pretty village of about 1500 inhabitants some 5km beyond Puente Don Manuel on the old road to the coast.
There is a health centre there open 24 hours every day.
Holidays and Fiestas
January 1: New Years day
January 6th : Three Kings Festival
February 28th Andalucia day
March 24th: Maundy Thursday
March 19th San Jose
March 25th: Good Friday
April 19th: Dia del Aceite Verdial (Olive Oil Day
May 1st: May day
May 14th to 17th : San Isidro Labrador
June 24th: St John’s Feast
July 25th: Día del Melocotón
August 15th: Assumption Day
August 21st to 23rd: Feria de Agosto
October 12th: Hispanidad
November 1st: All saints day
December 6th : Constitution day
December 8th: Day of the imaculate Conception
December 25th: Christmas Day
Boxing day is a normal working day in Spain.
Easter: Processions this week take place in most towns and villages, all carefully staged with most organised by trade guilds. Very colourful and usually headed by people carrying life-like statues of Christ.
San Isidro Labrador: The patron saint of farmers is celebrated in this area with various events over a four day period.
Three Kings: Eagerly awaited by children as this normally begins with free sweets thrown from the back of floats in the procession. Also a time for exchanging presents.
St John’s Feast: A chance to party down on the beach where the day is celebrated in the evening with fireworks and bonfires. The tradition is to dip your feet in the sea at midnight and then party on some more.
Andalucia Day: Notice the green and white flags everywhere which are the colours of the Andalucian flag. Many special events are organised for the whole month with processions and musical events normally staged in Periana alongside the Town Hall. All the bars and restaurants stay open late.
RETURN TO TOP OF PAGE