View of the Álora Castle / sur

Álora castle and grounds undergo essential restoration work to make area more accessible to visitors

ANDREA JIMÉNEZ ÁLORA.

Álora's castle and grounds are undergoing vital restoration work that will provide new access points and gardens. The project developed by the local council aims to integrate the complex into the built-up area of this small town with various tourist walking trails routes, as well as restoring the castle tower and Arab walls.

The tower and walls belong to the third walled precinct of the castle, a site of cultural interest (BIC) listed in the General Catalogue of Andalusian Historical Heritage.

Recent repair work here came to a halt when historical remains were found, but after a second study by the Malaga Provincial Commission for Historical Heritage, the project was given the go ahead again in December.

In the project report, which SUR has been given access to, guidelines have been established for the integration of these parts into the built-up part of the town. There are also plans for improvements inside the castle grounds.

The objective is to make the Cerro de las Torres hilltop (where the castle is located) more accessible for residents and tourists. To allow this to happen, a new access to the Cerro has been created in Calle Barranco. A public garden is being landscaped here with various paths leading to the wall and viewpoints.

The project has a budget of 255,000 euros, of which 70% will be financed by the government. The local council will provide the rest of the funding.

There are also renovation plans for the historic area of town leading up to the castle, the Arrabal del Castillo district. These include new pavements, street furniture, lighting and rest areas, and the removal of unsightly wiring from the façades of houses.

The measures aim to draw attention to points of interest and showcase Álora's cultural and historical heritage.

Three proposed walking routes will allow visitors to discover the history of Álora and its landscapes, nature and culture.

Government and local council funding forms part of the Integrated Urban Sustainable Development Strategy. It is part of a wider plan to encourage inland tourism, driven by the nearby Caminito del Rey gorge walkway.