Comares: Axarquía White Village, High On The Hill

Comares is easy to spot from many places in Axarquía. Perched precariously on top of a high hill, it is visible for miles. During the day, it’s pure white buildings glisten in the sun. At night, the street lights glimmer like Christmas tree decorations across the darkened sky. It’s the perfect day trip or holiday getaway: whatever the season.

If you decide to venture up the hill, what awaits you in Comares?

Take the high road

The breathtaking journey to Comares is an adventure. The road spirals the hill like a demented rollercoaster. There are exceptional views towards the coast but the lack of a safety barrier might make you think twice before stopping en route. It’s hard to believe that this is actually a bus route. A once daily return service runs all the way to Malaga with the exception of Sunday and public holidays.

With one sharp turn to the right and another hill climb, past the public swimming pool, campsite and one of the two small hotels, you will arrive at the Moorish archway that marks the entry to Comares. Parking is much easier before the archway, though the climb might test your thighs.

Comares, called "Balcon de la Axarquia" is a village culminating at 700 altitude with a view of the sea

"Worth it for the view!

It’s just a short steep ascent on foot to the town square. Here, the views are magnificent from the wide viewing platform. The square has a couple of bars and the second hotel. This hotel also serves as a museum and a restaurant. The terrace tables here must be amongst some of the most spectacular in the region with open views of Axarquia. It’s an ideal spot for a celebration or a romantic dinner.

Comares welcomes tourists and visitors but it remains a real town. There’s a bank, a small supermarket, which is really a corner shop, bakeries and the usual local services. The tobacconist has the odd souvenir but Comares remains unspoilt by mass visitor intrusion. The tiny tourist office is friendly, helpful and proud of their town. They will happily supply the town map and show you the walking route marked out clearly on the streets. You’ll wander it’s narrow alleyways and love it’s beauty and charm.

Steeped in history

Comares is steep and steeped in history. Originally, it was an Arabic hilltop fort and those beginnings can still be seen with the Moorish archways and the remains of the fortress which intersperse the town.

Some of the ancient ruins border the immaculate cemetery.  At the end of the cemetery, are the remains of the town wall and turret, and more incredible views! It’s from here that the Ibex deer can often be seen or heard.

Comares fiesta!

Two events add to the appeal of Comares. From around Easter until about October, on the first Sunday of the month, there’s a market held in the campsite grounds. It’s an Artisan market with free live music. Hosted largely by the foreigners who have made Comares their home, it has a very relaxed vibe as these settlers do tend towards the more bohemian and arty.

Unexpected adventures

Aside from the myriad of trails, all well signposted, Comares has another unexpected adventure: a zipwire! This is not just any old zipwire. It’s the longest in Spain at 436m. Given the altitude of the town, this is a real thrill ride and natural funfair attraction in the heart of Axarquía. The Tirolina de Comares is yet another interesting feature of this unique and beautiful hilltop town. Even on a rare cloudy day, Comares often sits serenely above making it seem even more unworldly and special. It is well worth the ascent.