The other day, we set off to visit the Ermita del Calvario, just above Mijas. We drove to Mijas, parked in the multi-storey car park (still a bargain at €1 per day) and wound our way up the many stairways and narrow lanes to the Coin road and then up to the Ermita itself. That’s as easy as that.
However, we noticed a notice board that showed the many other walks that use this area as a starting point. We therefore extended our stroll somewhat further before deciding that as we had no water and no sticks, we’d better turn back and try another day. Today was that day.
We did a little research and the best site I could come up with was http://www.mijaslife.com/country-walks.html – the maps in question are available at the Mijas Office of Tourism in the main square, right behind the Donkey Statue. We decided we would try the Yellow Route (extract from the website above):
2. Yellow Route – Ruta Cañanda Gertrudis
- Time To Complete: 1.30 hours (return)
- Physical Difficulty: Medium to High
- Technical Difficulty: Low
This country walk starts from the view point located on the village by-pass. Cross the road and walk along the road for about 100 meters, take the path that leads to the Shrine “El Calvario” which is marked with iron crosses.
As the web site says (above) you start by walking up the track towards the Ermita but before turning off towards the shrine, you keep straight on and follow the yellow dots. These are not always where you expect them, but they do keep coming. Our route would join the blue route somewhere in the mountain and we would then follow that back down.
The blue markers are less frequent than the yellow ones – beware. And, once you do reach the blue track, it coincides with markers for the red and the white tracks too. At just one point, we had to do a little backwards and forwards checking before choosing the correct way down.
The time to complete might just be the 1.30 hours quoted on the website if you walk at a good pace all the way around and don’t have dodgy knees, but it took us 1.15 hours to reach the blue/yellow meeting point. The tracks are mainly mountain rubble, very rocky and from time to time, very steep. We knew to bring sticks with us this time and they were invaluable going both up and down.
The views are simply stunning. Even though the cloud came down as we walked, we were still able to see quite a way down the coastline and across Mijas itself. What’s more, at this time of year (April) the huge array of mountain flowers are a delight. Rosemary too, is at its best right now, so there was a constant herby smell as we walked and I’m certain that if the weather had been sunnier, that smell would have been more powerful.
The blue track eventually joins the red track and a left turn took us back down past the Ermita, where we stopped for our picnic lunch. We’d set off from the roadside at 11:30am and it was now 2:00pm.
By the time we’d finished lunch and reached the road again it was 2:30pm – so we were three hours up and around.