The ferias are in full flow in the Axarquía region with the latest at Torrox pueblo last weekend. By day, unassuming white Andalucían village – but by night, OH BOY is it a feast for the senses!
The bright flashing lights of the fairground rides, beautiful flamenco dresses, dancing, live music, the smell and taste of great food and drink, very late nights and, of course, the fireworks!
If you miss one of the nights, don’t worry there are plenty more, as most ferias take place over several days.
This coming weekend it’s Nerja’s turn, with the Feria held on the land between Carabeo and Los Huertos. Full programme of events, HERE.
See you there!
Do they know how to party, or what?
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Last year, I wrote about a daily bus service operating from the Axarquía region to Málaga airport. I know that many people find my blog by searching the internet for information about buses from Málaga airport heading to the eastern Costa del Sol, so here’s the current situation for Summer 2013.
According to the ALSA bus schedule, the airport service is operating between 1st July and 8th September 2013. The bad news being that the service (like last year) will only operate once a day in each direction.
The Alsina Graells (ALSA) website is in English, and from here you can study bus schedules and purchase tickets in advance of your trip.
Travelling to Málaga airport (AGP)
The bus leaves Motril at 8am calling at Salobreña, Almuñecar, La Herradura, Maro, Nerja, Torrox Costa, El Morche, La Caleta de Vélez and Torre del Mar. The service then travels direct to Málaga without further stops, arriving at the airport at 10.25am.
From Motril a single trip to the airport costs €8.96, or €16.18 for a return ticket.
The timetable shows the bus leaving Nerja at 9am, with a single ticket costing €4.43 or €8.02 for a return trip
From Torrox Costa the bus departs at 9.10am, from where a one-way ticket would cost €3.77 and €6.83 for a return journey.
The bus leaves Torre del Mar at 9.38am and, this time, a single journey ticket is €2.61 with the return trip costing €4.73.
Although there is only one bus each day direct from the Axarquía region to Malaga airport – don’t let this worry you. There are plenty of buses to Málaga (Larios) bus station from where you can get a further bus to the airport. This second bus will drop you off right outside the new terminal (T3) building.
If you prefer to continue your journey by train, right next door to the bus station in Málaga is the Maria Zambrano railway station. Just cross the road and you can jump on one of the frequent trains direct to Terminal 3 of the airport. You will need to catch the local commuter train (known as Cercanias) C-1 in the direction of Fuengirola. Trains to the airport leave every half hour between 5:23am and 10:33pm. The journey only takes 8 minutes and the fare costs between €1.70 and €2.60 depending on the time and day of travel.
Travelling from Málaga airport to La Axarquía
The once-a-day bus from Málaga airport (AGP) leaves from outside the new Terminal 3 Arrivals Hall (Llegadas) at 11am, taking the reverse route to Motril, arriving in Nerja at 12.23pm. The cost to Nerja is €4.43 for a one-way journey or €8.02 for a return ticket.
If this bus time is not convenient, you can also catch a bus from outside T3 into Málaga bus station, from where you can hop on another bus along the coast.
[Bus timetable image credit: here]
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At the end of May each year, the independent non-profit organisation Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) awards its prestigious Blue Flags to beaches and marinas in the northern hemisphere for their water quality, safety standards, environmental education and amenities.
The Blue Flag is a voluntary eco-label awarded to more than 3850 beaches and marinas in 48 countries around the world. With a total of 648 ensigns, Spain has maintained its position at the top of the list in the northern hemisphere.
Here is the list of current blue flag beaches on the eastern Costa del Sol: Algarrobo Costa in Algarrobo; Ferrara in the municipality of Torrox; Burriana and Torrecilla beaches in Nerja; Benajarafe and Torre del Mar in the municipality of Velez-Málaga and last, but not least, Cala del Moral in Rincón de la Victoria
The Blue Flag is awarded on an annual basis, and can only be only held for one season before it will be judged once again by FEE.
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I’ve mentioned before that we don’t live in a town, city or even a small village. We live in the open countryside (known locally as el campo), so our garden isn’t the kind of cultivated area we used to have back in England. Our house was built onto a hill-side of almond trees and indeed, when we moved here almost eight years ago, the only things that were already planted (apart from the naturally-placed wildflowers) were 47 established almond trees, on almost an acre of land. Of course, the area immediately around the house, car park, swimming pool and terraces is flat but the rest of our land is sloped, and we have chosen to leave a more “natural” look further away from the house, to blend in with the surrounding countryside.
As time as gone by we have added many more trees, shrubs and bushes and I have previously posted photographs of lemons, apple blossom, bird of paradise flowers, figs, oranges and some of the many beautiful wildflowers at present gracing the garden.
Despite the apparent poor quality of the soil, the valley where we live is extremely green with trees and vines growing down the hillside. Newly planted trees need care for the first year or two, but once established seem to thrive, provided they are given sufficient irrigation.
The nature of the ground is generally sloping, rough and rocky with poor, shallow soil over bedrock. Untended ground is usually very hard (with need for a pick-axe to dig holes for planting) allowing deluges of rain little chance to penetrate the soil, thereby creating deep channels where the water has run off .
However, it’s not all bad news as there are patches of slightly deeper soil here and there, and it’s one of these that last week we decided to transform into a small vegetable patch.
We were able to buy some little plug plants in Vélez-Málaga, at a total cost of just over 11 euros and, after quite a bit of digging, raking and throwing out stones, we finally got to plant red, green and hot peppers, chard, squash, green beans, red and green lettuce, red onions, fennel and melons.
After three days, I can report that the little plants appear to be doing well. I’ll keep you posted on their progress!
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