Good Walk for: Staying on the flat (rare here): no steep climbs, only gentle downs, all on good track. Exposed to weather, so avoid on wild days or hot days: otherwise all year. Visiting each village. Views over the farmed valley
Distance: 7Km to Sayalonga;
Options: Detour to visit Bodegas Bentomiz, an excellent winery and restaurant (adds 0.5 Km, but worth it.
Description: Come out of Cómpeta heading from the main plaza up through plaza Vendimia and up to the ‘mirador’ above the town.
Round the corner you reach Venta de Palma: there is a bar and, just past it, the Portichuelo hardwear and DIY shop. From here you follow the road along the ridge top for around 50 minutes. That is essentially it – there are various tracks off to the side but keep going on the main track and you won’t go wrong. If in doubt the right hand path is generally the one. For example, at the junction with many signs head towards Tabitha/Finca Luna (right); at Casa Andalusa you stay right following the sign to Carril Camino Velez (right); Here are some visual prompts:
Remember you are walking along the ridge top of the east side of the valley. You should see views to start with to your left over the Torrox valley and then gradually more over to your right across the Sayalonga valley. You will be able to see Corumbela, the town perched high on the slopes of the west side midway down.
After 30 minutes or so you come to a side track that hairpins to your right. Check to see if there is a sign saying “Casa La Largita” with a picture of a lizard on it. If so this is the track to Bodegas Bentomiz. If you have got your timing right and made a booking you have just another 10 minutes walk to head down to the winery; take the first right entrance into their carpark then the left hand path heading up to the big slate building itself. Their winery tours and tastings start at 12:30 and include an explanation of the history of this family run bodega, the nature of Malaga vineyards and their approach to wine. Their superb 3 or 5 course meals are served from 2 o’clock (straight after the tours and tastings) – but do book through their website beforehand. I think this is some of the best food and wine in Malaga, but I know them well and have worked with them, so I may be biased!
If you want to continue, skip merrily (it’s the wine) back up to the Casa La Largita signpost and continue in your original direction of travel (i.e. turning right at the junction). Follow the track; in another 20 minutes it brings you to the top of a rather ugly concreted road that runs downhill and is used on both sides for parking. Walk down this to the road at the bottom: you are in Sayalonga. Cross the road, go left and look for steps that lead down into an open area – this is the town’s main square, surrounded by bars – you can stop for a post-prandial coffee in one of these. Enjoy!