GR 249. Stage 01. Málaga - Rincón de la Victoria
1. Initiation Stage :
Access Starting point: Málaga can be reached by the Autovía Del Mediterráneo, the Mediterranean motorway following direction east-southeast. There are motorways leading from the north towards the Antequera region and the rest of the capitals of the Andalucían provinces: the A-45 and AP-46, passing through the Puerto de las Pedrizas. Coming from the Guadalteba and Serranía de Ronda regions, take the A-357 direction west.
Starting point: Kilometre Zero at the Paseo Maritimo Antonio Banderas in Málaga.
Enjoy the walk safely: gers. All stream crossings are done using bridges; pedestrians have the right of way on the various “Paseos Maritimos”, the beach promenades. Normally you should not have any problems getting drinking water; there are some public drinking fountains available on the way. As you leave the El Palo beaches behind, you are walking along the shoulder of the N-340, which is narrow especially if you encounter a cyclist, which is a possibility.
Finally, the cultural landmark, Las Palomas watchtower at the Acantilados del Cantal cliffs, has no protective railings (at the time of writing this guide). There is a steep drop on the southern side of the tower. Take extreme caution while taking pictures.
2. Completion of Stage:
Access to finish point: Rincón de la Victoria is located between the N-340 coastal motorway and the A-7S ring road. Here the MA-24 branches off in the direction of Rincón de la Victoria or La Cala de Moral, the latter marking the end of Stage 1.
Finish point: Bridge over the stream in La Cala del Moral, a town in Rincón de la Victoria.
3. Alternatives :
Possible "escape routes": At all times it is possible to abandon the itinerary and head straight down towards the N-340 using any of beach access roads. The N-340 is a coastal road which offers intercity bus stops and other city services.
Point of no return : You are close to being halfway through Stage 1 in Los Baños del Carmen. Considering the many possible “escape routes” before you reach Los Baños del Carmen, it is reasonable to keep walking from this point rather than trying to return.
Connections to other footpaths and trails:
The GR-92 E-12 (Senda del Mediterráneo) runs in stages through the Province of Málaga, and one of those stages, about 167 kilometres long, leads through this area. The part which coincides with the GR-249 starts at El Arroyo Totalán and ends at the famous Málaga lighthouse. Logically, the waymarking of the Malaga province GR takes you in the opposite direction to the GR-249. Other path is the GR-245, Camino Mozárabe, which links up at its start point (km 4).
The capital offers a couple of useful Pequeño Recorrido (PR, short distance) footpaths which give you a good idea of the hilly countryside around you. One of them is the PR A-114 Ciudad Jardín - Puerto de la Torre, 17 kilometres long, one way. The path was adapted in 2012 and it starts in the city. The start and fi nish points are connected by the city bus network and both points connect with the GR-249. The PR´s attractions include unusual views of the city and the Agujero and Limonero Reservoirs.
At km 4.3 of the main itinerary, at the level of the Málaga Port, there is another public walk, the PR-A 119 Sendero del Mirador. It begins at the Ayuntamiento (City Hall) an is somewhat longer, about 26 kilometres, also it is a bit more demanding than the previously mentioned PR as it leads up to Montes de Málaga. This walk is appealing because of the sea views over the Mar de Alborán, the opportunity of walking up to the Parque Natural de los Montes de Málaga and the descent amongst the old mills through the valley of the Arroyo de Jaboneros. After 10 kilometres of walking, in the delta of the Jaboneros Stream, the PR and the GR connect again.
There are a couple of important historical references which should be mentioned. There used to be two ways to travel east out of Málaga which faced many construction diffi culties due to the mountainous nature of the east coast. One was the Carretera de Almería, a scene of bloody historical events in the past, as referred to by a quite vague information panel found between El Puerto del Candado and El Peñon del Cuervo. The other was the Tren Litoral, coastal train which led out of Málaga, ran along the coast through tunnels and across bridges and then climbed to Vélez Málaga up to Boquete de Zafarraya to continue to Granada Province. The train line was built by the Suburban Railway Company of Málaga at the beginning of the last century. The old station of origin was an eclectic two-toned building at the entrance to Málaga port from the Plaza de la Marina.
The GR-249 passes this historical building which nowadays houses the Instituto de Estudios Portuarios, and this isn´t the last time the walk will follow the now non-existent train lines.
- Road traffic circulating
- Shared path with cyclists and skaters.
