The route runs through the small Sierra de la Utrera, between Manilva and Casares (Málaga). It is a karst massif, with calcareous formations similar to the Antequera stream. We go through the so-called Canuto de la Utrera, although geologically speaking, it is more of a canyon, originated by the fracture of the limestone block, instead of permanent fluvial erosion. It is the southernmost karst complex in Europe without counting the nearby Rock of Gibraltar. On its walls we can see protected birds such as the Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus percnopterus) or the Bonelli’s eagle (Aquila fasciata). The vegetation is typical thermophilic where we find palm hearts (Chamaerops humilis), carob trees (Ceratonia siliqua), erguenes (Calicotome villosa), mastic (Pistacea lentiscus) or wild olive (Olea Europea var. Sylvestris).
Date June 13, 2021
Distance 9 km
Time 3 h with stops
Medium difficulty, watch out for cracks
Slope Minimum 40m maximum 320m
Characteristics of the Route.
We cannot forget its important paleontological interest (fossils from the Jurassic to the Pliocene) and Neolithic remains in its caves.
It is mandatory to stop at the Baños de la Hedionda, of Roman origin, from the 1st century BC, with medicinal benefits (to bathe, not drink it) despite the stench of sulfur. The river water acquires a whitish color due to these sulphurous waters and there are several pools in which you can take a bath because the spa complex is closed due to the restrictions of the pandemic.
The broader circular route is explained in detail in Manuel’s blog
The route can be started on the A-377 Manilva Casares road or in the Baños de la hedionda next to the Manilva river, parking in the designated areas if we cannot be fined.
The torcal area is not recommended for young children because of the cracks and bushes.
Do not make mud baths on the banks of the river, they do not provide any benefit and damage the area.
As always, bring the garbage back or leave it in authorized containers.
Enjoy it and greetings
Francisco Mellado Brey
Professor Biology Geology