March 23, 2021

Taking great photos on your Competa holiday?

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Cómpeta

Let us show you how to take great photos on a Cómpeta holiday! Everyone loves tips on taking the best travel photographs with your camera or iPhone. The header photo was actually taken from the balcony of No 9 Competa, which offers great views day or night.

Competa has numerous bars and restaurants. It has art galleries, boutique shopping, churches, a museum and is just 25 minutes from the coast. It sits right on the edge of the National Park, so is a perfect base for walking, hiking, mountain biking and nature lovers. Of course it’s a destination of choice for photography enthusiasts offering outstanding mountain views!

It is east of Málaga, in an area known as the Axarquia.  Here you will find more traditional white pueblos and an authentic and less touristy Spain than found to the notorious west of Málaga.

Photography in Cómpeta

Cómpeta sits in the foothills of La Maroma, the highest peak of the Sierra de Tejeda mountain range. Part of the Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama National Park. Offering fantastic opportunities to photograph stunning landscapes, astonishingly great views and fauna and flora.

In contrast, the pueblo itself offers beautifully tiled streets, lined with tall white traditional Spanish buildings. Their wrought iron balconies awash with the vibrant colours of geraniums and other trailing flowers that adorn them. There are many historical buildings including on the main Plaza Almijara, including the Church of our Lady of the Assumption originally built in the 16th century.

Around the Plaza Almijara, you will find the weathered faces of the locals who come here to sit and put the world to rights. It’s polite to ask if you can take their photo and thankfully that is not too complicated, “¿Puedo tomar su foto por favor?”

The village sits 638m above sea level, so you will be able to stop almost anywhere to take photos of the sweeping views down the mountain to the coast.

So you see, there are many places to take photos in Cómpeta! As one Trip Advisor reviewer put it “Don’t forget your camera – Dare you to not take a photo in this place, it’s so photogenic”

Cornice of the Costa del Sol, Competa Pueblo, Andalucia, Spain
Photo by Jason Elliott who has fantastic photos of the area – find on IG @jasonelliott.es

How to get to Cómpeta from Málaga

Competa is situated on the 55km route of Sun and Wine and as you can imagine that means many photo moments will present themselves on the way to the village.  There are two main routes into Cómpeta and we recommend arriving by one and leaving by the other to make the most of photo opportunities and stunning vistas. The preferable route is to come up the mountain on the Algarrobo – Sayalonga – Competa road and to leave on the Competa – Torrox road taking in El Acebuchal.

From Malaga hop onto the E15/A7 and exit at junction 277 towards Algarrobo, through Sayalonga and on to Competa.  The Torrox road is the next junction 285 (junctions in Spain are measured in kilometres, so they do not follow in sequence). On both of these roads you will find lots of prepared viewpoints with picnic tables – these are ideal spots for photographs and the safest place to pull over.

If you are visiting from elsewhere, click on the interactive map to get directions to Competa.

So where do I take great photos on my Competa holiday?

Plaza Vendimia and the Hanging Houses of Competa.

Plaza de la Vendimia is the focal point of the Noche del Vino annual celebrations every August.  It is home to murals and bronze statues depicting the grape harvest.  Here you can also capture the Hanging Houses, Las Casas Colgantes. These whitewashed houses sit atop of the rocks of the old river bed and appear to be hanging in the air.  They offer spectacular and changing views from the day into the night.

Las Casas Colgantes Competa Spain The Hanging Houses Compea
Photo courtesy of Bob Shoesmith

Cómpeta Mirador

You will come across this Gaudi-inspired viewpoint as you come into Cómpeta from the Torrox Road (A-7207).  From here you will have sweeping views of the pueblo and the surrounding natural park and also the peak of La Maroma mountain.

Formed from many small and intricate pieces of tile it is a great place to practice your angles.  See if you can find the keyhole, use it as a frame for your pueblo photo – many do!

The Guadi inspirect Mirador with sweeping views across Competa

Calle Toledo

This beautiful street always adorned beautifully with cascades of flowers.  The residents are rightly proud that their street is one of the most photographed in Competa.

Calle Toledo Competa - one of the most photographed streets in Competa Pueblo

The Market

The Saturday market presents a wealth of photo opportunities – awash with colour, from the pottery, fabrics and hand crafted goods.  Also you can wander the pueblo for the boutique craft shops selling leather items, Moroccan goods and the local wine, oil and honey.

The colourful displays at Competa Saturday Market, Spain, Andalucia

Plazoleta

A picturesque square, with striking white cobblestones inlaid with black tiles.  Residents include the cute cats sitting on the balcony among the brightly coloured flowers. This formidable and often photographed square is home to No 8.

Plazoleta in Competa a typical example of Spanish architecture

Restaurants with views in Cómpeta

There are many great eateries with views in Cómpeta.  El Pilón, Hotel Balcon (with the best terrace too), Restaurante Lorena and El Pampano to name just a few.  But possibly our favourite is Cortijo Paco with fantastic and uninterrupted views down to the coast.

Cortijo Paco best restaurant view in Competa Spain
Photo courtesy of Cortijo Paco and Jason Elliott

The Churches and Paseo de las Tradiciones

Super photo moments can be found around the Plaza Almijara main Square.  The 16th Century church (one of three churches in the village) and the Paseo de las Tradiciones are impressive.  They can be captured from many interesting angles. The Paseo depicts life in Competa in its tiled arches.  It also features a striking geometric tiled balcony.  The dancing couple here are often photographed in front of the striking fiery sunsets.

The church on Plaza Almijara Competa and the Paseo de las Tradiciones
Photo courtesy of Jason Elliott

Photography Tips

Now obviously you will want to make the most of your photo opportunities – we recommend this blog by Jessica of Belle Voyage. She offers great tips on incorporating people, composition, using angles and finding the golden hour amongst other things.

Here is a great blog for those who prefer capturing the moments with their phone – Mike gives 40 great tips on how to get the best shots.

You can also take a look at our Pinterest board on Travel Photography to see more great tips.

Summary

There are so many more places we could have told you about – the Fabrica de la Luz in the neighbouring village of Canillas de Albaida.  Another Fabrica de la Luz on the hike to Acebuchal, both beautiful natural areas of water.  Or even the Lost Village of Acebuchal itself – great photo moments, read more about the village and see the photos in our blog.

All of the Competa Escapes houses also feature stunning roof top views.  Plus if you can bare to put the camera down you can hop into one of the rooftop pools!