The path goes down from Archidona, and shortly after it gets to the bottom of the Marín Stream ravine. This interesting ravine is wider at its northern part, and it gradually gets narrower, turning into a gorgeous canyon.
Some fertile plains are still used for shepherding, although the old abandoned terraces at the beginning of the route are covered in Mediterranean woodland. The route is 5.6 kilometres long.
The largest incline is at the beginning, where a dirt track leads to the Marin Stream bank. Afterwards, the whole route is made of paths, except along a stretch where the Great Málaga Path to Villanueva del Rosario and the A–157 Short-distance Path (PR-A 157) up to Cortijo de Pilatos farmhouse, the end of the route, split.
The plant life includes willows, elm, poplar and ash trees, which protect the stream along a large part of its course and make a shade for a pleasant walk. At the other stretches, rocky sides, above all on the left side of the stream, get inside the clear water of the Marín Stream, making holes where river plants can shelter and grow. Sunny right side of the ravine is not as adorned with vegetation as the shady side covered in dense pine woods.
This peaceful surrounding, embellished with the sound of water and sun's reflection, promises a pleasant kind of experience throughout the year.
In an area, such as Antequera, which has been changed by human activity, this extraordinary ravine with sheer sides is particularly attractive due to the rich vegetation, which probably used to cover wide zones in the area. Because of the instability of the ravine's rocks, we can tell the stream still causes its erosion, making the scenery extremely dynamic.
The Martín Stream, which is in the middle of the countryside surrounded by dry land and olive trees, provides this landscape with colours and coolness that every hiker will appreciate. This is why this spot has been proclaimed an Outstanding Beauty Spot (Paraje Sobresaliente) within the framework of the Plan for Environmental Protection of the Province of Málaga, after its environmental importance and allure were considered.
The local Town Council has suggested it to be proclaimed Natural Monument. The stream has created a beautiful gorge in the shape of a horseshoe or sickle (hoz) on sedimentary material such as marl, clay, and, above all, gypsum.
The name of the valley has been changed several times. At first it was named 'Ciervo' (Deer), then 'Pilatos', and finally 'Marín' after a mill. It has also been used for different purposes, almost always related to water, like in the case of the above sugar mill or crops on the small fertile plains close to the stream.
An island covered in plants
When you reach the ravine around the Marín Stream, which is a short distance away from Archidona, you will see how important this spot is for the original vegetation. Beside a large number of Allepo pines and its undergrowth, holm oaks are gaining ground little by little. After the farming around the stream was stopped, the Mediterranean mountains shrub occupied the terrain that had once belonged to it.
The improvement seen in this ecosystem has resulted in a great biodiversity of the native plant and animal life that only our ancestors could enjoy.