Marbella, Puerto Banús and its surroundings offer, in addition to its beaches, places for leisure, relaxation and enjoyment, excellent gastronomy and a long etcetera, wonderful places for hiking..

Its magnificent geographical location, next to the sea, but just a stone’s throw from the highest mountains in Malaga, makes this area an ideal spot for trekking.

Istán and Ojén, the Refugio de Juanar, the Serranía de Ronda… the itineraries multiply in routes that are impressive for their beauty and for the incredible views they offer at the same time.

Here is our selection of the best hiking routes in Marbella.

The Holy Chestnut Tree (El Castaño Santo)

The prize of this route is a visit to this very old chestnut tree, located in the area known as Hoyo del Bote, in the Sierra Real de Istán.

It is surrounded by an extensive and beautiful forest of cork oaks, chestnut trees, holm oaks and pines typical of the Serranía de Ronda, and is probably the oldest tree in the Sierra de las Nieves. It is considered to have almost 1,000 years of history behind it. It is also a historical tree because of two events: it is said that Fernando the Catholic celebrated a mass under its branches in 1501, as did Ponce de León himself to celebrate the victory that put an end to the Moorish rebellion in September 1570.

The route through the Castaño Santo, an (almost) thousand-year-old tree that has witnessed great deeds, can be started in various places, but we recommend starting from the car park of the La Quinta golf course, leaving Marbella beforehand in the direction of San Pedro Alcántara. From the car park of the golf club, we will have to drive almost 16.5 km to reach this special spot.

Start of the route:

Ascent to Torrecilla

Welcome to the paradise of the Spanish fir, to the recently named Sierra de las Nieves National Park and Biosphere Reserve since 1995, and to the highest point in Malaga (with the permission of La Maroma).

The Torrecilla Peak (1,919 metres) is close to one of the must-see spots in the province and in Andalusia as a whole, Ronda. It is an ideal area for mountain lovers.

From Hotel Benabola we propose you to reach the roof of Malaga on a route that will start at the Recreational Area of Los Quejigales, although you can also start from the Puerto del Saucillo (near the village of Yunquera). This is an excursion that can last from 6 to 8 hours approximately (about 20-24km), depending on whether you do the circular route down through the forest or return along the same forest track going up.

Start of the route:

Ascent to la Concha

The ascent to La Concha, the queen of Sierra Blanca, from the Refugio de Juanar, is one of the best hiking routes in Malaga.

This ascent will allow us, on the one hand, to cross different types of forests, and on the other hand, to walk along a large part of the crest of a mountainous massif that provides us with the marvellous microclimate that characterises Marbella and the western coast of Malaga.

In an excursion of about 6 hours (12 kilometres there and back), with almost 500 metres of elevation gain, demanding and hard at times, on stony paths and cross-country trails, the final prize will be the best panoramic views of the Costa del Sol: the Sierra de las Nieves, Gibraltar and North Africa to the south, and the various mountain ranges of Malaga, Cadiz and Granada, to the north, east and west.

Start of the route:

Ascent to Puerto Rico

We continue in the surroundings of Juanar and Ojén. Now we propose the ascent to Puerto Rico from the stream next to the Restaurant La Kascada, a path that goes uphill until you reach the Mirador de Juanar.

At all times the trail guarantees incredible views. Moreover, you can make the route as short or as long as you prefer, as the path goes on and on to different points of the mountain range that shelters Ojén. However, it normally takes around four hours to complete the round trip.

Start of the route:

Ascent to the Cross of Juanar

Another beautiful route through the Juanar area. As far as hiking routes in Marbella are concerned, this is where there are the most possibilities and where it takes the least time. In fact, there are routes from the city itself to these mountains.

The climb to the Cruz del Juanar, which is about 8 kilometres long, starts from the Hotel Refugio del Juanar. We recommend that you go there at sunset to enjoy the views, and especially at night, in search of thousands of stars and constellations in a clear, breathtaking sky.

Start of the route:

Water routes for summer in Marbella

Although the routes we have described can be done at any time of the year, it is true that in summer the heat is much hotter and you have to take extra precautions. It is also true that combining hiking routes with bathing in rivers, pools, puddles and natural places improves any plan we have.

This is the case of the famous hiking route Las Angosturas and the Guadalmina River in Benahavís. This is a simple hiking route with the spectacular scenery of the narrow mountain passes and the river as a backdrop.

This route starts at the river pond, Charco de las Mozas, just outside the centre of Benahavís. From there you walk downstream along the Guadalmina river for 2-3 hours until you reach the pond of Los Tubos. You’ll have to swim across the river several times and it’s a one-way route, so it’s more than worth taking booties, wetsuit/t-shirt if the temperatures are low and swimming clothes.

Another watery option is the hiking route along the Padrón River in Estepona, an easy hiking route as it is mostly downhill.