La Concha Marbella
La Concha Marbella is one of the key landmarks of the area and is much like Ben Nevis is to Scotland. It has a 1215 metre peak with a distinctive ‘shell like’ shape which is actually an made up of an impressive mass of limestone. You can see La Concha Marbella from many places along the coast, it is truly an iconic and much loved mountain.
It is also walk that the team here at Luxury Villas Marbella like to take, both the easier and most popular route from Juanar Refugio and also the little walked and tough walk from Istan (be careful, its easy to fall or get lost on this route).
For climbers and outdoor explorers, La Concha is the key attraction for Marbella, and if you are relatively fit and used to the great outdoors is very much an achievable feat to achieve. Professionals have been said to climb it in under 3 hours, but to be able to enjoy the climb and take regular breaks, 4 hours is a realistic timeframe EACH WAY, and gives you time at the top to enjoy the spectacular view.
As with all mountain walks, don’t underestimate the mountain or the weather. You should check the weather forecast, pack enough water and clothes for the bottom AND the top (where it can be 10 degrees cooler and suddenly encased in cold fog!) and leave enough time (7 hours round trip for most people). Wear walking shoes or sturdy trainers, nothing less and of course sunscreen as it’s very exposed in places.
A rocky path sheltered by pine trees was discovered in the 1800s. The route is interesting and sets off from the Refugio de Juanar refuge, on the road from Marbella to the village of Ojén. You go through a lovely pine forest before carrying on along the bottom of a valley of olive trees towards the Cruz de Juanar peak.
Here the route heads off to the north through another pine forest with a fern-covered floor before the bulk of the ascent. La Concha is clearly signposted.
The trail then thins out to a sandy and rocky pathway that leads along the crest of a ridge. To the south you can see the blue sea of the Costa del Sol and the Rock of Gibraltar and Tarifa and – on a clear day – you might see the North African coast across the Mediterranean Sea.
From here you continue west along a trail where a short descent is followed by a steep ascent. This includes a cliff call the the El Salto del Lobo (Wolf’s Jump) with sheer drops. The next part is the trickiest and will involve either walking poles or, if you didn’t bring those, your hands.
The final part of this hike is on more level terrain. Marbella and its coastline is viewable as well as the Istán reservoir.
Photos from Pixelbay and Tripadvisor.