From La Misericordia beach to the ‘Muelle Uno’ Quay (Up to km 4.2)
The adventure gets underway at Misericordia beach, which takes its name from the nearby Casa de la Misericordia, a Provincial Asylum & Hospice from the start of the 20th century. Serving as a hospital during the Moroccan War, it later became the Provincial Council’s vocational training centre for the children of Huelin district.
This maritime neighbourhood owes its name to the English descendent, Eduardo Huelin Reissig, who built the settlement to house the workers of his cane sugar factory. The first industrial chimney you encounter is the tallest on the Malaga coastline, standing at 104m and known as the Chimenea de Plomo (Lead Chimney) Los Guindos lead smelting Factory, upon which it stood. Its alternative name is Monica’s Chimney, thanks to a painting done by some love-struck man in 1993.
Malaga’s industrial history originated in Huelin, through its textile, tobacco and railway factories and flour mills. Today, it is a residential area with the standouts being a park, El Parque del Oeste and the entertaining local phenomenon of the so-called Melillero Wave, created by the ferry to Melilla.
After Paseo de Antonio Banderas, the avenue takes the name of another of Malaga’s prominent figures, a contemporary of Huelin named Antonio Molina. On the left, between two chimneys is the monument to El Espetero, Malaga’s icon of beachside grilled fish. On the Paseo de Antonio Machado, you cross over both the railway line that enters the Port and the neglected Guadalmedina river (km 2.9) before passing the statues of Torrijos and El Cenachero. Skirting the suburban bus station on Muelle Heredía, you arrive at the centrepiece of Malaga’s redevelopment, el Palmeral de las Sorpresas. The Port’s launch has given the city a new lease of life, as substantiated by the hundreds of visitors to the sheltered walkway and the quays, Muelle Uno and Dos. This has been the home of the ‘Aula del Mar’ or Classroom of the Sea since 1989, along with the Alboranía Museum.
The beaches and maritime neighbourhoods of Eastern Malaga (Up to km 12)
Having recently celebrated its second Centenary, La Farola lighthouse is an excellent spot to admire the city skyline of La Alcazaba fortress, La Coracha district, Gibralfaro Castle and La Manquita Cathedral. The multi-levelled pavements of La Malagueta beach give way to those of La Caleta beach, where the route veers to the east. Los Baños del Carmen marine spa has a privileged location in a forested area at kilometre 8.5, immediately leading on to another local icon, the Nereo Shipyard.
Just before Pedregal Seafront Boulevard, is the old boathouse, shipyard, museum and the workshop school. Presently, they are working on projects to recover traditional and historical fishing methods.
The attractive bridge over the Arroyo de los Jaboneros signals the start of the El Palo beaches, while that of the Arroyo de Gálica leads on to El Dedo beach, on the Paseo de la Generación del 27, which maintains the essence of its maritime and fishing past.
The islets of nature and history (Up to Km 15.6)
The landscape changes after El Candado Port, ascending gradually to higher elevations alongside the guardrail of the N-340.
Natural vegetation begins to re-appear on the limestone hills beyond, where the route runs alongside the railway line. Found here are varieties of Scorpion broom, Esparto grasses, Dwarf fan palms and aromatic plants. Influenced by the sea spray are the Sea Daisy Asteriscus maritimus and the interesting an endemic Limonium malacitanum, Malaga’s evergreen Sea Lavender.
El Peñon del Cuervo beach and its surroundings are of great interest geologically and represent a new shift in the scenery. The cove is sheltered between the two rocky headlands with a tunnel passing through the farther, where El Paseo de los Canadienses, pays tribute to the role of the Transfusion Unit of Dr Henry Norman Bethune, during the Civil War. The historic cement factory in La Araña comes into view on exiting the tunnel, with its metal towers and dust covering of the rocks, resulting from the grinding of the limestone.
The well-preserved 16th century watchtower, La Torre Vigia de las Palomas, at kilometre 14 and standing at 11 metres tall, indicates the highest point on this stage. Next door is the Visitors Centre for the Humo Complex, a series of shelters and caves in the La Araña gorges. This sheds light on the prehistoric settlers on Malaga’s coastal region. These small caves can be seen on the far side of the dual-carriageway, along the side of which you continue until the Arroyo de Totalán, which marks the end of this first stage.
Discover more about the province of Malaga
- Discover more about the province of Malaga