This trail goes through an extraordinary Mediterranean forest, which stretches along the drinking trough and break spot named Siete Pilas (Seven Pools), and afterwards covers the striking chalky mountain Benalauría Rock, which is suitable for climbing, and connects the Guadiaro Valley with the Genal Valley.
The Stage runs south, halfway up the left-hand side of the River Guadiaro valley. The valley sides are covered in woodland of Cork and Holm oak and farmland until it reaches the group of farmhouses at Siete Pilas. It then enters the Serranía de Ronda’s other important valley, the Genal, where the route heads east.
Up to the Honda or Florida Lake, it shares its way with the GR-141, with gentle uphill and downhill sections, while crossing numerous streams. These are all tributaries of the Guadiaro, only some of which are permanent. The valley opens out considerably here, with the villages of Jimera de Líbar and Cortes de la Frontera perched halfway between the mountains and the farmland, on opposite slopes. Once you enter the Montes Públicos (Public Uplands) of Benadalid and Benalauría, a long climb takes you up to the Benalauría pass, situated between the limestone peaks of the Rock of Benadalid and La Sierra Ridge.
The cluster of properties, country estates and farmhouses in this central section is due to the large number of springs and the expanse of land suitable for farming. The path runs along the network of paths and tracks until it reaches the top of the mountain pass, the highest point of the stage. Dropping down from here, it connects with the GR-141 and after a stretch of road and a charming foot path through Chestnut trees, you reach Benalauría. The stage mostly makes use of a variety of tracks and recovered traditional footpaths.
The territory of Jimera de Líbar stretches up to the ruins of Venta Alfacara (km4.7), where you begin to see Walnuttrees. You carry on into land belonging to Benadalid and after passing the small lake, a wire fence leads the way into Benalauría’s municipal area, at about kilometre 8. A climb then takes you up to Siete Pilas. It remains within this municipal area until the end, except for a stretch along the border on the way up to the pass.
The stage is a good example of the identifying feature of Serranía de Ronda, the natural diversity, mainly geological: marlstone, sandstone, clay-limestone based farmland, limestone, dolomite, and chalk. These in turn are occupied by different woods (Cork and Holm oaks with Portuguese gall oak and pine woods) and human use of the terrain (olive and walnut groves, dry farming, dehesa, irrigated farming, chestnut groves) The many streams which come down from the sierras also liven up the landscape with their seasonal or year-round waters and surroundings composed of dense riparian vegetation where scrub prevails.
The hamlet of Siete Pilas is an example of harmony with nature where there are gardens and corrals for livestock between the houses next to the cultivated fi elds and dehesas of Holm and Portuguese gall oaks.
El Puerto is the natural passage way between this land of Benalauría district and the main part of the village. The landscape suffers a drastic change, fi rst because of the proximity of Peñón de Benadalid and Tajo de los Avionic, two limestone escarpments with a climbing school and two visa ferrata. Then, it changes due to the overwhelming schist and chalk rocks further up which make up for a hilly and densely wooded terrain, where the mountain white villages are nestled. Amongst these villages, the pueblo which is one most representative and preserved is precisely the destination of this stage, Benalauría.