Benalmadena Marina to Cerro Del Moro (mountain with the towers) tough 27 km and 996 m of ascent


This walk involves 3269 feet (996m) of ascent and descent over 17miles, tremendous views of the coast, a visit to a cave, a Buddhist Stupa and an old pueblo. It commences from the beach near Benalmadena Marina, walking through the urban areas of Benalmadena, Arroyo and Benalmadena Pueblo, before going under the motorway to follow the route of the GR249 to the top of Cerro Del Moro (914m/2998feet).This mountain is recognisable from  miles around due to the Telecom towers on the top. We then continued past Mina de la Trinidad (mines) to the Stupa in Benalmadena Pueblo, (the tallest in Europe) then back to the marina, a distance of 17 miles. The walk starts with a fairly steep ascent, but the views from the top are sensational, and it is definitely worth the walk. Public transport can be taken to Benalmadena Pueblo and back, to shorten the walk.

We started the walk in the dark at 8am on the beach beside Burger King, near Benalmádena Marina. After dipping a boot in the sea (and collecting a pebble to leave on the top), we walked behind the marina, then down the next part of the prom with the sun rising over the sea behind us, and arrived at the local landmark of Castle Bil Bil at 8.30am.The prom ends here, and we turned right up Av. Las Palmeras, then followed Av.del Tivoli, and Av. Arroyo Hondo, passing a bull ring at 9.30am. We arrived in Benalmadena Pueblo at 9.40am, going to Dansk bar to order coffee and toast (5€ for two), happy with the 3 miles covered. Whilst walking up the roads we were slightly concerned by the black cloud over the mountains, and hoped that it would lift. But at least it was warm.

We re-traced our steps for 5 minutes, turning left (10.10am) walking up the steep Calle Luis Cernuda. We went past a park with various signs for walks, through a gate, and under the motorway (not very nice). We went straight ahead following the dried up stream bed, with some tree cover. We seemed to have lost the GR 249 white and red markers but the path has new white and yellow markers and heads in the correct direction. We had great views back over the motorway to the coast beyond. An hour after leaving we came to a path junction and continued upwards, reaching the top of the signed PR 57 at 11.05am with a sign for Tajo de la Sabia 1.4km. We were high up, but the motorway can still be heard along with birdsong. The whole mountainside is covered with pretty vegetation, pine trees, and supports a wide variety of little insects, numerous butterflies and small lizards. We turned left arriving at a GR249 sign at 11.40am, before arriving near the top of Cerro Del Moro at 12.20pm (8 miles). We had the feeling that the local council had removed the old red and white signs and replaced them with yellow and white. There had been a steamy heat on the way up, but now the wind was blowing, so we sat behind the map board out of the wind, to eat our lunch.

We turned left and walked the short distance up the road to the top. Stupendous vistas lay below us, with views to Mijas, Fuengirola, and down the coast to Gibraltar. We were lucky that the earlier black cloud had lifted, with some wispy cloud remaining, but with the wind whistling through the very tall antenna. Leaving the top at 1pm, we went down the road for 100m, then took a path to the left signed to Mijas, we continued winding our way down following the PR-A 58, (not following any more Mijas signs) and arrived at the top of a rocky outpost for more great views. The cloud had now completely cleared (1.30pm). Descending further we arrived at the Caves of Mina Trinidad (268m)-bring a flashlight for further exploration. (At your own risk). Continuing along a wide track, under the motorway, arriving at a main road, we turned right to visit the Stupa, (2.45pm). Unfortunately it was shut till 4.30pm but we have visited it previously. We walked back along the main road to Benalmadena Pueblo re-visiting the cafe where we had eaten breakfast, for a very welcome coffee and toast, before walking back through Benalmadena, heading straight downhill to the sea. Re-joining the promenade, we turned left back towards our starting point, arriving there at 5.30pm.

We had thoroughly enjoyed our day, and looking back to the towers were delighted that we had walked to the top and back.

The walk could be made shorter by using the local frequent bus service to Benalmadena Pueblo and commencing the walk there, or catching the bus back from Benalmadena Pueblo to the coast. Both of these options we have previously taken. Another route down from the top could be to follow the GR249 to Mijas, or descend down the quiet road to reach the main road into Mijas. From Mijas the bus can be caught back to near Benalmadena. Alternatively, the PR-A 58 Sendero Mina De La Trinidad could be walked starting near the Stupa to the top of Cerro del Moro, and back down the same way.

This is 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. The area is a well known holiday destination, but the walking tends to be over looked, at least by tourists.

If you have not visited a Stupa before it is very interesting inside, and again with great views of the coast. Built in 2003, and 33m high, it is unexpected and very impressive. We would also recommend a walk round Benalmádena Pueblo, with its beautiful narrow streets, squares, tapas restaurants and views. 

Distance    17 miles (27km)

Duration of Walk  9 Hours 30 minutes including breaks

Elevation Gained  3269 feet (996m)

Steps 53,000


This is a walk that we would recommend with superb views. It would be best to walk in the cooler months-we went in October, and it was still pretty warm.

It is a steep climb up from Benalmádena Pueblo but the path is obvious, reaching the line of the Sierra de Mijas, where there are various paths leading down to the local villages. The routes were originally used by muleteers, coal miners and people of the countryside. Whilst staying in Torremolinos we walked a couple of stages of the GR249 (this walk covers part of a stage). Having found information in Spain hard to find, we had printed out various routes whilst at home in England, and brought them with us. 

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, insect repellent-we did get bitten near the underpass of the motorway-and plenty of food and water, as after leaving Benalmádena Pueblo there is no-where to replenish supplies. This is one of the few walks where we used walking sticks on the way down as the path is unstable, with loose rocks and sand.

If walking in Spain we always take walking books with us, purchased in England. We have found they are fairly hard to purchase in Spain, even in Spanish. We tend to use Cicerone Books, but others are available. In general, the tourist information offices don’t contain any information about walking.

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  Part of this    Part of this    Part of this  Breakfast but there are lots of places Just in case

Resources used

Walking Coastal Walks in Andalucía by Guy Hunter-Watts, Cicerone Press.                        . It is useful to have the book to refer to, with some maps in, but the walk is signposted most of the way.