Stage 35 concludes the total itinerary of the Gran Senda de Málaga. It connects the town of Allhaurín de la Torre with Málaga Sur. An arduous task, if you take into account the fact that you have to cross a metropolitan area with housing estates, bedroom communities, industrial estates, an airport, extensive farmland and, of course, the estuary of the most important river of the province.
The theoretical north-west to south-east line which the walker has been following so far, now goes through various modifications to be able to adapt the walk to various “obstacles” and at the same time let the walker discover each of these obstacles; without a doubt, they form part of the 21st century Málaga´s identity.
Stage 35 is virtually flat, with a slight climb at the beginning, and lacks any difficulty, other than having to cover 13 kilometres of tracks. These tracks are mainly in good condition. However, they can be a bit muddy in rainy season, especially in the vicinity of the Guadalhorce.
If there is an area of overwhelming urban dynamism, it would definitely be the area of Málaga and its surroundings infl uenced by the capital. At times it is guilty of improvisation, at times, probably more so, trying to adapt to the daily influx of population. The design of its infrastructures and housing estates seems chaotic as a result, especially to the eyes of a first-time visitor.
However, the fundamental task of stage 35 is to help the visitor understand how the location of the capital city of Málaga province influenced the situation. Málaga is situated in a cone-shaped sedimentary area which the river Guadalhorce (and Guadalmedina to a lesser extent) have been feeding deposits throughout the millennia, between the Sierra de Mijas and los Montes de Málaga. For a walk which is so close to the capital city, the natural and the agricultural are both present to a surprising degree along the whole walk.
This is precisely the main advantage of stage 35 to bear in mind. As the GR gets closer to Málaga, it leaves behind population centres directly linked to tending the fertile fluvial terraces and crops of citrus trees, artichokes, melons and other vegetables and fruit; this is a curious landscape which international flights passing overhead every day. As if trying to postpone the GR´s arrival in the urban area, the long ribbon of the Guadalhorce follows the path for quite a long stretch but at a prudent distance, given the unbridled nature of this natural drainage basin which serves almost the entire province.
One of the best options for the walk could be setting off to discover how this major watercourse enters the Mediterranean, creating a true oasis of biodiversity between Torremolinos and Málaga. This site was declared Paraje Natural Desembocadura del Guadalhorce in 1989, preserving this magnificent coastal site to allow birdlife a stop during their transcontinental migratory passage and a place to breed.