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Great Malaga Path (GR 249). Stage 31. Marbella - Ojén

Diputación de Málaga
GR 249. Stage 31. Marbella - Ojén. The Pino port dominating the area of Puerto Rico and the Mediterranean

Great Malaga Path (GR 249). Stage 31. Marbella - Ojén

Route On foot
Difficulty - Blue -Easy
Access -

1. Initiation Stage :

Access Starting point: From the main streets of Marbella, between the Avenida del Príncipe de Hohenlohe and Ricardo Soriano. In order to get to these use any access roads to Marbella splitting off the A-7 and the AP-7, to the east or west of the city centre.

Starting point: At El Paseo Marítimo de Marbella, at the level of Arroyo de Guadalpín, at the Playa de la Fontanilla beach.

Enjoy the walk safely: Whilst the tangle of many footpaths constitutes one of the main attractions of the Marbella area stage, it might also be an issue should you abandon the sign-posted GR. In any case, it is important to remember that all the possible exits are in the south and also that climbing towards the mountains increases the possibility of difficulties.

A large section of the walk leads underneath an electricity line. Although this should not pose any potential danger, be extra careful if the weather forecasts thunderstorms. There are bee-hives, correctly sign-posted in the Puerto de los Pilones, the fi rst hill in the sierra. Before you reach the Ermita de los Monjes there is a somewhat slippery section due to the stretch of bare rock surface on a slope. It has
been equipped with a rope handrail.

There are few streams you need to wade across and they are shallow, so they do not create any problems in general. However, at the Arroyo del Tajo Negro (at the end of the stage) as well as another tributary before that, there are quite high cascading slopes of travertine rock and you should not approach the edge.

There is no easily accessed water source, especially drinking water source, during the whole stage. The route mainly follows direction north-east however you are walking in the sun in the midst of the Costa del Sol, which should suffi ce as a warning.

2. Completion of Stage:

Access to finish point:  The road which connects Ojén with Marbella (southwards) and Coín is the A-355. The old road which used to connect the village with the Costa del Sol is the one mentioned earlier A-7103, which comes off the A-355 and joins it again later.

Finish point:  Western entrance of Ojén, using the old road which crosses the village, the A-7103

3. Alternatives :

Possible "escape  routes":  Best places to return to Marbella are: the Ermita de los Monjes and the area of Puerto Rico. From these easily identifi able landmarks take any of the paths which lead south and downhill.

No return point:  Best places to return to Marbella are: the Ermita de los Monjes and the area of Puerto Rico. From these easily identifi able landmarks take any of the paths which lead south and downhill.

Connections to other footpaths and trails:

PR-A 169, Marbella – Juanar, overlap at Puerto Rico Alto, and GR 243, Sierra de las Nieves, links up in Ojén.


• Road traffic circulating up until km 2.9 & at the end of the Stage
• Mountain footpaths with multiple crossroads

Duration - 5:45 horas
Length - 17000 Km

The hills of the sierra around Nagüeles y Camoján (Up to km 5.2) 

When the route leaves the mouth of the  Guadalpín stream, it starts a climb up to  the area around the Palacio de Congresos  (Convention Centre). A short walk along  Ramón Gómez de la Serna Street leads to  crossing Ricardo Soriano Avenue. Head northwest  along José Mora y Aragón Avenue and  cross over the A-7 motorway in the section  where the toll road has not yet split off. The  long Butchinger Avenue continues to climb  in the north-west and soon becomes Albinoni  Street. This leads to the disused quarry that  has been converted into an auditorium for  a well-known festival. 

The hilly Sierra terrain begins after a sharp  turn to the north-east at kilometre 2.9. You  enter the Sierra Blanca and Nagüeles Public  Uplands belonging to Marbella. This Pine  forest of Nagüeles is actually very diverse  woodland, of thin Aleppo pines with Carob  trees, Wild Olive trees and reasonable examples  of Savin junipers and Mastics. 

Originally a service road for the electrical  grid, the road through the Romeral area  passes the quarry wall of the now Marbella  Auditorium on your left. Behind it is the  characteristic La Concha gorge, which you can  vaguely see. The track has numerous others  branching off it, but make sure to follow  the central one. This eventually becomes a  footpath and starts to climb steadily up the  Las Encinas ravine, to an intersection of paths  surrounded by white dolomitic limestone and  Esparto grasses. The uphill path would take  you towards the Buenavista mines, while  the Great Path goes downhill, crosses the  Las Piedras stream by some Oleanders (km  4) and then climbs up to the Pilones pass.  Keep an eye out here for some beehives. 

