GR 249. 34. Etappe: Benalmádena - Alhaurín de la Torre
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1. Initiation Stage :
Access Starting point: The A-368 road, accessed from the AP-7S motorway, the main road which crosses Benalmadena. Where it changes name to the Avenida Juan Luís Peralta is where this stage begins.
Starting point: Calle Luís Cernuda de Benalmádena street, in the higher area close to the Autovía del Mediterráneo motorway.
Enjoy the walk safely: There are two cores of human activity during this stage should you need assistance. One of them is the Cerro Calamorro, wait here until a cable car arrives from Benalmadena, the exception being it does not run in very bad weather. Climb to the peak following the directions provided by the signs of Ruta 1 (red path) from Benalmadena.
The other point is the refuge or the lodgings at Cañada del Lobo, which are often occupied during the holidays and have a municipal guard. Otherwise, it is a solitary mountain very close to the shore but it receives countless visits from walkers and
mountain bikers. There is no drinking water during the entire walk despite the fact that there are a few sources within walking distance. You would need to know of these in advance and remember that the water has not been treated for human consumption.
The network of paths is extensive and you would have to be sure of what you are doing if using any of the connections, especially in adverse weather conditions. Although it is an unlikely event, be careful with telescopic walking poles in the event of a storm or if the relative humidity is very high as you skirt the Cerro Calamorro, where you pass beneath a power cable that, due to the terrain, seems to be lower than usual.
2. Completion of Stage:
Access to finish point: The network of roads that lead to Alhaurin de la Torre has its reference in the autovía del Mediterráneo motorway when it bypasses Málaga in the South. The most logical access is the A-404 road, which also communicates with Alhaurín el Grande. From the Carretera de Cartama (A-357), the access road is known as Carretera de Churriana A-7052 which is linked to the fi rst.
Finish point: The housing developments to the south of the old town of Alhaurin de la Torre are the highest in the village, situated in the folds of the mountains. One of them, Los Manantiales, is based on both sides of the Camino de las Viñas, which is the road that leads to the fi nal destination of the stage.
3. Alternatives :
Possible "escape routes": The escape areas are located between the Puerto de las Ovejas pass and the tourist facilities of Cañada del Lobo. You have to look out for the forest track that goes down in a south-east direction from the crossroads at the Puerto del Viento.
No return point: Prior to the point described above, once you have seen the view of the Calamorro summit (km 4.8) the best thing to do is to continue forward. On the other hand, near the end of the stage, reaching the Corralones del Tío Caliche, there is an option to continue down into Alhaurin de la Torre, which is the closest village.
Connections to other footpaths and trails: As in other aspects, this stage also complements the previous one in terms of the different alternatives. For the fi rst 3.1 kilometres both coincide in layout but in the opposite direction, so that successively you leave two detours to your left: the two branches of the Ruta 4 (pink path) called Tajos de la Sabia. Take Ruta 3 (green path) to Tajo del Quejigal.
Where the two stages of the GR-249 fi nally separate, rejoin the Ruta 6 (blue path) of los Cazadores. When you reach the Puerto Viejo, at the foot of the Calamorro, you will see Ruta 1 (red path) the Arroyo de los Muertos, which offers different alternatives. Along this path, provided by the Town Hall of Benalmadena, you can reach the Estación del Telecabina de Benalmádena (Cable car) or you can walk around the flanks of the Cerro Calamorro, ascending the hill up to the Puerto de las Ovejas or to the west to the Puerto Viejo.
The PR-172 Puertos de Torremolinos takes its name from its central axis, which runs along the ridge between the Puerto del Canuto and Puerto de Viento passes. It therefore coincides with the GR between these places, during 2.8 kilometres in total, but it begins and ends in Torremolinos, to the south.
Either of the two is a good alternative if you want to fi nish in Torremolinos. The length of this almost circular PR is 9.9 kilometres and it leads in the opposite direction to the Great Málaga Path.
The other offi cially approved itinerary is the Sendero Local SL-50 (Local Footpath) Arroyo Zambrano-Pico Jabalcuza. It coincides with the fi nal part of this Stage and is 4 km long, one way only. This is the ascent to one of the most emblematic peaks of Alhaurin de la Torre, the Pico Jabalcuza or Abarcuza, which with 609 metres of altitude is the highest peak in the vicinity of the town and so it is also the place to visit for avid walkers.
Last but not least, there are the three colour-coded walks offered by the town hall of Torremolinos. What they all have in common is their use of the valley of Arroyo de la Cueva de la Higuera stream to arrive at the Puerto del Canuto. The Red path then encircles the Pico de las Palomas and comes back parallel to the point of origin in the area of los Manantiales. The green path takes you on an anticlockwise journey, along the ridge line between the passes, and then from the Puerto de las Ovejas along
the footpath that goes through the bottom of the Arroyo de los Muertos gorge (which is the border with Benalmadena).
In regard to the blue path, from the Puerto del Canuto it turns to the east and then gradually to the south so completing a tour as long as the green path, but having walked a section on asphalt to return to the origin of the three paths at the source of the Fuente del Pinar.