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Routes & Birdwatching Sites

Routes & Birdwatching Sites

Great Malaga Path (GR 249). Stage 02. Rincón de la Victoria - Vélez-Málaga

Amongst the representative birdlife of this stage of the walk coastal species play the main role, considering that you will be walking along the shore itself starting from Benajarafe. As well, there are birds typical to human-influenced environments and cultivated areas. The most interesting place for birdwatching along this stage is around the Río Vélez. The varied landscape and the role played by the sea and the mouth of the river increment quite significantly the diversity of species you will be able to observe.


Highlighted Species

Most easily observed species at the beginning of Stage 2 are mainly the gulls and urban-dwelling birds. The Yellow-legged Gull is the most frequent one and can bee seen all year round, however, from the beginning of autumn, throughout most of winter until spring you will be able to see the Lesser Black-backed Gulls as well (same size but with a darker back) and Black-headed Gulls ( visibly smaller than the previous two). At the beaches of Benajarafe you will be able to see Audouin´s Gulls from mid May to November and Mediterranean Gulls and Sandwich Terns in winter season and on passage. If you decide to devote some more time to the large flocks of seagulls which gather on the shore along this stage of the walk, with a bit of luck you will have a chance to discover a couple of species more (for example, some individuals of Common Gull or Great Black-backed Gull after the severe winter storms, or the Little Gull on migration).

As soon as you embark on Stage 2, around the El Cantal tunnels, you will be able to see winter roosts of Crag Martins. They come from the rocky areas of the province and probably from further north down to the coast to look for food and milder temperatures. You can also spot the Blue Rock Thrush around here. 

Other typically coastal species you can see during this section would be the Sanderlings on the shore and Albatrosses flying over the sea, keeping a certain distance from the beach; both can be seen in winter. 

Amongst the urban-dwellers there is the Rock Dove (domestic variety), Eurasian Collared Dove, Monk Parakeet, Pallid Swift, Barn Swallow, Blackbird, Sardinian Warbler, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow and Serin; they are joined in winter months by White Wagtail, Black Redstart and Common Chiffchaff.

Once you pass by Benajarafe and cross the Ibero stream and leave the first line of the beach behind, you will encounter the first cultivated areas which cause other species of birds to show up. The abandoned olive groves which you will cross as you walk up towards the Jaral tower and the orchards before arriving at Almayate are the sites to observe Cattle Egret, Common Kestrel, Blackcap, Crested Lark, European Turtle Dove, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Great Tit, House Martin, Jackdaw, Little Owl, Red-necked Nightjar, Robin, Stonechat, Spanish Sparrow and Woodchat Shrike.


The tunnels in Rincón de la Victoria are a perfect spot for the beginning of the path that, on one side, goes along sandy beaches, and on the other, follows inland trails among fields and reedbeds in the presence of recognizable watchtowers.


Routes On foot On a bicycle
Trail Type Lineal
Distance 24400
Estimated Time 5:25
Difficulty - Blue -Easy