Enjoy our quick guide to this small village located near the river of Guadalhorce, around one hour from Malaga on Spain’s Costa del Sol.
Below, we feature an expat interview with Sue Jay of Andalusian Homes, an established Alora agent for more than 20 years with offices found in Alora. Apart from Alora, they also cover the areas of El Chorro and the surrounding areas.
Particularly, we wanted to know from Sue why people ought to choose El Chorro as their next destination, whether for a brief holiday stay or for staying permanently in the area.
Sue, thanks for helping our readers. I guess we should start off by asking what would you say are the advantages to living in El Chorro compared to other Costa del Sol towns?
El Chorro is an area of outstanding beauty and part of the Ardales Natural Park. By definition this means very little commercial development.
Would the area not suit certain types of people, i.e. are there any possible downsides?
If you are looking for Supermarkets and Nightclubs this is not the place for you. If, however you love nature in all its many forms and in particular, climbing, hiking and birdwatching, there is no better place to be.
I visit at least twice a week with clients and still, after 20 years, go ‘Wow’ when I see the gorge and mountains.
What proportion of the local population are Spanish?
This is not an ‘ex-pat’ area, quintessentially Spanish in every way.
What are your favourite things to do in the area?
The area has been a Mecca for climbers since the early 1900. Growing in popularity as word spread of the now over 650 different climbing routes and trails. It has a truly international following, with enthusiasts from all around the world – although I have yet to meet an Icelander!
Now, with the re-opening of the famous Caminito del Rey (The King’s footpath) it has come to worldwide attention of non-climbers as well, with the original booking site taking over 10,000 bookings in the first 24 hours. Hundreds of people are walking this amazing route every day, high above the stunning gorge, gazing down into the rushing river below and arriving at the beautiful lakes, where you can sail, swim, fish or just enjoy the peaceful pine forests around the lakes.
The park also has a spectacular bird and animal life, with graceful birds of prey, including Vulture eagles soaring overhead and gravity defying Mountain Goats hopping from crag to crag. You can walk through the park on designated trails or wander where you will. The scenery is breathtaking wherever you look.
We are not far from the amazing Torcal Natural Park, the Lobo Park (Wolf Park) and Valle de Abdalajís has a Para Gliding school!
Can you give us some insider tips to the best bars or restaurants?
The village of El Chorro is dominated by the La Garganta hotel which has a good restaurant and tapas service. The little station bar provides tapas and snacks to climbers and travellers. Overlooking the main lakes are two excellent restaurants serving local dishes, El Mirador and El Kiosko.
Are there many facilities such as doctors and dentists, shops etc?
The nearest medical facilities are in the towns of Álora or Valle de Abdalajís both around 20 minutes drive away. With major hospitals in Málaga or the newly opened Guadalhorce Valley Hospital in Cártama.
Both El Chorro and Álora have a train service to Malaga and from there to the airport.
Álora is also where you will find a full range of shops and supermarkets and a theatre.
Are there smaller villages nearby that you might also recommend?
El Chorro is a small village, but Bermejo which is between El Chorro and Álora, where we have our office, is the next stop and is an excellent little community with basic services. On the other side is the pretty white village of Valle de Abdalajís with good amenities.
What are the nearest international schools and how good are they?
Nearest International school, is Sunlands in Cartama, but the Spanish system is very good and it makes it easier for children to make friends with the locals.
Is crime an issue for expats?
We are an incredibly low crime area. My house is open all day, mind you I do have a lot of dogs!
Coming onto buying property, what is the market like now in terms of prices going up, or down or staying the same?
Because the housing stock in this area is quite limited and the increasing popularity, prices tend to be higher than in some areas. The market has held steady and has risen a little in the past year. Good properties tend to sell relatively quickly.
Is this a good time to buy and are there any repossessions or very cheap properties still available to buy?
Hardly ever re-possessions in El Chorro. It is always a good time to buy if you are looking for an exceptional lifestyle.
What urbanisations are there and can you describe each one and how they might differ from each other?
Definitely no urbanisations.
How much are the typical property prices in El Chorro for apartments, villas etc?
As every property is so individual in the countryside there is no ‘typical’ price, so anything from 85k to 1.4 million!
Sue, thank you so much for taking the time to help our readers with your experiences in Spain. If you want to contact her, you can find her details below.
Below is video showing the famous El Caminito del Rey in El Chorro.
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