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La Axarquia (pronounced Ajarquía) is one of nine regions in the province of Málaga, located in the autonomous community of Andalusia, Spain. Geographically, it is situated in the easternmost part of the Málaga province. The region extends along the coast and inland, with its coastal municipalities forming the Costa del Sol Oriental. The historical capital and most important city of La Axarquía is Vélez-Málaga.

History of La Axarquía

The name “Axarquía” comes from the Arabic word šarqíyya, which means “eastern region”. This is fitting, as La Axarquía is located in the eastern part of Málaga province. The region has a rich history, with evidence of human habitation dating back to prehistoric times. Over the centuries, it has been inhabited by various peoples, including Phoenicians, Romans, and Moors.

During the Moorish period, La Axarquía was an important agricultural region, producing crops such as sugar cane, figs, and grapes. After the Reconquista, when Christian forces retook control of the Iberian Peninsula from Muslim rule, many Moors were forced to leave La Axarquia. However, some remained and continued to practice their religion and customs in secret.

In the 19th century, La Axarquía experienced a period of economic growth thanks to its agricultural production and the development of new industries such as textile manufacturing. However, this growth was not sustained and the region experienced economic difficulties in the 20th century. Today, tourism is an important industry in La Axarquía and many visitors are drawn to its beautiful beaches and charming white villages.

Tourist Attractions in La Axarquia

La Axarquía has much to offer tourists. Its coastal municipalities form the Costa del Sol Oriental and are popular destinations for sun and beach holidays. Inland, visitors can explore picturesque white villages and stunning natural landscapes. Some popular tourist attractions in La Axarquía include:

  • The Balcón de Europa in Nerja – a viewpoint offering stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea.
  • The Caves of Nerja – a series of caverns featuring impressive stalactites and stalagmites.
  • The historic center of Vélez-Málaga – home to numerous historic buildings and monuments.
  • The Maroma – the highest peak in the region, offering hiking opportunities and panoramic views.

In addition to these attractions, La Axarquía is also home to many charming white villages that are well worth a visit. These include Frigiliana, Cómpeta, and Salares among others. Each village has its own unique character and attractions such as historic churches, narrow winding streets lined with whitewashed houses, and scenic viewpoints.

Natural Attractions

La Axarquía is also home to many natural attractions that are sure to delight nature lovers. These include:

  • The Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara y Alhama Natural Park – a protected area featuring rugged mountain landscapes and diverse flora and fauna.
  • The Cliffs of Maro-Cerro Gordo – a stretch of coastline featuring dramatic cliffs and secluded coves.
  • The Fuente de Piedra Lagoon – a wetland area that is home to one of the largest flamingo colonies in Europe.

Cultural Attractions

For those interested in culture and history, La Axarquía has much to offer. Some cultural attractions in the region include:

  • The Museum of Nerja – a museum showcasing the history and culture of Nerja and its surrounding area.
  • The Salvador Rueda Museum in Benaque – a museum dedicated to the life and work of poet Salvador Rueda.
  • The Bentomiz Castle – a Moorish castle located near Arenas that offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

List of villages

Axarquía Hotels

Canillas de Aceituno

Villa Frigiliana - Axarquia Hotels

Olive & Ivy Guest HouseA LOBERA
Concejo, 1, 29716
Tel. 623001650


Ctra. Casabermeja-Colmenar, km 8
Tel. 952731066 – Fax 952731066


San Antonio, 75
Tel. 952553535 – Fax 952553510


Plaza Capitán Cortés, 14
Tel. 952533073


Carril del Cortijo Blanco, s/n
Tel. 952536222