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GR 249. Stage 28: Genalguacil - Casares

GR 249. Stage 28: Genalguacil - Casares
Trail Type Lineal
Full length in metres 20500 m.
Estimated Time 5:45 h.
Net Head in Metres 1650 m.
Cumulative Elevation Gain 770 m.
Cumulative Elevation Loss 880 m.
Difficulty Assessment according to MIDE
2

Medium

2

Itinerary

2

Movement

3

Stretch

General information

Itinerary

This stage goes between the northern foothills of Reales de Sierra Bermeja and Crestellina Mountains. It is surrounded by varied vegetation that, considering the height and humidity of this location, includes many kinds of ferns throughout the year.

 

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 20500
    Asphalt or Cement Sections of the Path 2100 10 %
    Track or Forest Track Sections 14700 72 %
    Footpath Sections 3700 18 %
  • 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
    • On a bicycle
    • On a horse
  • Cartography

    A little more than half of the itinerary is mapped on the 1064-IV (Gaucín). From the so-called Mirador de Sierra Crestellina (km 13), use the 1071-II (Casares).

  • Towns

    Genalguacil

    Where to eat

    Clikc here.

    Where to stay

    Click here

    Casares

    Where to eat

    Click here. 

    Where to stay

    Click here.

Environmental Information

Rivers and Waters
  • Rivers and Waters

    Sierra Bermeja harbours a small water basin in its western flank. The GR-249 visits it during the current stage. Many gorges have their origins in the imposing peridotitic mass, in the long string of peaks formed by Los Reales to the south, and Puerto de Peñas Blancas, Cerro de la Herradura, Alto del Porrejón and Cerro Nicola completing the chain in the north. All of the gorges lead to the Almárchal river before the point where the GR fords it, except for the ravine of Arroyo de la Pasada which joins it lower down.

    The major watercourses are Arroyo del Estercal, Arroyo del Quejigo, la Garganta del Algarrobo (which comes down from the pinsapar of los Reales) and Arroyo de la Cueva del Vaque (or de Vázquez) which enters from south-east exactly where it intersects with the Great Málaga Path at the Charco de la Vega. El Almárchal is an important river both because of its length and the volume of water it carries. Actually, there are mills and gardens along its entire length and it supports a healthy population of Chub (Squalius malacitanus), a species which has been recently described as endemic to the province
    and specifi cally the rivers around Sierra Bermeja.

    The river Almárchal fl ows into the Genal in a spot which, again, is familiar to the Gran Senda de Málaga already, a place called el Prado de la Escribana.

    All of these mountain streams support a lot of aquatic invertebrates, where one needs to highlight the Dragon and Damselflies; their habitat is also frequently visited by the Dipper. This also occurs in another watercourse, Arroyo de los Zaharames, in the very heart of Monte del Duque formed by Garganta de los Baños and Garganta de la Cuesta ravines (the latter one is more to the south). The importance of the water basin of this stream lies in the splendid Portuguese oak grove it harbours, visible from many vantage points provided by the walk on the way down to the ford and then on the way up.

    The predominant vegetation around the rivers and streams where the GR crosses them is composed of oleanders, willows, reeds and, most of all, tamarisks. The expanse and bareness of the main watercourses is striking; it is due to their torrential nature during the rainy season, proliferation of old cultivated vegas and the hostile nature of the travertine rock devoid of soil. The tiny streams on the other hand tend to be covered with a dense Mediterranean scrub where brambles prosper.

    Starting from the Puerto de los Guardas the schist terrain turns to limestone and thus there is a change in the hydrological nature of the surface. El Arroyo de Albarrán flows along the bottom of a steep ravine down to Casares. Half-way on the Camino de las Viñas there is a lowering where the water supply for Casares is located. A little lower down you arrive at the Fuente de la Arqueta (or Arquita), which, together with the Fuente de Carlos III at the end of this stage, constitute the remaining components of a water supply system fi nanced by the king nicknamed “the hygienist”, in 1785, by the means of ceramic channels with gravity pumps and a network of siphons. La Fuente de la Plaza de España, destination point of this channelling system is one of the most beloved monuments by the Casares inhabitants due to its history and unique architecture of the construction made of sandstone blocks.

