This is possibly the best path, from an environmental point of view, connecting two towns. Always aiming northwards, the walk takes gentle detours to avoid geographical features, such as the Hoz de Marin and some infrastructures, the most important being the A-92M motorway.
Archidona and Villanueva del Rosario are at the same altitude, in this Stage the ascents are almost equal to the descents, and the highest points are the Cerro de la Cruz (810 metres) and the hill where the fi re break runs between Saucedilla farmhouse and the Hoz de Marín, which is at 830 metres. The lowest points are the Guadalhorce river and the Arroyo de la Hoz de Marín (or del Ciervo), both at the identical height of 635 metres.
Therefore the mountain ridge profile reflects the path well, being very varied in terms of landscapes, and between the agriculture, pure woodlands, domestic livestock and game hunting of the oak dehesas.
A main point of interest at the beginning of this Stage is that you will see the by Guadalhorce river while it is just a small stream close to the path. The areas of dehesas during the first third of this section are very interesting, situated as they are in a limestone area along with clays, which gives an opportunity to see a karst sumps and temporary ponds. The Holm oak forests also take the form of islands, with isolated specimens as witnesses of past splendours.
The views from the pine covered hills are very enlightening, with a complete panoramic view toward the south of the Central Limestone Arch, in the area where the previous Stage crossed it. On the other side is the Aleppo pine forest of the Hoz de Marin. This site leads the walker to an island of vegetation and nature, into an enclosed valley, carved through the layers of gypsum and clay, with little effort, the river flow.