Low difficulty stage that covers a considerable distance (16.09 km) between the municipalities of Monda and Ojén. The route can be done in about 6 hours with a drop of about 520 meters.
Istán and Ojén are two beautiful white villages not far from the Mediterranean coast. However, they are found on opposite sides of the dramatic Sierra Blanca, on the western and eastern side, respectively and south of the Sierra de las Nieves Biosphere Reserve.
The route follows the Alternative Route 1, Stage 2 of the GR-243, which bridges the gap between them along mountain pathways. The first part of the route runs along the wild track of Juan Inglés,at times along the dry riverbed itself and at others along the stony path. In some sections, the path crosses exposed slabs of rock, although chains are there to aid us.
The generally constant climb continues until the Juan Graja mountain pass, overlooking the Juanar plains, the only reasonably sized one of its kind on this stage.
After this pleasant section through Pine forest and Mountain olive groves, the route drops steeply down the upper part of the Cerezal ravine. Pine forest covers the higher areas and there are spectacular views of the cone-shaped Nicolás hill. Close to the recreational area of El Cerezal, the orientation and enclosed nature of the gully allows the development of ombrophilous, moisture-loving vegetation that creates an almost jungle-like landscape. From here to Ojén we will travel along a track with views of the village, which we reach after turning off along a narrow path.