Animal Life
  • Animal Life

    Birds

    In Genalguacil and Casares you will have a chance to see typical urban birds, while along the entire route forest birds are the predominant type of species. The rivers and streams also contribute their own birds and at the end of the stage cliffs and crags appear, which support breeding populations of Griffon Vultures, among other rock-dwelling birds. The broad views that characterise Stage 28 give you a good opportunity to scan the sky for birds of prey.

     

    Highlighted Species

    The two villages visited at Stage 28 hold a great number of birds, however spring and summer birds are most noteworthy, when you can also see Swifts and Swallows constantly flying overhead. Genalguacil has a remarkable population of House Martins and Barn Swallows and, to a lesser extent, Red-rumped Swallows. Collared Dove, House Sparrow, Common and Spotless Starling are the predominant species in the village, although the diversity of birds which can be seen from the viewpoint (located at the starting point waymark) is very high, thanks to the privileged location of Genalguacil. Without having to leave the village you will be able to enjoy such birds in flight as Short-toed and Booted Eagle, Common Buzzard, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Northern Goshawk and Common Kestrel, as well as a variety of forest species named below.

    The Great Spotted Woodpecker is common in the area, as proved by the many holes found in the trees along the way. Also, the Green Woodpecker, Wood Pigeon, European Turtle Dove, Cuckoo, Wren, European Robin, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush and Redwing, Common Blackbird, Blackcap, Sardinian Warblers, Bonelli's Warbler, Firecrest, Spotted Flycatcher, Coal Tit, as well as Blue Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Nuthatch, Short-toed Treecreeper, Eurasian Jay, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Siskin, Greenfinch, Serin, Hawfinch and Cirl Bunting.

    Along the watercourses, especially the Almarchal river, such birds may turn up as Common Sandpiper, Kingfisher, White and Grey Wagtail, Nightingale, Cetti´s Warbler and Golden Oriole, among other species. In open spaces where the main type of vegetation is shrubs, you can also see Black-eared Wheatear, Bee-eater and Stonechat. Among the nocturnal species, the Tawny Owl is present and quite common; also Scops Owl and Red- necked Nightjar occur.

    Along the stage you will be passing by both ruined and inhabited buildings, and this environment supports Common Kestrel, Little Owl, Red-rumped Swallow, Blue Rock Thrush, Black Wheatear, Spotless Starling and House Sparrow.

    The path through the forest of the Monte del Duque can be considered a real treat, since it is a superbly preserved cork oak wood, well maintained throughout the cork harvests. Around here you can also detect by ear the presence of many of the species that have been mentioned previously.

    As you leave the Monte del Duque, more varied vegetation appears gradually: oaks, pines, olive trees and some Portuguese gall oak. Soon you will be passing by on your right the vertical walls of Sierra Crestellina and a breathtaking view of the Strait of Gibraltar and The Rock, the Mussa mountain in Morocco, and El Hacho in Ceuta whenever the morning haze clears. The rocky environment begins here and this is where the Griffon Vulture plays the leading role, but you can also see Bonelli's Eagle, Black Wheatear, Jackdaw and Red-billed Chough. In addition, these mountains are one of the few places in the province where you can find Egyptian Vulture during the breeding season.

    Once you are in Casares, the castle and its viewpoint are worth a visit, where you can see Lesser Kestrel during breeding season, and, occasionally, in winter. This is unusual as the species normally winters in the region of Senegal and Gambia. Besides the Lesser Kestrels you can enjoy close fly-bys of Griffon Vultures right over the village of Casares, as well as Booted Eagle and Common Buzzard in flight.