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GR 249. Stage 22: Ardales - El Burgo

GR 249. Stage 22: Ardales - El Burgo
Trail Type Lineal
Full length in metres 22800 m.
Estimated Time 5:35 h.
Net Head in Metres 930 m.
Cumulative Elevation Gain 570 m.
Cumulative Elevation Loss 360 m.
Difficulty Assessment according to MIDE
1

Medium

1

Itinerary

1

Movement

3

Stretch

General information

Itinerary

This part of the route offers a perfect mixture of history and nature. The path is rather flat and it goes across
olive trees fields, through pine woods, and afterward it stretches from the bottom of Turón Castle to the Town of El Burgo, home of a beautiful track along the river

 

Summary
Description
How to Access
Spots along the trail
Accessibility
Characteristics
Ways to tour
Cartography
Towns
  • Characteristics

    Type of Section Length % of total
    Longitud Total 22800
    Asphalt or Cement Sections of the Path 3100 14 %
    Track or Forest Track Sections 19700 87 %
  • Ways to tour

    Regarding the kind of transport which can be used along different stages of the path, these are divided in those that can be crossed on foot, on a mountain bike, or on a horse. Nevertheless, there is to know that you can walk along the entire stage when this class of routes is indicated, but if you decide to travel on a mountain bike or horse, there is to check that there are no temporary restrictions or town regulations that do not allow their use at some parts of a stage, and then choose alternative way. We also underline that riding a mountain bike on some stages may include travelling by uneven or steep road surface, which requires some or a lot of effort.
    • On foot
  • Cartography

    Begin with the 1038-I (Ardales) but only a few metres. The tree-lined main part is located at 1037-IV (Serrato) and ends on the 1051-I (El Burgo).

  • Towns

    Ardales

    Where to eat

    Click here

    Where to stay

    Click here

    El Burgo

    Where to eat

    Click here

    Where to stay

    Click here

Environmental Information

Rivers and Waters
  • Rivers and Waters

    The walk at this stage allows little contact with streams and springs. However, the hills of marly limestone you visit are the watershed basin between two rivers of quite a magnitude in the province of Malaga. To the south, and you can have a quick glance at it in the beginning, is the Río Turón, few kilometres before the reservoir in the Conde de Guadalhorce. The Turón as it passes through the bridge of la Molina has little vegetation on its banks: a thick belt of Oleander and some bulrushes, with an interesting population of an aquatic plant of the genus Potamogeton which covers the surface of the water with lanceolate leaves and a few erect flowers.

    Northwards, several temporary streams have their source in these summits and fl ow into the river Guadalteba, which earns that name in the village of Serrato, in the old town where the Arroyo de las Cuevas converges with the tiny stream of Serrato. It is, therefore, a dividing watershed (especially remarkable in the Cerro de Márquez) that carries water to two different reservoirs, the aforementioned Conde del Guadalhorce and the Guadalteba, joining at the entrance of the Desfiladero de los Gaitanes.

    In the north-eastern end of the Loma del Castillo there is the Fuente Techada, however it is not on our itinerary. At the end you do cross a locally important spring, which is called Fuente Nueva and has been recently improved. Before reaching it, you will be walking through an area rich in minor water springs. Having walked downhill on the steep path from the Puerto de la Herradura you reach a fairly wide and damp spot, full of Brambles, Wild Roses and Rushes, called Eagle Meadow (Prado de Aguila), where there is a barely recognizable well among the vegetation. From here there fl ows a stream that gets bigger when it goes through Fuente Cepero (which hasn´t been adapted for drinking water); a place with large eucalyptus trees, where the stream starts being called Arroyo de los Niños. You will cross this Arroyo several times in the shelter of a beautiful forest with black poplars, willows and white poplars.

    Finally, very close to El Burgo there is El Molino Polo, which used to be fed by an acequia that now supplies water to the surrounding orchards.

Animal Life
  • Animal Life

    Birds

    The beginning of stage 22 around the Río Turón constitutes a seasonally flooding area which can hold a great number of water birds. Almost as soon as you set off along the path you will move away from the river bed and pass through grain fields, which then give way to a mature pine wood within a few kilometres.  Juniper and a fine scrub prosper underneath the tallest pines. During the whole stage you can make out the shapes of high mountain peaks in the distance, from the summits of Sierra Huma at the beginning to the Sierras de Alcaparaín, Ortegícar and Prieta along the footpath. This section of the Great Malaga Path marks the beginning of the mountainous stages where sierra bird species again make an appearance. Once you reach the maximum height of this stage where pine trees are joined by holm oaks, grain fields will be the predominant landscape again, with species of birds favouring open spaces. Getting closer to El Burgo you will mainly see orchards and vegetable plots and with the addition of a few streams the task of birdwatching here is quite entertaining.

     

    Highlighted Species

    In Ardales, specifically around the river, you will find the typical urban dwellers such as Pallid Swift, Spotless and Common Starling, Barn and Red-rumped Swallow, House and Crag Martin. These species visit the river to feed on insects and to drink water; flying low they stick just their lower mandible in the water with a precision down to a millimetre. Such a big concentration of these birds gives you a good chance to spend some time watching if you are not sure how to indentify them. From the bridge itself and underneath it, you will have a chance to see Mallard, a few Cormorants and waders such as Little Ringed Plover and the slender Black-winged Stilt.

    The presence of a patchwork of grain fields and olive groves, and a small wood of holm oak at the beginning of stage 22, favours diversity of species which, as you will be able to notice, is very high. Red-necked Nightjar is abundant in the area, Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Common Nightingale, Black Redstart, Common Stonechat, Common Blackbird, Zitting Cisticola, Cetti´s Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Firecrest, Spotted Flycatcher, Great Tit, Woodchat Shrike, Golden Oriole, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Serin and Corn Bunting are the most commonly occurring species. Around the castle, Castillo del Turón, you may startle one or two Little Owls perched on a pile of rocks, as well as the Blue Rock Thrush or the Eagle Owl in the castle itself.

    At the transition point before entering the pine wood, Red-legged Partridges are common and once you are surrounded by trees, the presence of Coal Tit indicates the type of wood you are walking through. This pine wood also harbours Booted Eagle, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Common Blackbird, Song Thrush, Sardinian Warbler, Blackcap, and Southern Grey Shrike in open areas, Eurasian Jay, Common Chaffinch, Crossbill and Common Linnet, among other species. Having reached about 800 metres above the sea level, Blue Tit and Spectacled Warbler indicate the presence of holm oak and scrub. If your target species are large raptors, Stage 22 provides good sites especially that it runs through borders of different habitats.

    An occasional look at the sky and scanning the high ridges with your binoculars could produce sightings of Golden Eagle and Bonelli´s Eagle as well as individuals of Griffon Vulture.