Do you love getting out and about in the great outdoors? If the answer to that question is a resounding “yes”, you’re going to love walking the beautiful routes through Sierra de las Nieves. On the verge of being declared a National Park, the extraordinary mountainscape is one of the most beautiful in Andalusia. Declared a Natural Park in 1989 and a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1995, Sierra de las Nieves extends over 20,132 hectares. The municipalities being considered for National Park status are: Alozaina, Benahavís, El Burgo, Casarabonela, Guaro,Igualeja, Istán, Monda, Ojén, Parauta, Ronda, Serrato, Tolox and Yunquera. Sierra de las Nieves comprises countless walking trails for all levels of hikers. In this post we’re going to tell you about four easy and extraordinarily beautiful hikes that would make the perfect day out for all the family. Which one appeals to you the most?
Benahavís – Acequia de Las Angosturas
The first route through Sierra de las Nieves starts in Benahavís and ends in Acequia de Las Angosturas. A simple circular route that is less than five kilometres in length, the trail is perfect for walking with kids. It will take you about an hour and 50 minutes to complete. The path runs alongside an old irrigation canal dating back to the early 20th century, next to the bank of the river Guadalmina. You will start your walk at Las Tres Pérgolas viewing point, where you can leave your car. You will then cross a spectacular wooden bridge across the river and walk some 200m up to the irrigation canal. The further you walk, the wider the canal will become and the thicker the woodland. For the final stretch, the route leaves the canal behind and continues along a dirt track that will lead you to a further two viewing points. At this point, you can either turn back and return the way you came or complete the circular route that will take you to the road and the other bank of the river Guadalmina. There is plenty of shade throughout the walk and the route is clearly marked with wooden signposts with arrows pointing you in the right direction.
Source: Sierra de las Nieves webpage
Puerto Saucillo – Puerto Bellina
Defined by its many and beautiful Spanish fir trees, this circular walking route will take you through the municipality of Yunquera, starting in Puerto Saucillo and ending in Puerto Bellina. A little over four kilometres long, the hour and a half trail will immerse you in a landscape of pines, chestnut trees and cedars where you may just spot some of the local wildlife, such as the Iberian ibex. The trail starts at Puerto Saucillo viewing point, which is also the starting point of another route for more experienced hikers that leads up to Torrecilla summit. The easier route will first take you up through a spectacular Spanish fir wood, counting among it some old trees, until you reach Fuente de la Perdiz, whose crystalline waters you can drink in autumn and winter. After leaving Puerto de Bellina, you will descend into Cañada de los Mármoles, where you will be enveloped in a dense and beautiful fir forest.
Sendero PR-A278 Juanar – El Pozuelo
Located in the municipality of Ojén, this next hiking route in Sierra de las Nieves is a circular trail that is a little longer than the previous two, coming in at 5.8km. We recommend you only attempt this with older children as the trail has a medium difficulty level and takes about three hours to complete. Though the route can be walked any time of the year, it is best on clear days when you can soak up the incredible views. The route passes through a number of ecosystems, including a small Spanish fir forest. To access the start of the route, you have to take the A-355 from Ojén to Monda. In the area known as Llanos de Purla, you will then take the MA-5300 which, after about five kilometres, will lead you to Refugio de El Juanar, where you can park your car and start your walk. Commencing at the Refugio, surrounded by pines and chestnut trees, you will take the trail next to the tennis court. After a short ascent, you will then turn right onto the trail.
Sendero PN El Burgo – La Fuensanta
The last of these four routes through Sierra de las Nieves is in the municipality of El Burgo. This 5.1km route (there and back) is an easy two and a half hour walk that you can really relax into. La Fuensanta is the destination of the walk: a recreational area next to an old mill that dates back to the 18th century, the perfect place to enjoy a family picnic. The walk will immerse you in dense pine woods and century-old olive trees along the way. The route starts next to the bridge that crosses the river El Burgo on the El Burgo-Yunquera road. Here you will find some information panels, as well as a signpost for the GR-243 trail. If you decide to take this trail, we recommend breaking away from the official route to explore the Diques del Río Turón. Just 2km from the start of the walk, this dam offers beautiful pools where you can enjoy a dip in the refreshing and clear waters of the river Turón.
Although it’s a great sport all year round, going hiking as a family is particularly special in the autumn. Spending a couple of days in the great outdoors, staying in comfortable accommodation in the countryside and enjoying the landscapes while getting active together is an experience that you'll remember for years to come. And though there are many trails for you to choose from, you may prefer to make your own route through the Sierra de las Nieves. After all, as Antonio Machado famously said, “walker, there is no path, you make the path by walking”.