One of the best activities you can do if you visit Marbella and the Costa del Sol is the hiking route to La Concha, one of the most famous mountains in the province of Malaga. The route consists of ascending La Concha Peak (1,215 metres) starting from the Refugio de Juanar. This route is located in the recently named National Park (2021) and Biosphere Reserve Sierra de las Nieves, therefore, a unique opportunity to get inside one of the three National Parks of Andalusia. The name of the park is due to the presence of snow on its high peaks, which in the past was kept throughout the year and was stored in the snow pits to be distributed during the summer to the villages of the province of Malaga.
After crossing the Olivar de Juanar olive grove and a dense forest of Monterrey pines located on the Juanar plain, we cross the Salto del Lobo area. A chain has recently been installed at this pass, but this is more for convenience than for danger, as it can also be crossed a few metres further up without much risk, although there is a possibility of slipping. The final prize is the summit of La Concha, with the best panoramic views of the Costa del Sol. The Cerro del Lastonar (1,275 metres) and the Pico Cruz de Juanar (1,178 metres) are off the trail and are an option to add, although they can be done as a similar route from Istán, a pretty village in the foothills of the sierra.
The positive difference in altitude is 750 metres and the approximate duration is around 5 hours, not including the stops that we recommend you make. Remember that the aim is to enjoy the excursion, not to break records. The temperature at the summit in the spring and summer months is usually between 8º and 11º, remember to wear different types of clothing. The vegetation is made up of holm oaks, Aleppo pines, Monterrey pines and olive trees. There is also abundant undergrowth: junipers, mastic trees, gorse, junipers, lastones, thyme, gamones and lavandulas. As for the fauna, it is possible to come across wild goats, wild boars and foxes, as well as partridges, griffon vultures, eagles and other birds of prey.
It is a fantastic and spectacular route because of the biodiversity you will find, but it has a moderate difficulty, if you finally decide to do it, it is advisable to take water, hydrate yourself well throughout the excursion, take food (especially energy bars, nuts…), suitable clothing and footwear (long sleeves, sunscreen, cap…) and do it with people who know the mountain. There are different companies in the area that offer the service in small groups with a guide included.
If you want to know more about the excursion and how to book a guide to make the most of the ascent to the summit of La Concha, we recommend this website where you can book the tour easily and cheaply. https://nalusur.com/hiking-tour-marbella/