When to Go
The best weather for climbing is normally to be found between the middle of October and the beginning of May. During this period the air temperatures can be perfect and the options of sun, shade and/or altitude can be utilised to keep the ambient temperature comfortable. It can be cold so a warm coat and hat are advisable additions to the packing list. However it is more likely to be on the warm side so shorts, suncream and a sunhat should also not be forgotten. Wet weather does occasionally close in but the chances of a complete wash out are low and there is usually always somewhere dry to climb. Summer is most definitely not the time to be planning on a trip, as inland temperatures regularly hit 40C, although high up in the shade at Loja or El Torcal it might be cool enough to venture out on to the rock without frying.
Public Holidays - It is well worth taking note of the Spanish public holidays as most of the shops, bars and cafes are closed on these days and public transport will be limited.
1st January (New Year), 6th January (Epiphany), 28th February (Andalucia Day),
March/April (Easter Thursday and Good Friday), 1st May (Labour Day),
15th August (Assumption), 12th October (National Day), 1st November (All Saints’ Day),
6th December (Spanish Constitution Day), 8th December (The Immaculate Conception),
25th December (Christmas Day).
The main airport for the area is Málaga International Airport. Luckily this is one of the best served and most popular airports in Europe and with flights from all major European destinations all year round. Prices are some of the cheapest available to any climbing destination in Spain and look likely to stay that way for the foreseeable future. If a bit of time is spent searching out the bargains outside of the holiday periods, it is still not uncommon to be able to pick up return flights from the UK for £65 or less.
- www.easyjet.com from East Midlands, Bristol, Glasgow, Liverpool, London Airports, Manchester, Newcastle.
- www.bmibaby.comfrom Birmingham, Cardiff ,East Midlands, Manchester.
- www.flybe.com from Exeter, Southampton.
- www.Jet2.com from Belfast, Newcastle, Blackpool, Manchester, Leeds/Bradford.
- www.ryanair.com from Stansted, Birmingham, Bournemouth, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool.
It is also worth checking on charter flight availability as occasionally they are cheaper, especially for trips during holiday periods.
Getting to and Around El Chorro
Car Hire - El Chorro is perhaps the best of Spain’s major winter sun climbing destinations to consider for those wishing not to hire a car, but having one makes getting to other nearby spots possible and is essential for those who don’t like walking very much! Car hire is relatively cheap – in the region of €15/day for a small car. All the following companies have on-airport offices and pick-up and drop-off. www.holidayautos.co.uk, www.europcar.com, www.hertz.com
Without a Car - El Chorro, more than any of the other winter sun climbing destinations in Europe, lends itself to those on a tight budget, or those who wish to climb without making use of a car. Travel from Málaga’s airport or train station to Alora, and then on to El Chorro, is relatively straightforward and cheap although the train times seem to change regularly so it is best to check before travelling (952 360 202). The railway service to Alora is good and from Alora it is easy to catch a taxi or hitch a lift to El Chorro. The number for taxis in Alora is 952 496 424. From the accommodation centred on El Chorro it is possible to walk to many of the areas great cliffs such as Encantadas, Makinodromo, The Gorge and Frontales. For the crags further afield, hitching a lift is a real possibility, or hooking up with others with transport in the cafe, bar or refugio. The small food shops in El Chorro stock all the basics.
For the El Chorro based visitor there are a number of small shops spread out around the village that stock all that is needed to sustain a visit. Meals are served at the Refugio, the Station Bar and the La Garganta Hotel. Further afield there are many more options. Alora is around 10km from El Chorro and has lots of bars, restaurants, cafes and larger supermarkets. Up at the lakes above El Chorro are some superb bars and restaurants that have wonderful views. Málaga (about an hour from El Chorro) has all the attractions, and distractions, of a large city along with hypermarkets on its outskirts.
Climbing Shops – There is a small climbing shop, Aventur Chorro, in the centre of El Chorro village that stocks plenty of gear and clothing – UKClimbing.com listing.