For those who like to be out and about, Almuñécar offers a great variety with many different types of walks and hikes. Everything from walking on the narrow streets between historic sites in the old town, long walks along the wide walkways by the sea, to lovely hikes on trails in the mountains with miles of views.
But then, what distinguishes a walk from a hike?
Walk is, in addition to a mode of transport, an exercise and leisure activity, and it can be done along walking paths. Walking in nature and wilderness is often called hiking. Hiking can be done on unpaved land, but often takes place on prepared and marked hiking trails.
In these Corona times, with all the boring restrictions, we can still move completely free within the boundaries of our own municipality. And given that you should avoid crowds and closed rooms, to prevent the spread of infection, it is perfect to go hiking in nature.
The body is made to move
Hiking is a fantastic form of exercise, while you get great nature experiences, it is beneficial both for your body and mind. You can plan the hike yourself to suit your preferences – long or short, high or low, steep or flat.
In hilly terrain, several large muscle groups get to work and if you walk with poles, the arm muscles are activated, and you keep your whole body going. If you walk on uneven ground, you also improve your balance.
Hiking can provide several positive health benefits, such as increased fat burning, better blood sugar balance, lower blood pressure and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
When hiking, the body works, and the brain can rest and recover. Nature has an ability to reduce our stress and make us forget about our everyday worries, we become healthier and feel better. Several studies have shown that staying in nature can significantly lower stress levels; for example, both heart rate and blood pressure decrease, and the amount of the stress hormone cortisol is reduced.
According to research, it seems that the brain is influenced and most strengthened by being physically active on a regular basis. In addition to becoming more stress-resistant, you will improve your memory, become more concentrated and more creative.
Spending time with friends
Some would prefer to walk alone, perhaps together with their dog, others take the opportunity to walk with their friends or see it as a chance to meet new people. Hiking is a nice form of exercise, without competition or timing. Walking brings people together and you get the opportunity to make new friends and talk to them without having to puff with breathlessness.
Environmentally friendly and “free”
To hike, you do not need to buy expensive equipment or membership cards. All you need is a pair of comfortable shoes and a water bottle to avoid the most common hiking injuries that can occur, chafing and dehydration.
Carbon dioxide emissions when hiking = ZERO. If you want to be even more environmentally friendly, you can take the opportunity to bring a garbage bag and pick rubbish during the hike and thus combine benefit with pleasure.
Where to walk?
Within Almuñécar’s municipal border there are many options for hiking. If you don’t have a car and want to go up to the mountains, you can choose to hike up in Río Seco or in Río Verde. There are also several nice roads off from Río Seco that you can explore.
If you want to go along the sea front, you can walk past Cotobro towards Marina del Este and on to La Herradura.
If you have a car and want to hike further up in the mountains, you can, for example, go to “Loma de gato” or to the Castillejos mountains above La Herradura.
The municipality of Almuñécar – La Herradura organizes guided hikes in groups every month (in Spanish). Note! With Corona restrictions, these hikes may be cancelled!
ITACA GUÍAS has guided hikes and walks (in Spanish & English).
Tips on different hiking routes can be found in the booklet “Senderos de Almuñécar” which you can buy at an Almuñécar bookstore (in Spanish & English).
Read more about hikes in Almuñécar – La Herradura
https://almunecar.se/en/walks/ (in English)
Hikes in other parts of Andalusia
https://www.andalucia.org/es/rutas-de-senderismo (in Spanish)