GR 249. Stage 18. Fuente de Piedra - Campillos
La Laguna de Fuente de Piedra
After the recommended visit to the José Antonio Valverde Centre, leave from the Mirador Cerro del Palo viewpoint, ignoring the two sign-posted footpaths, heading south. Flanked by two fences and dense forests of tamarisk, the pedestrian path ends abruptly in a track with no car access. The landscape opens up and you discover that usual surroundings of a lagoon: olives, some almond trees and crops of wheat, barley, sunfl ower and saffl ower. Typically there are a few wells here and there, a refuge for newts and frogs, and tiny tool sheds with a fruit tree in front in each small garden plot.
This continues to km 1.5, to the end of the dirt track and a level crossing at the train line. Almost 7 km are covered on a (sometimes asphalted but not well maintained) track which follows the distant edges of the lagoon in the southwest direction.
At the top of the Cerro de la Mora (4.4 km from the start and 450 meters above sea level) is an exceptional view to the wetland and the surroundings of olive tree groves. There are a lot of side roads off the track to the left and to the right, the latter promising more viewpoints closer to the water however the sign-posting is insufficient.
La Realenga de Carratraca
Having passed the turn-off to el Cortijo Santa Teresa you reach the point you are closest to the southern end of the Laguna de Fuente de Piedra, near the ruins of the Cortijo del Plata. Continue straight ahead leaving the reserve area behind and walking slightly uphill. At km 8.3 pass a farmhouse called la Rábita on the right and the road to Sierra de Yeguas. A slight zigzag leads to a ford across Arroyo de las Tinajas where you start walking uphill. There are some small Holm oak woods here where the land is not suitable for agriculture. The walk takes you through high areas, leaving the Valley of the Arroyo of the Boyero (or Tinajas) to the north, and keeps following the Realenga de Carratraca direction. To the south there is a large ruined farmstead on top of a hillock, el Cortijo de las Monjas (km 9.2). Further ahead ignore on your right Camino a la Casa de las Cruces, one of the major branches off the main track. The track becomes almost a path in the most desolate grassland and continues on a slight rise.
The Lagoons of Campillos
The highest point of the walk (475 m) before Campillos, in the Lomas de Lobón, provides a good view of the village just before reaching the lagoon of Lobón (12 km), which is close to the right. Descend a little further, fi nd the next landmark: the northern bank of Laguna Dulce (km 13.5).
Although its waters are far away, at times multitude of species of birds can be seen swimming or fl ying over to other surrounding wetlands and feeding areas.
The track connects with another one, in a better shape, westbound towards the village. Then it forks, close to a metal turret with a weather vane. Take the right fork, which passes by a pig farm and arrives at your destination, Campillos, at the Alamo Street.
1. Initiation Stage:
Access Starting point: Point: from the A-92 Seville-Granada, at the Fuente de Piedra exit and following the signs to the visitor´s centre.
Starting point: José Antonio Valverde Visitor´s Centre to the Laguna de Fuente de Piedra Nature Reserve.
Enjoy the walk safely: Epending on the season, sometimes very frequently. Take care when farm vehicles pass
by, and, on the stretch of asphalt, passenger cars. They never do so at very high speed though, given the state of the tarmac.
Be careful when crossing the road from Sierra de Yeguas and, starting from there, there are stretches of track built without ditches and this can make the surface very muddy.
There is no possibility of stocking up on water during this stage.
2. Completion of Stage:
Access to finish point: From Malaga on the road which crosses the reservoir of the Guadalteba, the A-357. From Antequera or Jerez, the A-384. From Sierra de Yeguas via the A-7279.
Finish point: Campillos, in the northeast, entering via Calle Alamo.
Possible "escape routes": He only road you will cross is at kilometre 8.3, the A-6213, which comes from Sierra de Yeguas (on the right following the direction you will be walking) and connects with the A-384.
No return point: point: At farmhouse of la Rábita you will have reached half-way point of the walk, but from that point onwards you are in little-travelled territory, inaccessible to vehicles. When get to the Laguna the Lobón (km 12) you get the fi rst glimpse of Campillos. If you come across serious problems and do not reach Lobón lagoon, perhaps it is worthwhile returning to fi nd the road.
Connections to other footpaths and trails: In the Fuente de Piedra Lagoon Visitor´s Centre there are two paths designed to let you explore the nature reserve. Both leave from the immediate vicinity of the viewpoint of the Cerro del Palo. One of them, Las Albinas, leads northwards, toward the fl ood plains of the delta of Arroyo Santillan. The other path, shorter and with wheel-chair access, leads to the viewpoints of Laguneto, Abejarucos and Laguna de las Palomas. This second route also visits the area which has been reforested with
The only way to circle the whole lagoon
is on the tarmac road. The same happens at
Laguna Dulce where there is a track circling
the lake. Neither road is advertised as such.
As for the traditional rights of way,
the asphalted track is the old Camino de
Campillos a Fuente de Piedra. The Cortijo
de la Rábita is located at the road junction
between the old Vereda de Sierra de Yeguas
to the north, the previously mentioned
Camino, and Realenga of Carratraca which
you will be walking along from this point.
At the Laguna Dulce you will be walking
the traditional Vereda del Pozuelo and