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Great Malaga Path (GR 249). Stage 35. Alhaurín de la Torre - Málaga

Diputación de Málaga
GR 249. Stage 35: Alhaurín de la Torre - Málaga

Great Malaga Path (GR 249). Stage 35. Alhaurín de la Torre - Málaga

Routes On foot On a bicycle
Difficulty - Green - Very easy
Access -

1. Initiation Stage :

Access Starting point:  Utovía del Mediterráneo (A-7S) ring road from Málaga passes by very close to Churriana, where there is an exit to Alhaurín (A-404), turn off immediately and take the Carretera de Churriana, A-7052. It passes right through the starting point in the district of Alhaurin called El Peñón. The A-7052 also constitutes another recommended direct connection with Carretera de Cártama (A-357).

Starting point:  In the area called Peñón de Zapata, in Alhaurín de la Torre, at the beginning of Calle del Quinto.

Enjoy the walk safely: There are very few stretches of road and what´s more you can walk on the hard shoulder and pavements adapted for walking. However, these are high-speed roads with plenty of traffi c which means you can´t be too careful. There is some traffi c on the dirt tracks; fi rst it is farm vehicles and then traffi c related to the industrial estates and the airport. Normally, country roads which are often used by vehicles are also wide enough so that you can walk safely. During the design process of this stage the rising water levels of the Río Guadalhorce were taken into account as they can seasonally flood normally passable areas.Should this happen, you should not cross the potentially problematic point which is the pass underneath MA-21 road.

In order to continue safely you must cross the road using one of the road bridges (sign-posted as “cambio de sentido”) which you will find direction south-west. There is no source of drinking water anywhere along this stage

2. Completion of Stage:

Access to finish point:   In order to avoid crossing all of Málaga you need to walk around its southernmost tip. The exits, sign-posted as Palacio de Deportes Martín Carpena, are a good landmark or, as well, Paseo Marítimo Antonio Banderas in the area of La Térmica. This is the area where the MA-20 and MA-21 roads lead to, following the old surface of the N-340.

Finish point:  Kilometre Zero of the Gran Senda de Málaga in el Paseo Marítimo Antonio Banderas, in front of Diputación Provincial de Málaga.

3. Alternatives :

Possible "escape  routes": At the beginning of this stage the best escape plan is retracing your steps. Obviously, in the metropolitan area of Málaga it should be quite easy to find alternatives, however there are two obstacles blocking your way: the International Airport and the very Río Guadalhorce, especially when the water level is high. It is recommended to follow the walk until you fi nd a road taking you to an industrial estate or a motorway which are abundant around the GR..

No return point: Having passed the airport (km 7) it is more reasonable to continue ahead rather than trying to go back.

Connections to other footpaths and trails:

GR 248, The Guadalhorce, overlap towards the end, adn GR-92 E-12, Coastal Path, link-up at the end.

Hazards:

• Road traffic circulating on tarmac roads
• Lighter vehicles circulating on the tracks.

Duration - 2:35 horas
Length - 12900 Km
Routes

The Aquaduct and the King’s Bridge (Up to km 3.5) 

You depart south-west El Peñón de  Zapata from the roundabout at the intersection  of the A-7052 and Las Américas  Avenue, heading north through the park  by the Gran Canaria Avenue. After a few  gentle bends along Los Mellizos Street,  you come to the first fields of crops. You  then cross a deep canal near the Zambrana  stream, with the occasional bed of Reeds  or solitary Eucalyptus tree. Meanwhile,  the terraces are occupied by citrus trees,  vegetables and seasonal fruit. The tracks  follow the right-angled layout of the roads  and farmland, and therefore zigzag alongside  the irrigation ditches, maintaining a  north-easterly direction overall. 

About a kilometre from the start, the  track turns to the east and south, forming a  curve that links up again with the irrigation  ditch. Cross over to the other side and  continue alongside until you reach the  River Guadalhorce, where you leave its side  and pass under the A-7 dual carriageway.  Continuing along the track and keeping the  river bank on your left, you loop round to  the south before arriving at the historic  highlight of the day, the aqueduct. Known  as Puente del Rey (the King’s Bridge; km  3.5), it dates back to 1726 and was replaced  by the San Telmo aqueduct, to the east of  the city of Malaga. 

There is a group of houses built into its  base, which even used to make use of the  arcades too. The Path nevertheless, turns  through the fields and returns to the north  for a short way. 

The River Guadalhorce and its mouth (Up to km 8.7) 

The Guadalhorce valley is blessed with  an ideal climate, in addition to the extremely  fertile soils due to the river deposits  building up to produce the flood plains.  Water was the only element required  to complete the triangle of agricultural  production. Since the Guadalhorce  has a significant volume of water, any  improvised channelling or temporary  irrigation ditches proved useless. It was  not until the 1970s that, following the  control over the flow through the Chorro  reservoirs, two large canals were built  under the so-called Guadalhorce Plan.  Of greatest interest here is the Right Bank  Canal. This carries water through the final  part of the valley as far as Alhaurín de  la Torre, using both pipes and open and  concrete-sided channels. 

A drainage ditch flowing into the  Guadalhorce brings an end to the detour  around this network of tributaries. From  this point onwards, you head south-east  along a wide track between the river and  the international airport on your right. The  watercourse stays on your left, generally  very close, before a large pipeline and then  a railway line cross overhead near to the  Guadalhorce Industrial Estate. The Path is  separated from the airport runways and  the freight and passenger terminals by  high security fences and a perimeter track. 

The River Guadalhorce has accompanied  the Great Path from its source near Stage 12  (Villanueva del Rosario to Archidona) and  then again, from Stage 19 to 22 around the  area of the reservoirs. Almost as if it were a  metaphor, they both now come to an end  together. Although much further upstream  and far from here, the river maintains some  spectacular riverside clumps of tall trees, it  is quite the opposite here. This area is filled  with Bulrushes, Reeds and Giant reeds with  a scattering of Tamarisk and Poplar trees. 

The Path keeps a certain distance from  the river, however an intricate network of  paths goes down to the riverside. When  you approach the MA-21 motorway, the  path bends slightly to pass under the bridge  (km 8.7). This is just where the river divides  into two branches, the main channel and a secondary branch to minimise occasional  flooding. Together with the beach, they  make up the Nature Reserve of the river  mouth, covering 67 hectares. 

The beaches of Sacaba and La Misericordia (To the end of the stage) 

With the river channel on the left and an  industrial estate on the right, it passes under  the MA-20 motorway and then turns left,  leaving the Nature Reserve behind and on  the other side. A pathway of Albero sand  leads to the spectacular footbridge over the  Guadalhorce, with its wavey appearance.  Once you have crossed over, turn right towards  another bridge that crosses the other branch  of the river. 

One of the chimneys of La Térmica is a sign  of the industrial past and welcomes you to the  seaside boulevard called Paseo de Antonio  Banderas. Málaga´s most south-westerly beach,  called Sacaba has landscaped promenades,  the famous beach bars and various tourism  and sports amenities. 

La Misericordia beach is the setting for the  Great Malaga Path’s Kilometre Zero. Over 35  Stages, the route as a whole has managed to  guide the visitor through the real Malaga, created  by all Malagueños (Malaga’s inhabitants) over  millennia and is found in a privileged natural  setting, which the Great Path has made it  possible to get to know better.

How to get there

Discover more about the province of Malaga

Discover more about the province of Malaga