La Paloma Mountain, Torremolinos


La Paloma Mountain, Torremolinos

Andalusia Southern Spain

This is one of our favourite areas in Spain for walking. The walk starts by going up through Torremolinos, passing underneath the motorway, then has a fairly steep ascent, before arriving at the col of Puerto del Canuto. It is then a short walk to the top of La Paloma. The views from the top are sensational, and it is definitely worth the walk of 6 miles,3 hours, 630meters of ascent. From the top there are various options down, maybe walk to Alhaurin de la Torre or Churriana, or Benalmadena then bus/taxi back. Alternatively option we took, walk to Churriana, then a lovely walk by the sea back to the start.

Our walk started from the beach at Burger King, on the border of Benalmadena and Torremolinos-easy to find. After dipping a toe in the sea, we left the beach by Burger King at 8.40am. It was a lovely January morning as the sun rose up over the sea. There is a diagonal footpath near Burger King, which takes you up Calle Goya passing nice villas. We crossed over the N-340 main road on the pelican crossing, turned left, then right up Av Marysol, before turning right down the A-368 main road, passing Ikaros cafe at 9am. Crossing the main road, we went under the railway tracks at Pinillo station at 9.10am, then turned right. We stopped at Cafe Nueva Balu at 9.15am, it was too tempting not to stop for our usual coffee and toast €6.50 for 2. Turning left up Calle Juan Rosa Mateo with allotments to the right, then continuing uphill, we turned left at the roundabout (9.45am 2.3 miles) then went under the A7 motorway. We were surprised to be on a very busy road, with big trucks passing every few minutes, going to and from a large quarry.

We struggled to find the actual path here, but eventually realised it goes from the car park on the right, opposite a car scrap yard. Or in hindsight maybe we could have turned right past the derelict buildings before arriving at the car park. The path then goes through an old quarry, passing some ruined and demolished buildings. (10.20am). Ten minutes later the path splits, we went right over a dried-up stream. A little while later the path splits again (4 miles walked), we turned left, following an old drainage channel, with a sign of “Camino de aqua” and some yellow and white signs. There was an unusual sight of local farmers working on the terraces on the other side of the valley. Suddenly we came to a warning sign-- Atención peligro-caída alvacio (Attention danger-fall into the void). We came round the corner, there was a very narrow path with the water channel on it, and a very steep drop. Above the path is a wire to hold on to. After a few steps, we questioned how secure the wire actually was and back tracked. Returning 75m to where the path had split, (not the previous splits) we took the other path which climbs to where the slope is less steep, before re-joining a small time later.

There was lots of vegetation, but the path is fairly obvious. We reached the top of the col- Puerto del Canuto at 11.45am (5.5 miles, 557meters ascent), with views down to Alhaurin de la Torre. There is a sign straight on (north) to Alhaurin 2.8km, and heading left Benalmadena 9.5km. We turned right (east) continuing upwards for another 15 minutes and reached the top of Pico Palomas (599m high), marked with a white trig point at 12.05pm (5.8 miles 632meters ascent). We sat and ate our lunch with the best view of the day, over the whole city of Malaga, Sierra de Almijara and

the sea. One could stay there forever just taking it in, and watching the planes landing at the airport too. The trig point is covered in graffiti, but beside it is a book to write in, check out people's entries, and there are some fabulous drawings of the views. Take a pen to add your own.

Leaving the top at 12.40pm, we reached the top of Jabalcuza at 1.10pm with a disused information board at the lookout point, again with superb views. We back-tracked slightly to continue down the rocky path, through pine trees towards Churriana. We reached a trig point at 1.45pm overlooking Malaga. At 2.15pm (8.5 miles) we reached a building with pipes and electric cables, then shortly afterwards we turned right down a track, with the views opening up even more. At the open parking area, (6 hours. 8.8 miles) we went left down a road, passing a closed picnic area on the corner. We turned right along Calle Coin, then left at the roundabout on the A-404 to visit Gerald Brenan’s House. He was a British Writer, who lived there in the 1930s, the house is now used as a cultural centre, and was not open till 4pm. (9.5 miles. 694m ascent)

We called into Bakanan café, fancying a bit of tapas. The chef cooked us the most delicious sizzling teriyaki chicken with chips, onions and peppers. We received a free Russian salad, and finished with a vermouth. Such a treat for mid-afternoon. We would definitely recommend the food and very friendly service, we will undoubtably return when we are next in the area.

Refreshed, we left at 4pm, and followed the road downhill towards the sea, passing a handy shop in a BP garage, Asia buffet, then Ikea (11.5 miles). We continued crossing a bridge over the railway line, then went under the motorway, passing Parador de golf, (4.45pm). We arrived at the beach at 4.55pm (12.5 miles). We headed along the lovely prom, with the sea to our left through Torremolinos, continuing around the headland to Cariheula (15 miles). We reached our destination of the beach by Burger King at 6.15pm, just as the sun was setting.

We finished off a fabulous day of walking with a coffee at Casabianca cafe watching the sun set over Benalmadena marina, too full of teriyaki chicken to eat anything else.

We had had a lovely relatively leisurely day, taking our time to enjoy the views and countryside. We could have taken a more direct route to the start, but decided against that. We could have caught a taxi home from Churriana but decided to walk home by the sea instead, alternatively a more direct route would have been to walk straight back through Torremolinos itself, or taking either the bus or train. We had thoroughly enjoyed our day out, and look forward to repeating it in the future.

Distance 16.5 miles (26.5km)

Duration of Walk 9 Hours 40 mins including breaks

Elevation Gained 2,345 feet (715m)

Pace 35 min a mile

Steps 42,400

Average Temperature 25 °C, not bad for January


The worst part of the walk was the busy road, just after the motorway tunnel, with large trucks going to a quarry. I can’t think of a way to avoid walking up here. We just tried our best to stand on the grass verge when a lorry was passing. We also walked too far up the road looking for the path, which in hindsight leaves from next to the disused buildings.

The mountains of Torremolinos are one of our favourite walking areas, many walks are easily accessible, generally well-marked out, and very quiet. Public transport is available at each end, usually frequent and cheap in Spain. Alternatively, there are many local taxi companies, which don’t seem to over charge.

This is a walk that we would recommend with superb views. It is best to walk in the cooler months. Check the weather forecast before setting off, as sometimes the mountains are covered by cloud.

As usual wear boots, we wear Lowa. Take a phone and battery chargers, so the apps can be used. Take sun hats, sun tan lotion and plenty of food and water as for a large part of the walk there is nowhere to replenish. This is a fantastic walk, with great views, the weather can be changeable, so we always take winter hats, gloves, jumpers etc.

This area of Southern Spain is accessible from England either by driving through France and Spain, or flying to Malaga then hiring a car or catching the reliable, cheap public transport.

Websites used Fabulous food

Resources used

Map. - Macizo de la Sierra de La Mijas, Andalucía, Costa del sol. Piolet mapas.

This was so useful, and we would have struggled without it. We bought it from Libro book shop near Benalmadena-Arroyo de La Miel station. We have spent a long time over the years looking for a decent map, and were so happy to have finally found one.

On the map it says there are down loadable tracks on Wikiloc profile. However, we have not tried that.

We now have Garmin watches. These link to our phones, they can record the walk, and give readings of distance walked, metres climbed, heart rate etc, during the walk and then store afterwards. We are loving them, and are very popular with our Friday walking club!

Happy walking!!