The middle Stage of the Alternative Route is very mountainous, maintaining a considerable altitude. The Alternative Route starts at kilometre 5.7 of Stage 24 of the Great Málaga Path, between Ronda and Benaoján. More precisely, in the area known as Hoyo de Tabares, near La Indiana, which is your reference point. It runs through the mountains of the Sierras de Líbar and the municipalities of Ronda, Montejaque, Benaoján, Cortes de la Frontera, Benalauría and Benarrabá. The Plains of La Escribana, in Genalguacil, are the finishing point after a total of 52.1 kilometres.
The route takes a south-westerly heading, through the Sierras de Líbar mountain ranges and also during the middle section along the Guadiaro valley as far as Las Buitreras. From Carboneras Gorge, it then takes a slightly more easterly course, climbing up to El Espino pass, from where it joins the River Genal valley. Passing through the town of Benarrabá, it then links up with the river and Stage 27 of the GR 249 at kilometre 9.5.
This middle stage of the Alternative Route is very mountainous, maintaining a considerable altitude, and linking the village of Montejaque with two of the settlements of Cortes de la Frontera, the main village and La Cañada del Real Tesoro, also known as Estación de Cortes. The direction is mainly south-west, with a gentle turn to the south at kilometre 13, when it leaves the plains of Llanos de Líbar for good.
Although it runs mainly through the municipalities of the villages at the start and end, in the area of the Cufría fountain it crosses into the municipality of Benaoján for just over 2 kilometres, along cattle trails. The spring of La Fuente de Libar is of great geographic interest, being where these three municipalities meet up with Jimera de Líbar and Villaluenga del Rosario, which the route goes through for 900 metres. Up to kilometre 18.5, in the town of Cortes de la Frontera, the route runs within the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park.
The majority of the route is at around 1,000 metres above sea level, through an area which, although frequented by hikers, must be considered mountainous. The highest point is at Los Machos pass, at around kilometre 14.6 and at 1,080 metres above sea level.
Apart from the fantastic scenery of the Sierras de Líbar, and being a true birdwatching paradise, the main interest of the route is geological. Practically all of the different components of karstic modelling can be appreciated, including one of the largest poljes in the province and several torcales (karst towers). From a historical point of view, the dolmen of Líbar, the village of Cortes el Viejo and the Casa de Piedra (Stone House) are of particular interest. In such a mountainous landscape, the string of springs, country houses and kilometres of dry-stone walls are the ethnographic landmarks that stand out most.