From Málaga Airport, which is SW of Málaga, follow signs in the first instance for Málaga. This will bring you to the N340/A7/E15(Spanish road number/European road number). This is the main road running up and down the Mediterranean coast of Spain (although not always actually on the coast).
(NB There is currently some confusion about road numbering. The N340 coast road is currently being turned into a (free) motorway . Generally speaking, the original N340 follows the coast and goes through all the coastal towns. The duplicate motorway runs inland on viaducts and through tunnels. When this project started, the motorway was designated as N340 and the original road re-designated as N340a (N340a 'Costa'). However, it has now been decided to call the motorway A7. This change has been implemented on the large overhead signs, but not always on the kilometre markers at the side of the road and your map may still call it the N340. The old road, where duplicated by the motorway, remains N340a. The European road number has not, however, changed; remains as E15 and follows the motorway where it exists. (If you think this is confusing, behind Marbella, which is in the opposite direction to the direction you need to follow, there are actually parallel to each other a N340, an A7 and an A7P (a private toll road)!)
After a fairly short distance (c2km) there will be signs to take you off the road into Málaga town - do not follow these. You want the 'Ronda de Málaga', which is the Málaga by-pass. Follow signs for Motril (A7) or Almería (A7) - Do not at this stage follow the signs for Granada or Sevilla or Córdoba (these take you to Granada via the inland N331/A359/A92).
The Ronda de Málaga skirts Málaga in the hills on the inland side of Málaga and then carries on inland parallel with the coast as a motorway (all called A7/E15). Follow this motorway as far as it goes, which at the moment is just past La Herradura, and then you will be sent back to the coast road (N340/E15) following signs for Motril/Almuñecar/Almería. (In June 2009 a further section as far as the northern edge of Almuñecar should open)
(If you find yourself at this point at about lunchtime or suppertime) you could leave the motorway before Nerja at the exit at Kilometre 285 signed for Cómpeta and Torrox and go back to the coast road (N340a Costa). Don't stop in Torrox Costa (the unappealing seaside part of inland Torrox) but continue towards Nerja. Between Torrox Costa and Nerja there are some beach-side restaurants.
Look out for a large tent sign. After lunch/supper carry on towards Nerja and Almuñecar on the N340. Nerja also has supermarkets on the N340a if you need to lay in supplies.
At the moment, the A7/E15 motorway, if you didn't leave it, carries on a little past Nerja to La Herradura where the traffic rejoins the N340/E15. (In June 2009 a further section as far as the northern edge of Almuñecar should open) .
Continue to follow the N340/E15 past Almuñecar and about 10 minutes after Almuñecar you should see Salobreña. It is a white town on a prominent rock surmounted by a Moorish castle and will be on your right. It juts out of a coastal plain, which also has some largish blocks of flats by the sea in the distance.
About 1 km after the Salobreña turn off (just after Kilometre Post 328) there will be another turn off signed for Granada. Take this (N323/E902/A44) towards Granada.
At this point you will have travelled about 100km from Málaga Airport.
This will take you on to a roundabout. The first exit is the N323/E902 to the port area of Motril, the second takes you back on to the N340 and the third exit is a new one called the GR14 and signed for Granada. The fourth exit (now closed) was the old road to Granada (for those of you that have followed this route before which used to be numbered N323/E902). The E902 designation has now transferred to the GR14 but doesn't appear on the signs. At this point take the GR14/E902. This will bring you after a short distance to a roundabout.
Continue to follow the GR14 after the roundabout. A short distance after the roundabout there will be another roundabout where the GR14 ends and the N323 finally splits off from the A44/A7(E15)
At this junction you have a choice - either go on to the N323 towards Granada/Velez Benaudalla as described in Option A below or follow Option B (which is signed for Órgiva/Granada/Jaen at the second roundabout) using recently opened new roads. Option A, however, will take you through the impressive Guadalféo gorge. Option B is less interesting and no quicker.
The N323 goes straight inland towards the Sierra Nevada following the gorge and valley of the river Guadalféo as far as Velez Benaudalla. If travelling in daylight we would recommend this route.
