Stage of some difficulty although the route is relatively short. The stage concludes at El Chorro station, after a mountain tour, since it is the Torcal striags. In this area fossils abound, ammonites for the most part, large and colorful.
From the point of union with the Great Path and until we reach the El Chorro Station the road will provide us with spectacular views over the Guadalhorce valley and the urban center of the Chorro Station, we will pass through archaeological remains of ancient tombs from Roman times that the slope created for the adaptation of the road has exposed, we will cross the Cortijada de Las Pedreras and descend through the repopulation pine forest that protects the reservoir from the enchanted runoff that can produce rainwater on its slopes. All this bordering the Sierra de Huma on its south face and the Natural Park Gorge of the Gaitanes.
Paths that link_
- Match with the GR 7 E4 except the first 1.4 km
- Partial coincidence with the PR-A 85 Birth Trail and the PR-A 390 Pico Huma
- Partial coincidence with Stage 20 of the GR 249
- Partial coincidence with the SL-A 207 Circular Arab Ladder ("Escalera Árabe").
This Alternative Route’s third stage is the shortest, and is described in full despite the second half overlapping with Stage 20 of the main GR 249 Great Path. It is important to know how to interpret the signposting of Andalusia’s certified footpaths, since three long distance footpaths (GR in Spanish), two short distance footpaths (PR) and one local footpath (SL) use this route to some extent. It would be a good idea to review the chapter which explains this and to refer to the map in case of any doubt.
This is a very mountainous route overall, and the first kilometres run through the municipality of the Abdalajís Valley. The route climbs a considerable distance, but drops down even more, reaching a maximum height of 700 metres. This high point is precisely at the route’s halfway point. It actually coincides with crossing the municipal boundary between Antequera and Álora, and where it starts to go downhill again. At the Flandes pass and the Las Pedreras area, it also enter the Natural Site of Los Gaitanes Gorge, just where you enter the dense pine forest of the Public Upland of Haza del Río.
Sport climbing is evident throughout the majority of the route. There is the small crag of El Valle de Abdalajís but, in particular, the impressive rockfaces of El Chorro (or Los Castellones as its age-old name) on your right in the second half. This is the most important area in the Province for this outdoor sport, thanks largely to its accessibility, good climate and exposure to the sun. There is a very high chance of coming across climbers, meaning that extreme caution must be taken by both parties.
The entire route is found within the Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) of Sierras de Abdalajís for the first part, and Las Encantadas South for the final part.
In the Abdalajís Valley, several temples stand out and the Gangarro viewpoint located in the upper part of the municipality, coinciding with the hermitage of the Santísimo Cristo de la Sierra. From the geological and geographical point of view, the Abdalajís Valley mountain range and the Huma, Torcalillo, Chapel and Castle mountains are remarkable. The Abdalajís Valley is one of the most recognized free flight destinations at the regional and national level.
As for El Chorro Station (Álora), it has a Renfe stop where several regional trains stop. It is a beautiful area where the train (until the arrival of the AVE was the only access road by rail to Malaga) crosses the Gaitanes Gorge through 17 tunnels. The Station is the end point and beginning of stages 20 and 21 of the Great Path of Malaga and the starting point of the Caminito del Rey. In addition, it is one of the most important climbing areas in Spain, having been held for a few years one of the events of the national championship.