GR 249. Stage 13: Archidona - Villanueva de Tapia
From Archidona to the Arroyo de la Negra
You leave Archidona by its eastern side, via a long avenue (Llano de Pablo Picasso) which is flanked by housing developments and an industrial estate. The road runs parallel with the direction of the Sierra de Archidona, it remains to the west, but accompanies you for a good distance. The limestone hill has an altitude of 1,014 meters at the peak named Pico Conjuro in the southernmost pepper next to the Ermita de la Virgen de Gracia hermitage. The escarpments of this mountain range are toward the other side, that of the Seville-Granada motorway from there can be seen caves and cliffs with spectacular climbing and some ferratas (build climbing routes).
The profiles seen from the path are softer, lacking in vegetation except the dense esparto tussock grass, small and isolated Holm oaks, while you walk between olive groves and crops in search of the Fuente del Sacristán (km 4.2 ), which is a tributary of the Negra stream. The highest area is covered by olive groves and well maintained almond groves, but all around are beautiful and ancient Holm oaks sometimes forming copses. They are more frequent on either side of the path, marking the boundaries between public and private ownership. The two important farmhouses of this section will remain to your right, those of Monaguillo and Tomillar, it is from here that you will get the best views in this Stage of the Central Limestone Arch. Certainly the penultimate that the Gran Senda offers you which are close to the mountain ranges which are the backdrop to Villanueva del Trabuco and Rosario.
As soon as you have passed beneath the motorway (km 6.5) you turn for Realenga del Puerto, which runs parallel to the motorway. You will leave the Cerro del Umbral behind you, as clear as the previous ones, and enter an area of the best preserved oak dehesas of this Stage.
The Holm oak dehesas are a way of nonintensive farming utilizing mature trees; here it also combines well with hunting. Further combining these facets, in the surrounding patches of rough mountainous terrain there is a dense scrub of Montpelier rockrose, while other areas are ploughed and Olives have been planted.
There is a sign close by for the Vía Pecuaria, drovers track from Sevilla to Granada. Where your path turns towards the north from the motorway it is called Los Borbollones and the Hoyas de Galván follows afterwards, and the Sureco farmhouse.
When you leave the district road (km 12) there are still some Holm oaks to the right, while the gullies to the east host mostly gorse, retama, and rockrose scrubland due to the more pronounced slopes.
And soon you will arrive in the absolute domain of Olive trees, which is noted especially when you reach the last hillock, the Palomeras (15 km), where an illustrative poster at the viewpoint Mirador del Entredicho welcomes visitors to Villanueva de Tapia, at the head of the valley, gleaming white between the green of the olive groves and the paleness of the bare soil.
This was the fi rst of the New Villages to gain independence from Archidona, there were so many law suits that the village acquired the nick name El Entredicho (The Dubious) until guardianship was granted to the graduate Pedro Tapia, and the village took on his surname.
1. Initiation Stage:
Access Starting point: A-92 Motorway Sevilla-Granada and the A-359 (Pedrizas- Salinas) and fi nally the N-331.
Starting point: Archidona, at the converging point of Calle Luis Braille with Avenida Andalucía.
Enjoy the walk safely: The most dangerous, as it often happens, is walking along the few stretches of road, especially the A-333 as it is a fast, straight stretch with high numbers of traffi c. But also, on this Stage is the level rail crossing without barriers on the Seville-Granada line: although it is in an area with good visibility. Be very cautious if there is rain or fog.
The only wading point on this Stage is through the Arroyo de las Negras stream, but here it tends to gain mostly in width without too much depth. The only alternative, in any case, would be to use the fl yover of the motorway, which is not recommended. The A-92 is passed by means of a tunnel, which usually presents no problems not even by the circulation of water. Except from the Fuente del Sacristán spring, which is not drinking water, there is no possibility of replenishing water along the way.
2. Completion of Stage:
Access to finish point: From the A-92 you should take the A-333 Archidona Alcaudete. From Málaga, the A-359 towards Granada and turn off onto the A-333.
Finish point: Villanueva de Tapia, at the roundabout closest to Avenida Constitución, at the southern part of the village.
Possible "escape routes": The walk connects with two major roads, the A-92 Sevilla -Granada and the A-333. You could leave this Stage at either of these, but preferably on the regional road.
No return point: It is not a question of it being a diffi cult stage from the point of view of the effort or the orientation, but, once you have passed the railway line the best thing is to continue to Villanueva de Tapia.
Connections to other footpaths and trails: The road to the Fuente del Sacristán coincides with the beginning of your walk for the fi rst few metres, until you rejoin the Villanueva de Tapia again, as far as the junction below the motorway. This section coincides with the PR- A-125 up to crossing the railway line. This is indicated in the previous stage as being discontinued, or at least under evaluation. This path is called the “Archidona noreste y Hoz de Marín”, and it is circular.
As you reach the level crossing, take the GR-7 E-4. If in previous stages the Gran Senda de Málaga was coinciding with the Ramal
Sur, direction Granada, on this occasion it is with the Ramal Norte, direction Córdoba, in this occasion it is a short section close to the road in which the other goes to the Cortijo de Galván farmhouse. The stage of GR-7 E-4 in question is that of Villanueva del Trabuco to Villanueva de Tapia.
What they both have in common is their use of the Salinas road, which goes from Villanueva de Tapia to Las Palomeras and
continues southwards to the main road.