This is an easy walk beginning in Nerja and ending in the small village of Maro about 4 km away. The route is mostly along a main road, but the detour to the aqueduct involves taking a downhill path and returning to the main road up a gently sloping road.
The first part of the walk until the aqueduct takes you past El Capistrano Village on the left and Capistrano Playa above Burriana on the right. There are great views of the Mediterranean coastline and Nerja and also the mountains with Pico del Cielo in the distance. On the left you will also see the ruins of the San Joaquin sugar mill built in 1884 by Franciso Cantarero. After a couple of kilometres there is a signpost pointing to the aqueduct and shortly after a brown direction sign telling you to go right to the ‘Cala Barranco del Maro’. This is the path to take.
Follow the path downhill and enjoy the views down the barranco to the sea. This valley has been taken over for smallholdings and there is also a herd of sheep which graze on the steep slopes opposite and a few stables for horses. Don’t be surprised to see washing hanging on a line outside two caves because there are permanent cave dwellers here.
The bridge on the right is the Viejo Puente Del Maro (The Old Maro Bridge), built to make an easy route between Nerja and Maro in the 19th century. This is the road you will be taking after visiting the aqueduct.
Go past the bridge and the aqueduct is in front of you. ‘El Acueducto Del Aguila’ was constructed around 1879, the exact date is not known. It was built to provide water to the previously mentioned San Joaquin sugar mill and most likely was also the work of Francisco Cantarero. There are 36 arches in total on four levels. The pinnacle of the structure is completed with a still functioning weather vane in the shape of a double headed eagle. The origin of this symbol is not known but one theory is that at the time of construction eagles nested in the rocky slopes of the cliffs of Maro.
During the civil war the aqueduct suffered direct hits from shells fired during naval bombardments. Whether this was an intentional targetting or a result of attempts to bomb the Malaga – Motril road is unclear, but until the recent renovation of the aqueduct the effects of the damage could still be seen. The aqueduct has been declared a Site of Special Culture Interest by the Andalucian Government and in 2011 was given a complete restoration.
Continuing the walk, retrace your steps and cross the old Maro bridge. From here you can see both ways down the barranco. There are four bridges here, the one you are standing on, the aqueduct, the N340 roaad and the A7 motorway bridge in the distance. Follow the road around the cliff side and walk uphill until you reach the main road once again. From here turn right and follow the road until it forks to the right which is the way into Maro. There are several bars and cafes in which to take refreshments before returning to Nerja on foot or by bus.