This alternative trail that goes along the northern side of the Sierra de Mijas, through the town of Alhaurín el Grande, to Alhaurín de la Torre. The same as in the case of the Great Path on the southern mountain side, this route is not a straight line, but there is to go up the mountains and past some extraordinary places like Jarapalos or Tajos, and stop at perennial springs such as Acebuche, La Piedra or Jarapalos, where you can cool off when it is really hot.
As for plants, there are large pine trees, such as the one in Puerto de la Graja, as well as kermes oaks and remnants of holm oak forests, above all along the slope that leads to Tajos (Cliffs) from the Acebuche Fountain. However, the most incredible part of this trail, besides the dramatic view, are dolostones, typical for this mountain range, which come from marble and have grey cuts made by weathering.
From the area around Los Pescadores mountain pass, Alternative Route 249.2 is the best option to travel along the northern slope of the Sierra de Mijas (or Blanca), through the towns of Alhaurín el Grande and Alhaurín de la Torre. The ridge’s southern side is covered by Stages 32 to 34, which pass through the territory of Mijas, Benalmádena and Torremolinos. In any case, there are multiple options to combine these, passing from one side of the Sierra to the other via the mountain passes of the main ridge.
This alternative route heads north-east until kilometre 2.9, where it skirts the town of Alhaurín el Grande. It then climbs eastwards towards the Forestry House, found at the bottom of Las Palomas ravine along a long curve in the track. At the spring of El Acebuche, the path heads east again until it reaches the viewpoint between the rockfaces of El Horno and El Caballo. From here onwards, the cobbled path winds its way south to La Encina mountain pass.
Ancient footpaths are most common up to this point, but from here to the Jarapalos spring, you continue along a wide forest track, heading eastwards again. The final part of the route drops down to the north along a footpath through forest, to then finish along gravel tracks. This final stretch heads eastwards, which is the overall direction of this alternative route.
The northern side of the mountain range has the most shade, and so the forest at the bottom of the ravine tends to be wilder. There is a wide range of biodiversity of Mediterranean scrub and creepers winding up tree trunks. The route also passes through some of the finest groves of Holm oak in the process of regeneration, with many clumps already producing acorns.
The surroundings of the Forestry House are particularly note-worthy, with Pine forest of Las Grajas mountain pass and the springs of Jarapalos and El Acebuche. These are highly significant places that are appreciated by locals and foreigners alike, and obligatory stopping points for hikers and lovers of outdoor sports.
The northern area of the mountain is rather shady and there are more forests at the bottom of the cliffs. These are full of diverse Mediterranean thicket and creepers that grow up the trunks. This walk is taken through some of the best examples of oak forests which are being regenerating, and in some cases they have already produced fruit.
There is to underline the surroundings of Casa Forestal, the pine tree at the mountain pass Grajas, Jarapalo springs and Acebuche Fountain. These places area rather symbolic and loved by locals and visitors, and every sports person or hiker chooses to visit them.