Start and Finish: Car park 1 km west of Benalmádena Pueblo
Distance: 10 kilometres
Essential Equipment: Boots, food, water, waterproofs
How to get there: Take the A7 to Benalmádena and leave at junction 217. If travelling west, double back under the motorway and turn left at the roundabout. If travelling east go straight ahead at the roundabout at the bottom of the slip road. After 1.5 kms you will come to another roundabout and you will see a mosque with a golden ball on a spire. Park just past the roundabout. On the left hand side of the road is a trailhead sign taking you up a track in front of a large house.
The route described here is a there and back walk notable for the views and the fauna, typical maquis with plenty of rosemary, lavender, cystus and occasional pine trees. There are wild flowers in abundance and innumerable butterflies. The route described on the trail boards includes a circular section beyond the mine that has an untidy, indistinct scramble to regain the ridge near the mine and misses the spectacular high peak we take you up as a finale.
Description: From the car, cross the road to the trailhead sign. Go up the track that leads behind some new constructions for 200 metres and through a pedestrian tunnel beneath the motorway. After a few metres you will see a good track leading away to your left. It soon bends to the right and gently ascends parallel and above the motorway. The views across Fuengirola start to open up and there is better to come.
After about 2 kilometres you will come to a talus slope beneath a mine, Mina de la Trinidad, there is another trail sign at the entrance to the mine a few metres above you. The path is indistinct but zig zags up to the mine entrance just to the right of the talus. If you have a decent torch you can enter the mine and see some of the formations and galleries within, but be careful. The product of the mine was yellow ochre; a silica and clay mix coloured by iron oxide that has been used as a pigment since prehistoric times. For those interested there are some samples of quartz crystals and plenty of samples of ochre in the tailings from the mine. Of course I was so excited I actually carried a few kilos of rock up the mountain, not thinking I could pick them up on my return journey.
Continue past the mine onto the ridge and double back on yourself to the right. A steep path zig zags up to a higher ridge. Take the time to stop occasionally for the views. Near the top red arrows and green blobs guide you through a jumble of rocks. Ahead of you there is a slightly higher peak with a large cairn. You can leave the marked path here and clamber to this summit to appreciate views of the whole of the Costa del Sol.
Regain the path and continue off the ridge down to a shoulder. Another path leads off to the left here but your way is straight on and up to the 950 metre summit ahead and marked by the radio masts. It was on this section that we saw a Sawfly Orchid (Ophrys tenthredinifera). From here the views are truly spectacular, east to the snow capped Sierra Nevadas, west towards Ronda and Torricilla, south across Fuengirola and the sea and south west as far as Gibraltar. Retrace your steps to your car.
© 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.