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GR 249. Stage 11. Alfarnate - Villanueva del Rosario

GR 249. Stage 11. Alfarnate - Villanueva del Rosario
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Trail Type Lineal
Location type Sierras Litorales
Distance 15400 m.
Estimated Time 5:15 h.
Starting point Plaza del Puente. Alfarnate (SE)
Altitude 880 m.
Arrival point Villanueva del Rosario (N)
Altitude 695 m.
Net Head in Metres 1360 m.
Cumulative Elevation Gain 590 m.
Cumulative Elevation Loss 770 m.
Roughness of environment 3
Net Elevation 2
Route Difficulty 2
Guesthouse 3
Assessment according to MIDE


How to Access
Spots along the trail
Trails that are linked
Ways to tour
  • Characteristics

    Type of Section Length % of total
    Longitud Total 15400
    Asphalt or Cement Sections of the Path 4400 29 %
    Track or Forest Track Sections 6600 43 %
    Footpath Sections 4400 29 %
  • Point of Interest

    Spots along the trail

    From the starting position
    No. Waypoint Ref. UTM / height Partial Route Distance
    1 Alfarnate. Plaza del Puente 30S


    0,0 km
    2 Cruce A-4152 30S


    1,8 km
    3 Puerto del Quejigal 30S


    3,8 km
    4 Parque de Arborismo 30S


    4,8 km
    5 Erilla de Juan Moreno (cancela) 30S


    6,8 km
    6 Alberca y Fuente de Toma y Bebe 30S


    8,0 km
    7 Llano de la Cueva 30S


    8,3 km
    8 Mirador de Alto Hondonero 30S


    9,6 km
    9 Lagunas de Hondonero 30S


    10,2 km
    10 Fuente de Hondonero 30S


    11,0 km
    11 Ferrata Cerro Cazorla 30S


    11,4 km
    12 Fuente de la Zarza 30S


    12,2 km
    13 Ermita Nuestra Señora del Rosario 30S


    14,3 km
    14 C/Arroyo Fuente Vieja Villanueva del Rosario 30S


    15,4 km
  • Ways to tour

    • On foot

Of interest

Point of Interest



Environmental Information

Rivers and Waters
Animal Life
  • Rivers and Waters

    At the beginning you will cross Arroyo de los Morales, in the middle of the vega de Alfarnate, a watercourse choked by the surrounding crops, where you also can find a nice specimen of poplar, some elm and quinces on the soil-covered slopes.

    Then the limestone composition of the terrain will force the water to circulate underground, except for pits and plains where seasonal puddles can occur. This process can be seen here and there in the rainy season but is especially significant in the lagoons of Hondonero or Cerro Urán, visible at the foot of the path and with their respective signs and information panels. Similar phenomenon occurs at the Laguna de la Sierra de San Jorge.

    In Hondonero, a string of small water springs can be found and they are signposted. These springs are very important for the numerous amphibians which exist in the area, including the Iberian Ribbed Newt, Pygmy Newt and the Parsley Frog; unique species with restricted habitat. The water springs are called Hondonero, Zarza, Canaleja, Raigon and Urán. In general these constitute small contributions sprouting from the clay strata that have been channelled for the livestock.

     Completely different in origin are the largeoutflows of water coming from carbonate aquifers of these enormous mountains. They drain into two powerful sources at foot of the mountains, Nacimiento or Chorro sign-posted opposite the chapel of Our Lady of the Rosary and the recently declared (in 2011) Natural Monument, La Fuente de los Cien Caños in Villanueva del Trabuco, traditional source of the Guadalhorce River despite the fact that the latter comes from the Puerto de los Alazores.

    El Chorro, channelled by a dam right at the source, creates the Arroyo de los Cerezos which joins Arroyo de Canaleja, a steady companion of the GR at Villanueva del Trabuco. This latter stream was involved in some serious fl oods in the village in September 2012, causing substantial material damages.

  • Animal Life


    This stage reaches the highest altitude of all the 35 stages of the Great Malaga Path. It starts in a flat farmland area, climbs through scrubland which then turns into a quite dense formation of pine trees and holm oaks with some Portuguese gall oaks. Higher up you will be passing very close to large rocky outcrops. The downhill section leads through the Hondonero dehesa with maple trees and terebinth underneath the towering mountains. As you arrive in Villanueva del Rosario the surroundings abound with natural water springs. Consequently you will be able to see bird species typical of open spaces, mountains, woodland and rivers.


    Highlighted Species

    The beginning of Stage 11 constitutes cultivated areas where the predominant species are the White Wagtail, Meadow Pipit, Crested Lark, Sky Lark, Goldfinch, Common Linnet, Serin and Greenfinch, however once you are on the uphill section leading to the copses of holm oak, species typical of scrub start occurring such as Red-legged Partridge, Common Stonechat, Common Blackbird, European Robin, Black-eared Wheatear, Sardinian Warbler, Black-eared Wheatear, Dartford Warbler, Woodchat Shrike, and forest birds such as Song Thrush, Great Tit,

    Common Chaffinch and  Rock Bunting. Birds in flight include the almost constantly present Common and Pallid Swifts together with Hirundines (mainly Barn and Red-rumped Swallow and House Martin) during the months when these species are present here.  In the tree formations composed mainly of pines, then holm oaks and Portuguese gall oaks further on, the  Eurasian Sparrowhawk might make an appearance, as well as European Turtle Dove, Common Wood Pigeon, Cuckoo, Scops Owl, Tawny Owl, Hoopoe, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker, Woodlark, Wren, Song and Mistle Thrush, Blackcap, Firecrest, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Short-toed Treecreeper, Eurasian Jay, Crossbill, Hawfinch,  Cirl Bunting and at times during some winter seasons, Yellowhammer. In the copses of holm oak you have a chance to see the Western Orphean Warbler and Azure-winged Magpie, and Iberian Chiffchaff in the more humid areas with Portuguese gall oaks.

    Once you are in the rocky environment approaching the highest parts of the walk, you may be able to see Golden Eagle, Bonelli´s Eagle, Alpine Swift, as well as Crag Martin, Blue Rock Thrush, Black Wheatear, Western Jackdaw, Red-billed Chough, Raven and Rock Sparrow. Even though Griffon Vulture does not nest in these mountains, it can be seen relatively often in small groups. The star species of the highest parts of Stage 11, which can be seen during spring and summer months, is the Common Rock Thrush, a bird belonging to the Thrush family whose males present  exceptionally striking plumage. Also in these higher parts of Stage 11 you will be able to find Northern Wheatear and Alpine Accentor.

    Once in the area of Hondoneros, along the downhill section approaching the end of Stage 11, the previously mentioned species are joined by the Eurasian Woodcock and Common Whitethroat in the shady spots, then Redwing, Ring Ouzel, Subalpine Warbler, Bonelli´s Warbler, and, occasionally, Brambling. This is also a good site to watch the majestic flight of the Golden Eagle and listen to the Eagle Owl.

    As you get closer to the village, and your destination, crop fields start appearing more often, where the most common birds are the Eurasian Collared Dove, Spotless and Common Starling and finches. You can also find White Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Nightingale and Cetti´s Warbler around the stream Arroyo de Los Cerezos.