Are you travelling to Costa del Sol or inland Andalusia? Why don’t you visit a scenic village called Casares? Put on some trekking shoes and you can enjoy the wonderful views from Sierra Crestellina too!
Who wouldn’t love astonishing countryside views? Observing the world from the above and soaking up the beauty of the never-ending landscape?
Andalusia is not just about fancy coasts, surfer’s beaches, traces of Arabic culture and fried fish tapas. It’s also a perfect place for discovering so called Pueblo Blancos (white villages) and even better for hiking and view hunting!
If you like trekking and you’re staying in Andalusia don’t miss out on the little white village called Casares. First settled in ancient times and built at 435 metres above sea level, Casares Casares offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape and also a few hiking trails.
Read everything you need to know about hiking up the Sierra Crestellina in Casares, Spain.
What and Where is Casares in Spain?
Casares is a small village situated 94 kilometres west of Malaga and 46 kilometres of the famous Costa del Sol resort of Marbella. The village is well-known for its charming white-washed houses and picturesque views down the coast. It was also the birthplace of Blas Infante, the man known as ‘the Father of Andalusia’.
Getting to Casares
The best way to get to Casares is by car or by motorbike. There is no railway and the local bus transport is pretty poor. There are just 2 buses a day which depart fromnearby towns like Manilva.
If you start your Andalusian journey by flying to Malaga you would have to get to Sabinillas, Manilva, Estepona or Marbella first and then catch the second bus to Casares. See the timetables here.
To get to Casares by car or a motorbike take the coast road number N340/A7 and then turn inland between Estepona and Sabinillas near Torre de la Sal.
Hiking in Casares, Sierra Crestellina
The village of Casares is located high enough to enjoy a set of beautiful views of the surrounding countryside and nearby beaches. However, if you wish to get higher to see even more of the marvellous landscape of Costa del Sol, go to Sierra Crestellina.
This is a small natural area of 478 hectares with rocky, less accessible peaks with stunning views of the Rock of Gibraltar, Casares, Gaucín, Sierra Bermeja and the Mediterranean sea.
Even if you are a novice hiker you will be able to climb up to the highest peak of Sierra Crestellina as the terrain is not too difficult. You just need proper shoes, clothes and can’t be scared of rolling rocks!
Where to Start the Hike to Sierra Crestellina
The hike group which I joined was organised by the Sunny Walker Society formed for people living and “expating” in the Campo de Gibraltar area, and we started the hike next to the School bus and main parking area in Casares.
Here are the coordinates you can follow but you can also start your little adventure from elsewhere. See the screenshot of the trail we did in October 2019 below.
I have inserted a link to one of the most popular route published at Wikiloc so just click on the picture and get more information to plan your hike to Sierra Crestellina in Casares.
The lower part of the Sierra Crestllina has around 400 metres of elevation. If you wish to get to the very top, you’ll need to make it up an additional 300 metres. The top of the sierra is very rocky and steep so I’d say it’s not very accessible for elderly people and small children.
When to Go to Casares and Sierra Crestellina
You may have heard that inland Andalusia can get nastily hot in summers. You can visit Casares throughout the year though. It has its charm in all seasons, even in summer as long as you wear light clothes, use lots of sunblock and drink enough water to avoid any chance of sun stroke.
However, you would probably get pretty worn out if you decided to hike up the Sierra Crestellina during June, July, August and the first weeks of September.
Hiking season in Andalusia can start as early as January when you can be lucky enough to get a lovely sunny weather; and ends at the end of May, beginning of June just before the temperatures really start to heat up.
Hikers from the Sunny Walker Society usually gather back after the “summer holidays” at the end of September or beginning of October. These are probably the best months to climb up the Sierra Crestellina. (Although, many say that spring is the best time as all flowers bloom and decorate the scenery additional colours to admire).
What to Wear on Your Hike
Wear proper hiking shoes or any other shoes with solid soles, which aren’t slippery and can handle rocky and steep surfaces.
It can get very windy in the area at any time of year so bring a proper jacket, preferably made of waterproof material which can block out the nasty wind.
Maybe bring a hat along too if you are someone who suffers from blocked ears at higher altitudes.
Trekking poles can be very handy on the hike through Sierra Crestlina in Casares. It can help you to fight the unstable rocks which can be found not just on the top of the hill but also on the lower trails, underneath the peak of the Sierra.
Even though there are not many bushes in Sierra Crestellina and the routes are pretty neat, I’d recommend wearing long trousers on your hike. It will protect you if you slip on the rocks or from getting scratched by spiky trees, bushes and other greenery.
No Step Without Drinks & Snacks
Bring lots of water, as much as you can carry with you. Staying hydrated is crucial when you are doing any hiking so don’t forget to keep those fluids topped up. Apart from the water, pack yourself some fruit juice or a smoothie to give you an energy boost for the climb.
Don’t forget to prepare yourself a snack high in nutrition. The hike around Sierra Crestellina can last from 2 to 7 hours depending which trail you choose, how fast you are and how high you go. You can burn from 400 to 500 calories per every hour you hike! If you’re not a fan of fainting in the middle of sharp rocks, try not to forget your lunch along.
I found this crazy Calories Burned Hiking Calculator where you can calculate calories burned after your hike as well as before your planned journey. It can help you calculate how much food you need for any hike. If you’re struggling with your trek menu, check out this cool article about food and calories intake on a hike.
Is Sierra Crestellina Suitable for Solo Hikers?
If you’re an experienced hiker I’d say it definitely is. You just have to be very cautious when hiking up to the peak of Sierra Crestellina which is very rocky and the soil is pretty unstable.
Beginners and less experienced hikers should be accompanied by a group of people. If you still think you can manage it on your own without any previous hike experience, read some tips for hiking beginners first! The trail in Sierra Crestellina is also suitable for healthy and strong dogs. Smaller breeds can suffer from the elevation and stony surface. The stones are wobbly and can get lost when stepping on them. Although we had a tiny Yorkshire terrier hiking with us – he “climbed” the highest peak in the backpack of his/her owner.
The chances of having dirty pants and sweaty hands on your hike up the top peak of Sierra Crestellina are very high. It takes approximately 30 to 40 minutes to climb up to the highest point of the hill but the panoramic view which waits for you up there is definitely worth it.
The marvellous scenery will make you to forget about the wind roaring in your ears, about the bruise on your knee and the little pain biting at your calves. You’ll see one of the most beautiful parts of Andalusia as it was a colourful 360 degree picture on the wall and you can choose to look over the of patchwork fields, the undulating hills or the shining seascape.