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Routes & Birdwatching Sites

Routes & Birdwatching Sites

Great Malaga Path (GR 249). Stage 10. Riogordo - Alfarnate

You will be walking by many rocky outcrops during Stage 10 which determine the type of birdlife during this stage of the walk. Olive groves, both new and centuries old, together with stretches of grain fields and formations of holm oak and pine, create an environment capable of supporting a high diversity of species.


Highlighted Species

The beginning of Stage 10 is marked by the presence of olive groves up to the section leading along the road, which you will need to follow for a while until you come to a dirt track again. In this type of environment, where there are olive trees with trunks thick enough to provide nesting spots for many species of birds, you can see Hoopoe, Robin, Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin, Common Blackbird, Song Thrush, Sardinian Warbler, Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Woodchat Shrike, Common and Spotless Starling, Common Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Serin, Greenfinch and Red-legged Partridge, among other species.

Once you start walking through the retama bushes and farmland the most common species get to be the Barn Swallow, House Martin, Crested Lark, Meadow Pipit, White Wagtail, Common Stonechat, Black-eared Wheatear, Zitting Cisticola, House Sparrow and Corn Bunting. At the Cortijo de Auta you will cross a stream where birds congregate in order to find water and where you will be able to see Cetti´s Warbler and Grey Wagtail. At this point you are walking among crop fields again which then are replaced by a holm oak wood leading to the Alfarnatejo valley. During this stretch you are close to the cliffs and you can mainly see such species as Griffon Vulture, Bonelli´s Eagle, Common Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon, Eagle Owl, Rock Dove, Crag Martin, Black Redstart, Black Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Common Rock Thrush at the top of the rocky outcrops, Rock Sparrow, Raven and Red-billed Chough.

Once you are in the holm oak wood, which will pretty much continue keeping you company till the end of Stage 10, you can spot Common Wood Pigeon, European Turtle Dove, Mistle Thrush, Redwing, Black-eared Wheatear, Bonelli´s Warbler, Common Firecrest, Blue Tit, Southern Grey Shrike, Common Linnet, Eurasian Siskin and Cirl Bunting. Other species occurring at Stage 10 are Short-toed Eagle, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Woodlark, Western Orphean Warbler, Short-toed Treecreeper and Rock Bunting which is especially abundant at the old quarry, nowadays serving as a tip, just before you get to the Alfarnate water-treatment plant. Other species which are present occasionally and irregularly in winter are Brambling, Eurasian Bullfinch and Yellowhammer.


The way that goes along the bottom of various hills of the Central Mountains of Arco Calizo in Málaga connects the passage Colmenar-Periana and Alfarnate-Alfarnatejo hollow. The mountain range embraces a wide range of plant life, such as oleanders, poplars, elm trees, holm and gall oaks.

The route begins in the municipality of Riogordo up to the 8.8km mark, although two kms of this are through Colmenar, one of which at the source of La Santa stream and the other on the edge of the plains. It passes through Alfarnatejo for 4.7 kilometres, including the village itself, and then through Alfarnate from 13.5km in until the end.

Route On foot
Trail Type Lineal
Distance 15600
Estimated Time 5:20
Difficulty - Blue -Easy