The first stage of the Great Path of Málaga is eastbound along the coastline towards the region of Axarquia. This is a very accessible part of the itinerary, especially because of its shortness but also because of the very few ups and downs. In order to connect western Málaga and La Cala del Moral in the Rincón de la Victoria, one must follow a gentle arch to the north and east along the borders of the Ensenada de Málaga and, of course, all through Málaga city, walking mainly along the beach boardwalks. Gradually you will start walking through the different coastal districts of Málaga, from the centre to El Palo with the traditional “chiringuitos” (beach bars) and beach restaurants with the traditional “espeteros” (long sticks full of fish or squid placed vertically close to the fire for grilling). The Almeria road marks the end of this coastal landscape as Puerto de Candado port comes into view, so does the overwhelming cement factory called Cementera de la Araña, together with a few cliffs.
The road enters one of the remaining cliffs through a tunnel. In the final section the beautiful sea coves return, including the one named Peñon del Cuervo (Raven´s Rock), however the highest point here is the Las Palomas watchtower at 23 meters high. The walk continues alongside the 340 Carretera Nacional road on its right shoulder and stops next to the limestone cliffs of the Cala de Moral at the small bridge which takes you safely to the other side of the Arroyo Totalán stream which constitutes the border between city limits of Málaga and Rincón de la Victoria.
At the very beginning GR-249 offers the possibility of exploring practically the entire coastal fringe of the capital. After a long period of being forgotten, Málaga of the 21st century welcomed the new millennium by opening up towards the Mediterranean Sea, the sea which has always lent Málaga its status of an important city. Various projects show this new focus on the port area, sparking many controversies at the same time; the walk subsequently takes you through these new areas. Meanwhile, the Guadalmedina River has been waiting its turn to claim its importance from an environmental and public use point of view, which it fully deserves as one of the great backbones of the city.
The planning model of this part of the western Málaga coast has been modifi ed over many years and in this way Málaga´s identity of a fi shing centre has been preserved, the identity which has given the city a way to exist whilst adapting to a new reality. The walker has a chance to see such iconic places as the port and the lighthouse, the beaches of La Calera, Pedregalejo and El Palo, and the numerous “chiringuitos”, traditional beach bars which are also trying to find their place and a new look at the beginning of this century.
The last part of the itinerary of Stage 1 holds a few surprises of a different nature, from unspoilt wildlife sites harbouring exclusive botanical species to the perfectly preserved medieval beacon towers, through industrial buildings at the foot of the beach or enchanting secluded beach coves.