GR 243. Sierra de las Nieves. Etapa 2: El Burgo - Los Sauces - Yunquera
Our route starts from El Burgo beside the river Turon, where we take the path of ‘la Fuensanta’. After 1,400 metres the track becomes a narrow footpath that soon divides in two. We take the right-hand path, known as the footpath of the ‘Puerto de la Mujer’ (Pass of the Woman).
This footpath climbs continuously for about 4.5 km, arriving finally at the Puerto de la Mujer, from where we can enjoy the marvellous views over the valleys of the Rio Turon and the Lifa.
From the pass we take a forest track on our left that heads southwards. This track takes us to the recreational area of Los Sauces, ignoring a crossing with another path that we meet on the way.
Near to Los Sauces is the enclosed area of what once was the Convent of ‘Nuestra Señora de las Nieves’ (Our Lady of the Snows). This is one of the most important historical sites in the Sierra de las Nieves, but presently it is in private hands. Unfortunately, little remains now of the original convent.
Heading from Los Sauces towards Yunquera we cross the recreational area, descending towards the bottom of the vale where we find the footpath that leads to the stream of ‘la Encina’. The path follows the stream for around 600 metres before starting a steep climb up towards the pass ‘Puerto de Huarte’. On our way uphill we pass the entrances to tunnels and air vents belonging to the old iron ore mine that was worked by the monks of the Convento de las Nieves.
From this point we enter a zone dominated by Spanish firs or ‘pinsapos’, a tree native to these sierras. It is the principal representative of the wide biodiversity of the Sierra de las Nieves and one of the indisputable botanical jewels of Andalusia. These trees accompany us all the way as we continue, following the footpath which first descends and then levels out before meeting a forest track which we take, turning to the right. This track leads us past the remains of an old nursery for pinsapos and to the Cueva del Agua (Cave of the Water).
We now take the footpath that starts near to the water trough at the Cueva del Agua. This continues leading us through pinsapo woods, crossing the vales of Los Mármoles and Saucillo before arriving at the pass ‘Puerto Saucillo’, a fantastic observation point with views over the Hoya de Malaga. Several footpaths start from the Puerto Saucillo and cross the Natural Park, but if we continue along the forest track we arrive at the village of Yunquera after another 6 km.
1. Starting point
Access Starting point: El Burgo: The pathway that starts near to the bridge over the Rio Turon on the A-366 road.
2. Finish point
Access to finish point: Yunquera: Sport and leisure centre ‘Los Arbolitos’.