The almond trees are in full bloom in the province of Malaga in February, and are worth the trip to admire their blossoms. The climate is perfect for them and the trees flourish here, whether they were planted years ago or centuries ago. Sunny Sunday afternoons are perfect for a drive in the country to enjoy the beautiful pink flowers. There are two main routes you can take.
The first trip takes you to the north of the province, through Colmenar, Casabermeja and Villanueva de la Concepción, which brings you within 15 kilometers of the almond trees. They are found alone along the road, mixed in with olive or orange groves and in magnificent clusters covering the green hills in the distance. From Villanueva drive up, as the views get better and better and the temperature drops a little as the background to the blooms gets greener. Go by El Torcal and the plains, and stop to enjoy the perfume of lavender and thyme, or for a country meal in one of the three nearby “ventas” – “Molino Blanco”, where they make wonderful “porra”; “Los Patos” – where there is no sign outside but there are plenty of “patos” (ducks) and delicious black pudding; or “El Conejo”, where rabbit (conejo) or fried eggs star on the menu.
The blossoms vary in color according to how long ago they bloomed, going from white to pink to purple. In Cártama Estación at the Almendra del Sur, you can learn all about the almond trees. They’ll tell you about almond trees in general, and about the 400 classes of trees in the province specifically.
The second almond blossom route is through the Axarquía and four or five pueblos, taking in Almachar and El Borge, as far as Comares. The eastern version of the almond tree can be found here. It is more fragile than the almond trees to the north, more discreet, more isolated, but equally beautiful. Flourishing alongside the prickly pear, the almond often offers shade to young vines. According to Ignacio Trillo, a cold spell before the flowers bloom is good, but once the blossoms appear, a frost can ruin them in a single night.
From El Borge we come to Cútar, with its hidden sounds of an Arabic spring. On to Benamorgosa and Comares, and then return to Malaga via Olías. Go in February, while the almond is in blossom.