This trail goes through an extraordinary Mediterranean forest, which stretches along the drinking trough and break spot named Siete Pilas (Seven Pools), and afterwards covers the striking chalky mountain Benalauría Rock, which is suitable for climbing, and connects the Guadiaro Valley with the Genal Valley.
This Stage takes you along a beautiful tour halfway up the slope of the left flank of Valle del Guadiaro, through Cork oak and Holm oak woods and farmland, until you reach Siete Pilas, an intersection where there is a natural spring unparalled in the area. Then the walk changes over to another important valley of the Serranía de Ronda, the Valle del Genal.
Up to la Laguna Honda the walk shares itineraries with the GR-141. The path goes up and down busily, crossing many water courses; some of these are permanent and all of them are the river Guadiaro tributaries. Here the valley is very open, with the pueblos Jimera de Líbar and Cortes de la Frontera at mid-height between the mountains and working fields.
Having entered the Montes Públicos of Benadalid and Benalauría, you begin a long ascent until you reach el Puerto de Benalauría, situated between the limestone rise of Peñon de Benadalid and Loma de la Sierra.
The large number of houses, farmsteads and hamlets along this section is due to an abundance of natural springs and the vast expanse of land suitable for farming. The walk keeps connecting the network of footpaths and tracks until it ends up at the top of the pass at maximum altitude of the Stage.
The downhill slope is where the two mountain GRs meet again but the province GR then continues downhill towards Benalauría village, and it reaches the pueblo along a section of tarmac with very little traffic.
The stage is a good example of the identifying feature of Serranía de Ronda, the natural diversity, mainly geological: marlstone, sandstone, clay-limestone based farmland, limestone, dolomite, and chalk. These in turn are occupied by different woods (Cork and Holm oaks with Portuguese gall oak and pine woods) and human use of the terrain (olive and walnut groves, dry farming, dehesa, irrigated farming, chestnut groves) The many streams which come down from the sierras also liven up the landscape with their seasonal or year-round waters and surroundings composed of dense riparian vegetation where scrub prevails.
The hamlet of Siete Pilas is an example of harmony with nature where there are gardens and corrals for livestock between the houses next to the cultivated fi elds and dehesas of Holm and Portuguese gall oaks.
El Puerto is the natural passage way between this land of Benalauría district and the main part of the village. The landscape suffers a drastic change, fi rst because of the proximity of Peñón de Benadalid and Tajo de los Avionic, two limestone escarpments with a climbing school and two visa ferrata. Then, it changes due to the overwhelming schist and chalk rocks further up which make up for a hilly and densely wooded terrain, where the mountain white villages are nestled. Amongst these villages, the pueblo which is one most representative and preserved is precisely the destination of this stage, Benalauría.