The Gran Senda in Malaga

12 Sep
Last update: 20 January, 2020

Nature lovers can’t miss out on the Gran Senda in Malaga, a spectacular hiking route throughout the province.

The Gran Senda was ideated to reunite the regional differences and various landscapes within the province of Malaga. Thanks to the marks located all along the itinerary, you can discover the urbanisations, the countryside, the mountainous and maritime landscapes that characterise the whole province.

The stages of the Gran Senda in Malaga
Photo courtesy of Gran Senda de Málaga

What is the Gran Senda in Malaga

The Gran Senda in Malaga is a 650 km-long hiking route that meanders throughout the province of Malaga. It is part of the GR footpath, a long-distance footpaths network within Spain, France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

The Gran Senda is also known as GR 249 (Gran Recorrido meaning “long itinerary). In Spain, this network is managed by the FEDME, acronym for Federación Española de Deportes de Montaña y Escalada (Spanish Mountain Sports Federation).  It was homologated and its itinerary signalised completely in 2013.

It comprises 35 stages, Malaga – Rincón de la Victoria being the first. The route ends with the stage connecting Alhaurín de la Torre with the capital of the Costa del Sol. 17 stages can also be enjoyed by mountain bike and on a horseback. It encompasses 51 towns and villages of the province of Malaga, four Natural Parks, two Natural Reserves and three Natural Places.

The Gran Senda of Malaga in Ronda
Photo courtesy of Gran Senda de Málaga – Diputación Provincial de Malaga

Among all the routes that are part of the Gran Senda, you can come close to Spain’s most adrenalin footpath, the Caminito del Rey.

And because the GR 249 leads you to the discovery of the different landscapes of Malaga province, you can also enjoy the Senda Litoral, a wooden footpath flanking the beaches of the Costa del Sol.

Below, you can find a list of the 35 stages of the Gran Senda:

  1. Malaga – Rincón de la Victoria (15,6 km)
  2. Rincón de la Victoria – Vélez-Malaga (24,4 km)
  3. Vélez-Malaga – Torrox (19,2 km – doable by bike)
  4. Torrox – Nerja (10,5 km – doable by bike)
  5. Nerja – Frigiliana (14,7 km)
  6. Frigiliana – Competa (26,4 km)
  7. Competa – Canillas de Aceituno (25,1km)
  8. Canillas de Aceituno – Periana (17 km)
  9. Periana – Pulgarín Alto (13,3 km – doable by bike)
  10. Pulgarín Alto – Alfarnate (18,1 km – doable by bike)
  11. Alfarnate – Villanueva del Rosario (15,4 km)
  12. Villanueva del Rosario – Archidona (18,5 km – doable by bike)
  13. Archidona – Villanueva de Tapia (17,1 km – doable by bike)
  14. Villanueva de Tapia – Villanueva de Algaides (16,7 km – doable by bike)
  15. Villanueva de Algaides – Cuevas Bajas (10,1 km – doable by bike)
  16. Cuevas Bajas – Alameda (21,7 km – doable by bike)
  17. Alameda – Fuente de Piedra (18,6 km – doable by bike)
  18. Fuente de Piedra – Campillos (15,7 km – doable by bike)
  19. Campillos – Embalses del Guadalhorce (23 km – doable by bike)
  20. Embalses del Guadalhorce – Estación de El Chorro (22 km – doable by bike)
  21. Estación de El Chorro – Ardales (16,5 km)
  22. Ardales – El Burgo (22,8 km)
  23. El Burgo – Ronda (24,2 km)
  24. Ronda – Estación de Benaoján (12,8 km)
  25. Estación de Benaoján – Jimera de Líbar (9,7 km)
  26. Jimera de Líbar – Benalauría (15,3 km)
  27. Benalauría – Genalguacil (11,6 km)
  28. Genalguacil – Casares (20,5 km – doable by bike)
  29. Casares – Estepona (32,8 km – doable by bike)
  30. Estepona – Marbella (27,1 km)
  31. Marbella – Ojén (17 km)
  32. Ojén – Mijas (39,8 km – doable by bike)
  33. Mijas – Benalmádena (18 km)
  34. Benalmádena – Alhaurín de la Torre (12,3 km)
  35. Alhaurín de la Torre – Malaga (12,9 km – doable by bike)

The Gran Senda and the Caminito del Rey

The Gran Senda and the Caminito del Rey
Photo courtesy of Gran Senda de Málaga – Diputación Provincial de Malaga

The stages 21 and 22 come close to Spain’s most terrific footpath, the Caminito del Rey. You can leave the Gran Senda behind for one day, just to enjoy the overwhelming atmosphere that surrounds this 1-mt-wide footpath suspended over a 100 mt-high gorge.

You can read everything you’ve always wanted to know about the Caminito del Rey by clicking here.

The Gran Senda and the Senda Litoral

The Senda Litoral (the Coastal Path) is a project that is being developed by Malaga province to connect all the paseos marítimos, coastal paths and streets of 14 towns on the Costa del Sol. Nowadays, 80% of its 212 km are already connected, as the Senda Litoral is part of the Gran Senda.

The Senda Litoral comprises 12 stages, starting from Nerja and its famous Balcón de Europa and it reaches the town of Manilva, at the door of Cadiz province. As part of the Gran Senda, you can enjoy its landscapes either on foot or by bike; however, you’d better always pay attention to the stage you’re doing to avoid surprises.  

Certificate of the Gran Senda

As reported on the website of the Gran Senda, the Certificate is a brochure with information regarding the Gran Senda and a specific part where to insert the stamps collected during the stages of the footpath. At the beginning/end of each stage, hikers can visit specific establishments to receive their stamps. The Certificate for the Gran Senda is released after you get three stamps in any of the establishments you can check out here.

Moreover, if you fill this form in, you will be given a Diploma, stating that you have taken part in the Gran Senda. Only the Environmental and Territory Promotion Department of the County Council can release this document.

Places to stay in Malaga

As you could see, the Gran Senda englobes the whole province of Malaga. Therefore, it will be easy to choose a villa to stay at, regardless of the stage you want to start the route. You can take a look at the best villas and holiday homes in Malaga province and discover a whole new way of enjoying your holidays. Check them out by clicking on the button below!

The Gran Senda in Malaga is one of Spain’s biggest hiking routes and an opportunity you can’t let slip through your fingers if you are a nature lover.

Have you ever taken part in any of the routes of the Gran Senda? Or are you looking forward to it? Tell us in the comments below!

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  • Thanks for sharing this helpful information. I’m sure most people can take notes from this article. One thing most people lack experience while traveling in gran senda in Malaga. I have a couple of young friends that are going to Gran Senda in Malaga soon. Well, this post gives us some good ideas for our traveling.