La Axarquía – Leoni Benabú airport at El Trapiche

 

Everyone knows about Málaga’s international airport, but how many of you have ever heard of La Axarquía-Leoni Benabú Airport (World Airport Code: LEAX)?

Within the heart of the Axarquía region, there is a private airfield near to the hamlet of El Trapiche, a district on the western edge of Vélez-Málaga, which is home to the Royal Aero Club of Málaga.

I’d thought about paying a visit for a while, but when we rocked up at the airport to find out more information, we couldn’t have hoped for a better reception from one of the instructors, Ignacio Gil, who really went out of his way to show us around.

Control Tower at El Trapiche airport

Ignacio, who speaks very good English, told us that the airport’s runway is 1100 metres long and used by light aircraft only. He proudly invited us to jump into his car and took us across to see some of the 81 hangars on site, housing 75 aircraft.  There is also a maintenance facility, clubhouse and flying school.

We were able to see small aircraft taking off and landing.

Pleasure flights (or aerial baptism as it says on the leaflet!) can be arranged for €120 for 30 minutes or €195 for one hour. Why not give one a try? Make sure to say that Marianne from East of Málaga blog sent you!

Can you see the aircraft about to land (on the far right of the photo), just below the village of Comares?

Can you see the aircraft about to land (on the far right of the photo), just below the village of Comares?

Where to find La Axarquía-Leoni Benabú Airport:

About a thirty minute drive east of the city of Málaga, along the A7-E15 Autovía del Mediterraneo to km 272,  take the exit signposted A 356 towards Vélez-Málaga, La Viñuela, Colmenar and Zafarraya.  Stay on the A356, by-passing the town of Vélez-Málaga and, after about 7 kilometres, turn left at the junction signed towards El Trapiche and Triana.  Approximately one kilometre further, there is a small sign on the left pointing to the airport.

Only a few hundred metres along this little road, you will find the Royal Aero Club of Malaga.

Website: http://www.aeroclubmalaga.com

Tel: +34 95250 7377
Instructor: Ignacio Gil – mobile telephone: +34 695260656

 

You might also be interested to visit:

The Buddhist Stupa of the eastern Costa del Sol

 

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Sailing off the coast of the Axarquía, east of Málaga

Dark objects out to sea off Torre del Mar

If you’re anything like me, you might have noticed four dark objects out to sea off the coast of Caleta and Torre del Mar, and wondered what they were.  Well, after taking a boat trip with Cruceros Axarquía from the Marina at Caleta de Vélez, I finally discovered what they were – but more about that later!

Muelle B at Caleta de Velez

Entry point to the sailing boat, La Pinta, is via Dock B (Muelle B), next to the Marina and opposite El Camarote restaurant. There is usually an umbrella up to shade the girl selling tickets and giving out leaflets, so it’s easy to spot.

If I’m honest, the information could have been a little bit more obvious. The first time we went was when they were only sailing at weekends and, as it was a weekday we sat there for a while before we realised our mistake. During the height of the summer season though, La Pinta sails daily at various times of day, beginning at 12 noon. You need to check first though, as trips can be cancelled at short notice, depending on weather and sea conditions, of course.

The cruise takes one hour and the boat travels from the harbour at Caleta, west along the coast of the Axarquía towards the delta of the River Vélez, where it turns back home.

La Pinta - sailing from Caleta

We took two trips during August, the first was a 12 noon cruise when the sun was shining. We cruised past the many pleasure boats in the inner harbour and then alongside the fishing boats moored there. It was surprising just how many large fishing boats were there.

The smaller fishing boats have lots of lights on them to attract the fish and squid which are then caught by the bigger boats.  I’ve always been an early riser, and from my terrace at home, as I look down towards the Mediterranean Sea, the lights of these fishing boats look like stars floating on the water. Very pretty.

Fishing boats in Caleta harbour

Anyway, back to the boat trip. Like I said, it was a hot sunny day and there were only about 14 people on this particular trip (I guess the boat can hold 60 people – but don’t quote me on that because I’m not a very good guesser).  Most people rushed up to the front of the boat where there were mattresses and cushions for them to sit on. There is wire mesh around the front to ensure everyone’s safety and the folk up at the front have to remain seated at all times.

That was perfect, as it left the rest of the boat “people free” for me to take photos! Yaay!

La Maroma, the largest mountain in the Axarquía region, looked resplendent from the clear blue water on this beautiful day. There was a slight swell, but nothing to worry about – and I DO worry about that, as I’m definitely a “fair-weather” sailor.

It was good to get a fresh perspective from the sea, of Caleta and Torre del Mar. Because I know the towns so well, it was easy to spot landmarks like the sailing club and the lighthouse. The beaches were busy and lined with multi-coloured umbrellas.

I was hoping we might see some dolphins, but it wasn’t to be.

Once we had turned back to head for Caleta harbour, we headed a little further out to sea, towards those dark objects off the coast. So, what are they I hear you cry? Well, wonder no more – they are mussel beds.

I got chatting to one of the crew members during the trip, and he was happy to tell us about the best “mejillones en España” (mussels in Spain). If I understood him correctly, each of the four wooden mussel beds are anchored in 23 metres of water, with the mussels growing up to eight metres below them. They are harvested after four months growth.

Sunset over Torre del Mar

We enjoyed our little jaunt so much we decided to return again a few weeks later with some friends, but this time we took the sunset cruise. This second trip was during the last couple of days of August and, with sailing time still on the summer schedule at 8.30pm, we had only left the harbour a few minutes when the sun was disappearing behind the mountains, which was a bit disappointing for a sunset cruise.  I felt that the time should have been brought forward half an hour or so.  Of course, Cruceros Axarquía announced their revised sailing times from September 1st, a couple of days after our trip, which means that the sunset cruise now leaves Muelle B at 19.45, which is much better for a sunset cruise.

I guess it wont be long until they are just sailing at weekends again – now that it’s officially autumn!

La Pinta is a lovely boat, nicely painted and comfortable. The crew were friendly and happy to help people step on and off the boat (if they wanted help). You can buy drinks on board, and there is a toilet, in case you’re wondering. Cost is 7 euros for adults and 5 euros for children.

You would be best off checking Cruceros Axarquia’s website (or their Facebook page) for weather conditions, sailing days and times before heading to Caleta.

I was a full, fare-paying passenger on board both of these trips.

Do YOU enjoy boat trips? Where’s your favourite place to sail?

Other articles you might enjoy:

Torrox: Let me take you to “funky town”

River walk up the River Chillar from Nerja

PHEW! It’s sweltering in Spain, with record high temperatures

Weather forecast for this weekend in southern Spain

Spain has been gripped by a heatwave over the past week with record temperatures, and it looks as though the heat will continue over the next few days.

Last night we got home from seeing friends at almost midnight, and it was still 31C outside – so there was nothing for it, other than to jump into the pool to try to cool down!

Head for the beach

I guess it’s a perfect time to head to the beach.  See you there!

How do YOU deal with the heat during the night?