When you see the Rules dam ahead, get ready to turn off the N323 just after Kilometre Post 176. This takes you over an arched bridge across the Guadalféo. This is the second turning for Velez Benaudalla and takes you on to the A346. At the point that you turn, the sign mentions Velez Benaudalla and 'La Alpujarra', but not Órgiva (although, at the moment - May 2009 - there is also a temporary yellow sign which does include Órgiva). As soon as you get over the bridge you turn left, and this is signed for Órgiva.
From the junction follow the signs for Órgiva and Granada via A44/E902/A7. The road numbering is confusing at this point because you will actually be going on to an isolated section of the coast motorway, the A7. Keep following signs for Granada/Velez Benaudalla/Orgiva. This short section of A7 has a junction with the A44/E902, which is the Granada-Motril motorway. As the A7 is incomplete in the direction of Motril, nothing actually happens currently at the junction except that the A7 morphs into being the A44. Do not take the exit for Velez Benaudalla and carry on to the Órgiva exit to the A346 (at Kilometre 175 of the A44).
When you come off the A44 follow the signs on the roundabout for Órgiva via A346. This will bring you on to the A346 just up stream of the Rules dam (see Option A)
Options A and B unite at this point
Follow the A346 along the side of valley of the Guadalféo as far as Km 0 (about 11-12 km ). There, you pass through a short tunnel and turn left immediately after the tunnel.
This takes you on to the bridge over the Guadalféo and is the A348 whichis signed for Lanjarón and Órgiva - you are, in fact, at this point on the edge of Órgiva.
View from the A346
Follow the road as it goes up into Órgiva. You will encounter three sets of traffic lights:
- at the Mirasierra Bar
- at the Autoservicio DIA (a small supermarket on your left)
and outside the Alma Alpujarreña Hotel/bar/restaurant.
The last set of lights is just before a junction with a church on the corner.
Turn left at this junction (still the main road). After 50m the road curves to the right and after about 180m there is a bar/hotel/restaurant on your right called the Mirasol. Just by the Mirasol is a small BP filling station.
Our representative will meet you at the Mirasol and take you to the house.
(The Mirasol is at 36 degrees 54.117 min North and 3 degrees 25.543 min West)
Drive through the BP station (ie you go straight on while the main road goes left and crosses the Rio Chico on a high bridge) Reset your trip odometer to 0 at the BP station and go straight ahead for 900m.
Towards the end of the 900m there will be a turning left going down to a small bridge over the Rio Chico with a house on the right by the turning. Go past this junction straight ahead (actually a slight squiggle in the road) for about 25m. On the other side of the Rio Chico you will see a group of eucalyptus trees and a field with a double gate. There is a small lay-by at this point where you can park. Cross the river bed on foot if the river is dry, or use the small footbridge if the river is still running. Casa Rosada is behind the eucalyptus trees on the left. There is a reddish-brown wall with a double gate and a palm tree beside the gate. If the river is dry or shallow, you can also drive across and park nearer the house.
We usually hire from Malaga Car Hire who are in England. Their number is UK (0 20) 83 98 26 62. They have an arrangement at Málaga Airport with Niza Car Hire and you get a discount off Niza rates. If you book soon enough you can pay Málaga Car Hire in sterling in advance rather than paying Niza when you get there and this speeds up the transaction at the Niza depot at Málaga Airport. You will need about €50 in cash as a fuel deposit. You will get this back in cash if you return the car with a full tank.
When you arrive at Málaga Airport there will be a number of car hire reps loitering at the exit from the arrivals baggage reclaim area. If a Niza Cars rep is not in evidence, turn right out of the baggage reclaim area doors, go out of the terminal doors and turn right. (Don't go into the basement of the baggage hall where the car hire booths are). About 60 metres along the footway is where the car hire minibuses stop. There are lots of different names but just look out for the Niza/Pepe Cars minibus, which will take you to their depot on the airport approach road.
Shopping on the way
If you want to pick up supplies on the way, there is a supermarket complex at Kilometre 272 on the A7 , or, if you go via Nerja, there are two supermarkets on the N340a (the coast road) as you leave Nerja going towards Almuñecar.
Returning to the airport
Coming back, the turning off the A7 for the airport is at Kilometre 235 and is signed 'Aeropuerto' and 'Torremolinos'. There are two petrol stations between the turn-off and the airport slip-road.
If travelling to Malaga Airport on a weekend morning allow half an hour extra for traffic. Traffic to Salobreña can also be heavy at weekends.
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