Great Malaga Path (GR 249). Stage 33. Mijas - Benalmádena
1. Initiation Stage :
Access Starting point: There are two access roads to Mijas from the coastal motorway AP- 7S, taking the A-368. In addition, there is the above-mentioned road from Coín and Alhaurín el Grande.
Starting point: The Mijas ring road, actually the A-387 which connects to Coín and Alhaurín el Grande through the Puerto de los Pescadores pass. There is a place for parking, direction Coín, at the end of Calle Mirador street.
Enjoy the walk safely: During the entire walk, therefore you must be prepared. Normally there should be no problems in finding the path during the course of this stage, but you should have clear ideas of where you are if you intend to make detours or use any of the numerous alternatives to shorten or lengthen the walk.
In the steepest areas loose stones on the path can cause slipping, but the sections of greater diffi culty for walkers are the areas of deep sand, from the pint where you leave the asphalted track going to the antennas, up to the immediate vicinity of the Tajo del Quejigal.
2. Completion of Stage:
Access to finish point: There are various access ways into Benalmádena Pueblo fromthe Autovía del Mediterráneo, but the most used coincides with the old road, the already mentioned A-368.
Finish point: At the Plaza Castillejos on the Avenida Juan Luís Peralta de Benalmádena, close to where it joins with the Calle Luís Cernuda street which comes down from the sierra.
3. Alternatives :
Possible "escape routes": Out of all the paths that turn off f the one taken in the main part of the walk, the best for a possible escape is the one which heads south from the Pino del Puerto de las Grajas. The others, going toward the northern slopes, are much longer.
Another point of escape is the asphalted track that leads up to the Cerro del Moro, a small number of cars pass by here. This track, which goes to the telecommunication antennas, leads up to the eastern access to Mijas where it joins with the possible escape described before.
No return point: In this stage it is not too relevant, given the closeness of the start and finish points. It is not advisable to continue when you have finished walking the forest track after the Pino del Puerto de las Grajas. From there the path is very mountainous and more demanding on the walker, but not for long. Once you arrive at the junction between Ruta 6 (blue) with 4 and 3 the best thing to do is to go down because it is more complicated to retrace your steps.
Connections to other footpaths and trails:
PR-A 170, Ojén Mijas, link up in Mijas, PR-A 171, Mijas Benalmádena, overlap until km 13.5, GR 249.2, Variant through the northern Sierra.
• Road traffic circulating at the start and the end
• Cyclists sharing the same pathway
To La Cantera pass (Up to km 4.8)
Taking the necessary precautions when starting along the A-387 from Calvario street, you will see the first signpost for the Mijas footpaths. Also look out here for a plaque dedicated to the late author of the Sierra de Mijas’s guidebook. The climb begins here, up a footpath which overlaps with the Vía Crucis (Way of the Cross) with a bench at each station. Although the path takes a detour to the right shortly before reaching the chapel of El Calvario, it is well worth visiting the Carmelite hermit of the Virgen de la Peña.
Leaving the section also covered by Stage 32, the route continues to climb upwards among the surviving Stone pines with blackened trunks. The vegetation in this first part is formed mainly of Esparto grasses with Dwarf fan palms, Confetti trees and Lavender. As the path progresses along the ridge of a hill you get some good views of the coast in the forest clearings.
On the left is the turn-off to El Barrio quarry and to the right, the Gertrudis ravine. After about 1,800 metres from the start, you join the perimeter track. A footpath belonging to the PR-A 171 continues up towards the Malaga pass from here. Meanwhile, you take the country track which levels out to the east and runs along the head of the Nacimiento stream’s catchment area, with the Chaparral hill and Mendoza peak on your left. At each of the interior bends, you pass a small stream, while the exterior edges have views over the first of the aggregate quarries from up high. The rounded, shiny tops of the Stone pines contrast with the white, graduated rockfaces of the mine, which fortunately is being regenerated with native vegetation. The rocky slopes beside the route can be broken down into white sands and red clays occupied by plants that grow almost without soil, such as Blueweed.
The last of the track’s ledges offers panoramic views over the coastal area below and the ridge of the Sierra de Mijas mountain range up ahead. The route runs along this, all the way to the hill crowned with tele-communications masts, the Cerro del Moro. Almost immediately, the vegetation changes due to the shade cast by the peaks above, with many Holm oaks appearing among the Aleppo pines and Stone pines, with Kermes oaks, Juniper, Rosemary and reasonably-sized Gorse. You eventually come to a crossroads, indicating your arrival at La Cantera pass (km 4.8), where you take a forest track in much better condition, turning to the right. A little further on down this track, the Great Path re-joins the PR A-171 and the Variant coming from the west.
Along the mountain ridge (Up to km 11.5)
The first stretch of the new track faces north and so results in a more mature Aleppo pine forest, which is so dense in fact that it hardly allows other plants to grow. As testimony to the fact that we are in mining country, at the turn-off to the right there is a disused green water storage unit, owned by the Compañía General de Canteras S.A. to supply water for the that the shaded area around the stream provides.
You then pass a rest area with benches and a water-less fountain (km 14.8), before crossing the streamlet of El Quejigal, with its Oleanders and Rushes. You will find the first of the shelters here, that guide and accompany you all the way to the end. The path goes uphill ever so slightly, as the vegetation grows in variety and becomes lusher. The vegetation settled on the cliff faces of the disused quarry is the most interesting, where Turpentine trees are most common.
The GR 249 gradually turns towards the west and approaches the Mediterranean Motorway. The path is joined by another route coming down from the right and (leaving to the right the other alternative of the same route) run alongside the fast road. A second junction of paths has signposts to another branch of this alternative route and you follow the manholes and piping that appear from time to time. The route then passes under the AP-7S via the tunnel of the Hondo stream, which leads to Calle Milano in the northern part of Benalmádena, where the stage comes to an end.
Discover more about the province of Malaga
- Discover more about the province of Malaga