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Walk! Axarquia: Costa Del Sol Paperback – 6 May 2005
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Walk! Axarquia made our holiday, By A Customer (Amazon Reader Review) We used to have the usual beach style holidays but finally realised that there must be more to spending precious leisure time. We liked southern Spain anyway so tries the Axarquia, and took this book with us. The author's own love of the area shines through, and he takes you to all those wonderful places you would never find. We found the directions clear and precise, and were glad of the GPS waypoints which ensure you are not lost! We had already used some of the suthor Charles Davis walking guides to other destinations, so knew we would get a well written guidebook. We have used his book for the Alpujarras, Walk! Mallorca (both the west and the mountains volumes) and his Walk! Andorra. All inspiring, entertaining and the best we have found for these regions.
If you are looking for something wild, but close to resort civilisation, then "Walk! Axarquia" could be for you.
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None of the routes were technically challenging or unduly hazardous although many were strenuous. There's plenty of full day routes, and we thought his suggested times were over-optimistic, especially once you allow for routefinding / lunch / photos - and you will want to take a lot of photos of this scenery. In our opinion the descriptions weren't always clear - and to be honest it isn't always the easiest landscape to describe - but the accompanying maps and GPS waypoints made up for that. Use the map as your guide and the description as confirmation, not the other way round. If you don't have a GPS you can download Orux Maps (free) onto your smartphone and use it with a Garmin .img file downloaded from Open Street Map (also free).
Most of the walks assume you want to start and finish at the same place (+1 vs most Sunflower Guides) and over half are satisfying circuits (+2 vs Sunflower). You will need to drive on dirt roads if you want to get the most out of the area but all the ones in the book could be negotiated easily in a hire car with a bit of care.
It's 5 years since this edition came out and a couple of paths were getting overgrown (another reason to use the waypoints). Dirt tracks change too but generally they've improved and in fact some of the walks can now be accessed much more easily than the author suggests - I'll mention walk 19 (Lucero) specifically as it is outstanding: you can now drive to Puerto Blanquillo easily from Competa and take the path over Puerto Competa, rather than slogging in from the north.
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