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Alto de Zambra

This road runs along the top of a ridge - with a million curves into Malaga. It's hard to believe that a road like this exists so close to a busy major city. Down in the valley on each side roads, traffic is channeled along limited access four lane highways, apparently with little or no service roads. This ridge route is represented on the right side of the profile below. The route from points 1 to 4 can also be used to ride from Malaga to El Torcal. From there its's a short ride to Casabermeja, and that is really where the Alto de Zambra route begins.

01.(00.0km,020m) START-END EAST: Malaga, south of harbor
02.(09.2km,120m)El Chaparral
03.(21.9km,0300m)profile turns right off MA3400 onto smaller road
04.(33.4km,0380m)route turns right towards Casabermeja
05.(42.0km,0530m)Casbermeja and start of climb on narrow curvy road
06.(45.8km,0730m)TOP: point of highest elevation
07.(50.0km,0600m)this point is marked as Puerto Marin on map - not a road jct
08.(55.0km,450m)point marked as Puerto Pereda on map - not a road
09.(66.8km,120m)route approaches A9 and a little later enters outskirts of Malaga
10.(74.6km,020m) START-END WEST: Malaga, just south of other endpoint


From West.
And so the description begins at point 5.

It follows my recorded gps track trough a few steep streets in town. But it's possible to make that a longer, more shallow climb. The idea is to head for the small transmission towers on the hill. The road passes a few derlict benches, climbs the hill in serpentines, and crosses the ridge to open a far view onto Malaga. During my ride a strip of sunshine tears through the clouds to light up the coast in a ghostly lit display. The rest of the hills are shouded in black and framed by green. I always imagined Norway to look like this, not the Spanish coast.  A dirt road turnoff leads to the Torre de Zambra

From East:  (described downwards) Along the curvy  traverse on top of the ridge I encounter about a handful of cars, a handful of cyclists, and another handful of chained dogs barking like crazy. On the right side A46 strides over the bottom of the valley on a yet another handful of graceful bridge stilts. In the background the clouds condense into black behemoths over the cliff known as El Torcal. If there were such a thing as an electronic gadget that calculates the total amount of curvature in a road over distance, this would be the one road I would love to try it out on. The curves really never stop.

As the views of Malaga get ever closer, the tiendas become more frequent, a narrow bridge, a tunnel or two, and the road seems to dead end at the junction with a four lane highway. But - there is even a service road now, still with hardly any traffic. It lasts for the last few miles of the approach - finally landing straight as an airplane on a runway between the shopping streets of Malalga. In order to descend all the way to the harbor I have to finally put up with traffic lights, and a one way street system, that makes me loose my sense of direction. Which way to the water ? Only the the gps knows.

A ride with this point as intermediate summit is on page: Venta la Nades s(u)