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GR 249. Stage 34: Benalmádena - Alhaurín de la Torre

GR 249. Stage 34: Benalmádena - Alhaurín de la Torre
Trail Type Lineal
Full length in metres 12300 m.
Estimated Time 4:10 h.
Net Head in Metres 1060 m.
Cumulative Elevation Gain 440 m.
Cumulative Elevation Loss 620 m.
Difficulty Assessment according to MIDE
2

Medium

2

Itinerary

2

Movement

3

Stretch

General information

Itinerary

This section is covered by pine trees, thyme, rosemary and palmetto. It goes across Calamorro Mountain, along
the southern slope of the Mijas Mountains, and it leads to the northern side of the Mijas Mountains that faces the Guadalhorce 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 12300
    Asphalt or Cement Sections of the Path 1200 10 %
    Track or Forest Track Sections 1100 9 %
    Footpath Sections 10000 81 %
  • 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

    You will only need 1066-II (Alhaurín el Grande).

  • Towns

    Benalmádena

    Where to eat
    Where to stay

    Click here

    Alhaurín de la Torre

    Where to eat

    Click here

    Where to stay

    Click here

Environmental Information

Rivers and Waters
  • Rivers and Waters

    Stage 34 travels a long line that serves as a boundary to several of the towns on the Costa del Sol and which also marks the dividing line between watersheds. Gullies which descend from the successive cols in the north direction turn into streams much lower down and then drain into the great river of Málaga, the Guadalhorce. Some modest river courses originate here: in a clockwise direction, the Arroyo del Pinar and the Arroyo Blanquillo, which cross the quarries, and the Arroyo Zambrano that winds through the GR. The extreme porosity of the sandy soil and the natural joints and fl aws in the dolomite rock drain the surface fl ow from the channels and augment the subterranean water circulation.

    Looking toward Málaga and its boundaries, the only stream of any importance is the Cañada de Ceuta, along which you can descend on the blue path of Torremolinos. Already in the town, on the southern slopes, there are five gorges: that of Cueva de la Higuera (criss-crossed by footpaths), the smaller ones of Pinillo, Pedregal and los Gatos, and the enormous ravine of Arroyo de los Muertos and the Saltillo which constitutes the border with Benalmádena.

    But the most important are the various springs, which, below a certain altitude and thanks to the meeting of the calcareous rocks with impermeable materials, arise in the foothills. In fact, in both Torremolinos and Alhaurin de la Torre, urbanized areas that skirt the mountain are called Los Manantiales (The Springs), in both cases there is a string of water deposits which follow a certain height to obtain the necessary pressure for urban water supply in densely populated areas.

    The aquifer of the Sierra de Mijas belongs to a hydro geological unit that it shares with the Sierra de Ojén and it doesn’t seem to be disturbed by the peridotites of the Alpujata. The recharge through rainfall averages 600 l/m2 (some years are more than 800 l/m2) but it is obvious that the groundwater reserves fluctuate due to amount of rain, while the consumption grows year by year. The excessive exploitation of the carbonate aquifers is especially evident in the mountain range that stage 34 runs through. There are more than a hundred water collection deposits and boreholes in its vicinity. Each causes a drop in the reserves which has to be replenished in future rainfalls.

    Therefore, correct water management represents a progressively greater challenge for the Costa del Sol, and it is in these wooded summits where the scene is set.

Animal Life
  • Animal Life

    Birds

    Even though Stage 34 clearly has a woodland flavour, the scrub and low vegetation is predominant and in some places there are mature formations of fine scrub consisting of juniper, myrtle, terebinth and mastic. You will also come across pine tree formations and interesting rocky ridges. Consequently, you will find here birds associated with wood formations, open spaces and rocky environment.

     

    Highlighted Species

    You will be leaving Benalmádena along a motorway and because of this the influence of populated area on the birdlife at the starting point of Stage 34 is less noticeable than at the beginning of other stages. Very soon you will be in a pine wood with dwarf palms, mastic, esparto grass and some juniper. Still, you will see a few Collared Doves, Common Kestrels, Starlings and House Sparrows.

    At the Tajo del Quejigal, which you reached during the previous stage, you will be able to see Common Wood Pigeon, Turtle Dove, Pallid and Common Swift, Bee-eater, Hoopoe, Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Spotted Flycatcher, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Chaffinch, Linnet, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Serin, Siskin, Crossbill and Rock Bunting. This environment also provides an opportunity to see Booted and Bonelli´s Eagle, Sparrowhawk and Common Kestrel along with such species as Black Wheatear, Black Redstart and Blue Rock Thrush.

    At the foot of the Tajo you will find maritime pine accompanied by mature vegetation which supports Wren and, in winter, Song Thrush and Redwing, plus a few Dunnocks.

    Higher up, where the vegetation is sparse, Sardinian Warbler is one of the most frequent birds; it appears in smaller numbers at other points of the walk from the very beginning. Additionally to the Sardinian, there is Crested Lark and Stonechat year round and some Meadow Pipits in winter.  Similarly to the previous stages, along the higher sections of the path you can watch Swifts during the time when they are with us, mainly from March to September.

    Past the Puerto Blanquillo there is a formation of Aleppo and maritime pine where you can spot the Crested Tit, Short-toed Treecreeper and Jay, as well as previously named woodland species.

    In the surroundings of Jabarcuza the woodland birds continue, as well as birds which favour bare rocks. You will be able to see again the Bonelli´s Eagle, Blue Rock Thrush, Black Wheatear, Jackdaw and Rock Bunting, among other species. At sunset, at the end of autumn, you may hear the Eagle Owl at this site.

    Once you are in the Barranco de Zambrano with its exuberant vegetation which includes many types of climbing plants, you will notice a higher abundance of birds. The most common ones are Blackbird, Blackcap, Bonelli´s Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, Great Tit and Chaffinch. The last section of Stage 34 crosses cultivated areas where you can find Blackbird, Stonechat and finches. Farmland gives way to buildings where the main species are Collared Dove, Common Starling and House Sparrow.