Costa del Sol
R-3 Sendero del Quejigal
Benalmádena Pueblo - Arroyo de la Miel road at the height of the motorway viaduct, at an altitude of 175 m.
Junction with Route 6, at an altitude of 580 m.
Approximately 3.5 km to the junction with Route 6.
At the bend in the road, an information panel marks the start of the route. In this first section, the path runs along the bed of the stream, under the viaduct of the A-7 motorway, until it reaches a small esplanade where the Arroyo de Puerto Viejo flows into the stream. In this area we can see some alluvial deposits, mainly on the slope to the north.
Take the path that starts from the stream itself and climbs up the southern slope, through a dense mass of Aleppo pines. When you reach an altitude of approximately 330 metres, you will come to the junction with Route 4. From here, the path becomes less steep and heads north-west until it crosses the bed of the Regajo del Quejigal.
Along this stretch, either on the path itself or close to it, there are several small huts that were used as reservoirs for the old water conduction that came down from the sierra. Nowadays they are hardly used, but they serve as watering troughs for the animals that come to them.
We leave behind us, on the left, a rocky escarpment, in front of which a pine grove develops where Aleppo pines and stone pines intermingle, which descends to the bed of the stream, at the same time as it delimits, for a short stretch, the path itself.
As we advance, a wide panoramic view of the sierra opens up before our eyes, with the Tajo del Quejigal and the Tajos de la Sabia cliffs standing out to the west. The layout of the masses of pine trees on the opposite slope, on the other side of the stream, is striking, as are the rocky escarpments below them, which show the inclination (south) and orientation (east-west) of the limestone strata in this part of the sierra. On this slope, which is more exposed to the rigours of the weather, the vegetation is less abundant than on the slope on which we are situated. In addition to the aforementioned pines, there is a rock rosemary that becomes thicker in the higher areas.
At around 425 m altitude, the path, which descends over the last few metres, crosses the bed of the Regajo del Quejigal. The vegetation becomes particularly dense due to the environmental conditions prevailing in the riverbed, with a thick mass of oleanders upstream, under whose branches a shady and cool microclimate is created. The existence of churrero reed and pinchuita reeds indicates the presence of damp soil. Among the oleanders, cornicabra and a few carob trees stand out above them. Towards the outside of the riverbed, a dense thicket of bramble, dotted with cistus, marks the limit of this plant community linked to the riverbed. On the slope, a dense rockrose bed dotted with pines and junipers covers almost the entire surface.
From this point, the path ascends sharply in a northerly direction, in search of the adjacent gully. In its first stretch, we leave a pond area to the right and cross a small mass of pine trees. When you reach the same height as the base of the Tajo del Quejigal, the path becomes less steep as it passes through a rocky area, where there are isolated specimens of myrtle.
As you approach the stream bed, the texture of the path changes, becoming sandier. Up to this point, we have crossed the limestone marbles and now we enter the area formed by dolomitic marbles, until the end of the route.
In the riverbed, the mass of pine trees located on the northern slope, along the headwaters of the stream, as well as the panoramic view of the last stretch of the route, stand out.
After overcoming this last ascent, we find ourselves at the junction with Route 6. To the west, the path leads us towards El Castillejo; and to the east, we can reach Puerto Viejo and link up with Routes 1 and 2.
Two sections of the Gran Senda de Málaga (GR249) run along this same route: the end of stage 33 (Mijas - Benalmádena) and the beginning of stage 34 (Benalmádena - Alhaurín de la Torre).