A downhill then uphill section leads you  to the top of the Los Mochileros pass. A third  gentle descent leads to another meeting of  pathways, with one going off to the south  and leading to the Camoján Waterfall housing  development. The route climbs up La Janta  ravine, one of the richest areas of vegetation  due to its orientation providing shade. This  is the Stage’s first major climb, up to the  Camoján pass (km 5.2). From here, you can  see the Monks’ ravine and the Juanar Cross to  the south, the bay of Marbella and on a clear  day the Strait of Gibraltar and even Morocco. 

Los Monjes chapel and Puerto Rico Alto (Up to km 8.5) 

You must then make a slight detour to  the north, parting company with the power  line for good. This takes you along the hillside  charred by the fire, and where Esparto grasses  now thrive. To reach the bottom of the valley,  where Pine forest surrounds the Monks’ Chapel,  you go down the path with a handrail (km  6). Very little remains of the 16th century  building and from there, paths go either up  the mountainside or down to Marbella. The route crosses the stream that flows into the  Guadalpín, among old terracing for farming. 

The second major climb leads to the  Golondrinas pass, with a small path going  off to the right. It then climbs northwards along  the western slope to the junction at the Pitas  pass (km 7.2). Here it turns eastwards and  starts to go downhill towards the Laja stream.  This is followed by a climb up to the Pino pass,  a privileged lookout point. 

The steep descent leads to Puerto Rico Alto  with its tidy grove of trees and the reddish rockface  that borders it to the south. The vegetation  becomes very lush, even with Strawberry  trees and Cork oaks making an appearance.  This is thanks to the soil of of sand and very  washed clay, while having very little lime. The  Puerto Rico stream (km 8.5), the old irrigation  channel, a limekiln and some ruins line the  pathway between the two crossroads with  the PR A-169 pathway, which links Marbella  and Juanar. Between Las Golondrinas pass to  that of Puerto Rico, the El Faro pathway shares  the same route, but in the opposite directions.  Among white Cistus trees, a gentle stretch  takes you towards river basin of La Hoya de los  Cabañiles. Looking west from here, you can see  the wall of the fossil waterfall and its caves, a  popular spot for climbing. 

El Peñoncillo mines and Ojén’s Sierra Blanca (To the end of the stage) 

You soon reach the pass of Los Acebuches,  in a less forested area. A short way on, a  wide and flat plain comes into view below  you, which is an old sealed off landfill site.  Further on at the 10.5-kilometre mark, there  is a marker just above the cut of the Peñoncillo  mines. This is where the route turns from east  to north and you are now within the bounds  of Ojén, while the milestone identifies the  extensive Public Uplands of Sierra Blanca,  which is also a Reserva Andaluza de Caza  (Andalusian Game Reserve). 

You then come to consecutive uphill and  downhill sections, next to chalets with swimming  pools, sports fields and even tentaderos  (small arenas used in bull rearing). This leads  to an area of very tall Pine trees surrounding  a property. The following chutes fall away  to one side, at last provide views of Ojén,  which shimmers between the black sierras  behind, contrasting with the white marble of  a rockslide from a quarry higher up. 

You reach the burnt area with a very steep  slope, interrupted sharply by the embankment  cut for the road. The mountainside  still supports a varied thicket of Mastic trees,  Dwarf fan palms and Junipers. However, the  vegetation is most impressive on the hills  covered in Pine that surround the Tajo Negro  stream. This has some of the greatest plant  diversity on the entire route, and contrast with  the areas affected by the disaster. The Pine  forest with Wild Olive trees are not as well  established, but the scrubland has acquired  jungle proportions, thanks to the combination  of all the broad-leaved species that have  appeared throughout the day. 

When you come to the first drinking spot  for wildlife, the end of the Stage is not far  away. You must make it up to the small hill  with communications antennas, follow a  track that goes down to the road, passing  underneath it and after a series of sharp  bends, you reach the western part of Ojén,  where the stage ends.

How to get there

Discover more about the province of Malaga

Discover more about the province of Malaga