The cooler temperatures but mostly sunny blue skies found on the Costa del Sol during the winter months can combine to create the ideal climate for exploring some different areas, away from the beaches, palm trees and tourist hot spots. Pack a bottle of water and some snacks, pull on your comfy walking shoes and take a hike on a recognised walking trail to see a whole different side to this area of Spain.
La Concha mountain stands proud above Marbella. Its iconic peak may not be the highest in the Sierra Blanca range, but it is certainly the most well known. While most may admire it from the sanctity of Puerto Banús’ bars and restaurants, those who have climbed it say it’s an experience not to be missed.
|The View from La Concha|
If the walk is too challenging for you and your party, it’s still worth the drive up to the starting point where you can stroll around and admire the view. From Marbella, follow the Ojen road (MA-469) until you see a sign pointing left to Refugio de Juanar. Take this road and keep going along the track until you reach the point where cars cannot access any further.
There are excellent opportunities for strolling, walking or hiking around the picturesque area of Benahavis. One popular 12km circular route follows the Rio Guadalmina to the source of Benahavis village’s water supply – it’s graded easy so ideal for groups of mixed ages and abilities and usually takes around two hours.
As you arrive on the outskirts of Benahavis from the coast, turn right at the roundabout following signs to the Gran Hotel Benahavis. Once past the hotel, keep following the road until it ends at the large dam where there is normally ample parking. When you walk in this area, make sure that you stay on the western side of the river to avoid encroaching on private land.
West of Estepona and inland of the Port of La Duquesa, is the municipality of Manilva, home to the gorgeous Canuto de la Utrera canyon which ascends from the Manilva Rio to the Sierra de Utrera.
This walk, popular with dog walkers and more serious hikers takes in a variety of sites that you would never know existed unless you’d been forewarned. The smelliest of those is the small Roman sulphur spa which you will undoubtedly smell before you see! Popular with locals who swear that the water is beneficial to the skin, it is said to have been frequented by Julius Caesar himself! The baths can be quite busy, particularly on warmer Sundays, with those bathing or collecting the healing liquid to take home and add to their baths.
From the coast, turn right at the Lidl supermarket in Sabinillas and follow the road inland, underneath the toll road and past the hedonistic Roman Oasis restaurant (open during the Summer months only) and Venta Los Alamos. You will undoubtedly see other cars parked ahead near the Ermita de San Adolfo.
From here you can walk in many different directions but most cross the small stream to the west and then follow the trail to climb the canyon route. It’s a medium grade walk as there are some boulders to clamber over so sensible shoes are required!
For full details of these and other walks, visit the tourist offices in each town to obtain maps and find out times for guided walks. Several books have been published with step-by-step route plans which seasoned walkers may find useful.
Source: Altavista Property
+Altavista Property International