General Description: A circular walk mainly on a good tracks with one section down a rough narrow path. Suitable for walking or mountain bikes.
Distance: 8 kilometres, 4 hours
Essential: Wind and waterproofs, boots
Start: Take the road from the A7 - N340 to Casares at the roundabout at Bahia Casares. Go past Venta Victoria on your left, about 1kilometre further to a parking area on your left with waste bins to one side.
This route is marked with white and green stripes of paint on posts and rocks. The map board at the beginning of the walk is a good guide to the route but totally misleading in the last section from Casares back to the start. The distance quoted is also inaccurate, taking no account of the ups and downs. There is a huge amount of bird life and flowers throughout this walk. This, together with the views, makes it one of the most enjoyable walks to date.
Take the track that leads up behind the rubbish bins and you will soon find yourself going up a ridge with thin mixed woodland and views opening out towards Gibraltar ahead and Estepona to the left. After about ½ kilometre you will come to a junction of three tracks. Take the centre one. It was here that a Greater Spotted Woodpecker was seen busily attacking a telegraph pole.
A little further at a fork, take the left hand track and you will shortly come to another junction and a sign indicating Estepona to the left. Turn right here. As you climb this gentle hill you will see the Manilva windmills on a ridge across the valley.
The track becomes a path as you descend the hill and you will reach a broad track between two large cortijos. The way is straight on across the track and down a grassy path. In mid December this section was covered in different types of mushrooms. The path soon becomes narrow and passes between banks of lush vegetation. A Vinca major was flowering early down here and there were clumps of small Narcissus tazetta waving their delicate flowers in the breeze. The hedges are full of various shrubs flowering or about to.
At the bottom of this section there is a plank bridge across a stream and then you come to a fence where you bear left to a metal gate. Go through the gate and descend an even more overgrown path until you reach a four plank bridge across a larger stream, no expense spared on bridges. Turn left after the bridge and you will see a ford on your left. Your way is right here. Climb an open hill until you reach a good track where you turn right on the concrete road.
This road is uphill all the way to Casares. You will see the village starting to appear ahead as you go up the track and think, 'Do I have to go all the way up there?' It's not that bad really. You enter Casares via an untidy area of discarded rubbish that spoils this section but you will see lots of Crag Martins on the cliffs and caves converted to garden sheds by the local troglodytes. You will often see vultures and buzzards wheeling overhead here as well.
The road takes you to a square in Casares with the church opposite. Turn sharp right leaving a café to your left. This street becomes one car width and then widens slightly. As it does so, on your right, there are steps leading up. They zig zag behind houses right up to the mirador on the top road. You will be pleased to know that there are no more steep hills.
This is where the map is misleading. Turn right and stay on the road for about a kilometre until you see a signpost labelled SL2. Turn right off the road here down a woodland path through oak woods. When you get to a set of wicker gates, bear left. A little way further you emerge from the wood on a private driveway. Turn left here and where the driveway meets another go straight ahead. You will finally come out at the car park near the waste bins.
© Nicholas Craig Nutter 2004 - 2012. Nick Nutter asserts his rights as the author of this article and all associated images. This article and images may not be copied or reproduced in any way without written permission of the author.