Comares s(u)

The hilltop town of Comares is the biggest tourist attraction on a loop over four summits, called the "Route of the Grape" in tourist brochures. But that does not mean it's a tourist trap, unless you consider a single bar/ restaurant and an old woman trying to sell her homemade cheese, figs and a couple of tomatoes for above average prices - a tourirst trap. Comares itself and especially its cemetary has incredibly views on a big breadloaf of a mountain, called El Torcal, complete with surrounding ranges, passes and sweeping valleys between them. This village sits on a short loop that almost touches at the starting point. It is located just north of the summit of the unsigned Puerto de Santopilar.

1-4: same points as on the Puerto Santopilar profile
05.(26.8km,600m)profile turns left, first turnoff to Comares
06.(28.5km,720m)TOP AFTER PUERTO SANTOPILAR: highest point in Comares
07.(31.8km,370m)unpaved route ends and joins paved route from Puerto Santopilar
08.(34.6km,150m)route turns right at this jct; left goes to Colemar
09.(38.1km,100m)Benamargosa
10.(41.6km,070m)Trana
11.(46.7km,040m)route goes through Trapiche on A7295
12.(50.4km,030m)START-END WEST: Velez Malaga


Approaches

From North.
The elevation profile is basically the same as for Puerto de Santopilar, with the short loop mentioned above spliced in. In this case the highest point on the profile is actually the Puerto de Santopilar. After rolling down a little more than 300 meters, an artistic looking sign persuades to take a left and climb to Comares, even if - like me, you never heard of it before at this point.

The gate at the entrance of town looks more like a cardboard stage set than a medieval gate, something you might find in Disneyland - well, not quite that contrived. But it gets a lot better. The road seems to end at a balcony like overlook next to a bar. Steel benches invite for a picnic under a fancy gazebo roof. Even if it's raining this town has its advantages, and maybe by the time the meal is finished, the weather will have improved. It did in my case.

The town can be explored in two directions, two different high points, highlighted by the cemetery and the church. The church is the higher of the two, but as is usually the case, the cemetery is the most scenic with the steepest cliffs, that highlight the location of this town to perfection.

The profile follows one of the narrow walkways or streets to the summit at the church. Along the way are several surprises, a small plaza with an interesting statue,  and then in my case a woman selling food at above average prices to dumb looking bikers like myself. Oh well, I hope the few euros make her happy. I'm still in the novelty phase of this ride.



From South. (described downwards) But rather than following the paved road back down, I went looking for another way on one of the many double tracks on the north side. After several tries, I finally found the Ruta del Lavadero. This option, shown on the profile, rejoins Ma3111, about 200m below the paved road from Comares rejoins Ma3111 coming down from Puerto de Santopilar.


A Dayride with this point as intermediate summit is on page: Puerto de Santopilar




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