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Routes & Birdwatching Sites

Routes & Birdwatching Sites

Great Malaga Path (GR 249). Stage 34. Benalmádena - Alhaurín de la Torre

Even though Stage 34 clearly has a woodland flavour, the scrub and low vegetation is predominant and in some places there are mature formations of fine scrub consisting of juniper, myrtle, terebinth and mastic. You will also come across pine tree formations and interesting rocky ridges. Consequently, you will find here birds associated with wood formations, open spaces and rocky environment.


Highlighted Species

You will be leaving Benalmádena along a motorway and because of this the influence of populated area on the birdlife at the starting point of Stage 34 is less noticeable than at the beginning of other stages. Very soon you will be in a pine wood with dwarf palms, mastic, esparto grass and some juniper. Still, you will see a few Collared Doves, Common Kestrels, Starlings and House Sparrows.

At the Tajo del Quejigal, which you reached during the previous stage, you will be able to see Common Wood Pigeon, Turtle Dove, Pallid and Common Swift, Bee-eater, Hoopoe, Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Spotted Flycatcher, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Chaffinch, Linnet, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Serin, Siskin, Crossbill and Rock Bunting. This environment also provides an opportunity to see Booted and Bonelli´s Eagle, Sparrowhawk and Common Kestrel along with such species as Black Wheatear, Black Redstart and Blue Rock Thrush.

At the foot of the Tajo you will find maritime pine accompanied by mature vegetation which supports Wren and, in winter, Song Thrush and Redwing, plus a few Dunnocks.

Higher up, where the vegetation is sparse, Sardinian Warbler is one of the most frequent birds; it appears in smaller numbers at other points of the walk from the very beginning. Additionally to the Sardinian, there is Crested Lark and Stonechat year round and some Meadow Pipits in winter.  Similarly to the previous stages, along the higher sections of the path you can watch Swifts during the time when they are with us, mainly from March to September.

Past the Puerto Blanquillo there is a formation of Aleppo and maritime pine where you can spot the Crested Tit, Short-toed Treecreeper and Jay, as well as previously named woodland species.

In the surroundings of Jabarcuza the woodland birds continue, as well as birds which favour bare rocks. You will be able to see again the Bonelli´s Eagle, Blue Rock Thrush, Black Wheatear, Jackdaw and Rock Bunting, among other species. At sunset, at the end of autumn, you may hear the Eagle Owl at this site.

Once you are in the Barranco de Zambrano with its exuberant vegetation which includes many types of climbing plants, you will notice a higher abundance of birds. The most common ones are Blackbird, Blackcap, Bonelli´s Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, Great Tit and Chaffinch. The last section of Stage 34 crosses cultivated areas where you can find Blackbird, Stonechat and finches. Farmland gives way to buildings where the main species are Collared Dove, Common Starling and House Sparrow.


This section is covered by pine trees, thyme, rosemary and palmetto. It goes across Calamorro Mountain, along the southern slope of the Mijas Mountains, and it leads to the northern side of the Mijas Mountains that faces the Guadalhorce River.


Route On foot
Trail Type Lineal
Distance 12300
Estimated Time 4:10
Difficulty - Blue -Easy