Hike from Marbella to Ronda

by Vincent
(San Pedro de Alcantara)

Castaño Santo - century old chestnut tree

Castaño Santo - century old chestnut tree

Castaño Santo - century old chestnut tree
Marbella´s Green Gate

A few days ago I decided to investigate how to hike from San Pedro to Ronda. I started climbing the forest track next to la Quinta which leads to the Castaño Santo, a century old chestnut tree some 15 km away from La Quinta.


The first part perhaps is the most difficult one as you climb to some 900 metres of altitude at the Puerto de la Refriega. The total distance to Ronda is around 45 km on well marked trails, denominated Puerta Verde de Marbella, (Marbella’s Green Gate), greatly improved by the Junta de Andalucía this summer. The constant changes in the landscape are tremendous as the trail leads from hill to hill inside this unique natural park. I enjoyed total silence; I saw about 5 cars, at two thirds of the way, from Las Conejeras to Ronda, the trail is closed to cars.

This is a route which has communicated the coast and Ronda for centuries, and when you cross the Puerto del Robledal you start your descent to Fuenfria, a lovely spot where the trail crosses a river. Here the Guardia Civil (local police) maintained their post for hundreds of years protecting merchants from the bandoleros (bandits) haunting the route.

It took me 13 hours to get to Ronda so I would recommend splitting the excursion into two, the first half from San Pedro to Las Conejeras or Quejigales, and the second half from there to Ronda. Please remember that there are no restaurants or bars along the trail so you should take your own food & water. The Junta de Andalucía has opened several other trails in Andalucía called Green Gates which I would like to recommend based on my experience on my hike to Ronda.




Learn more about Ronda.

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Oct 29, 2014
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Local website on Marbella Hikes
by: Robert

If you're looking for a site which goes into more detail on Marbella hikes, check out marbellatrails.com.

Nov 20, 2010
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a historical trail
by: Vincent

Yes Franck, it is a lovely hike - although it takes time and energy. And yes, this is a century old track which has connected Marbella with Ronda for well over three thousand years. Ronda was called Acinipo in Roman times, which actually means grapes, and these grapes turned into wine traveled along that trail to San Pedro, the called Salduba, and from there to Rome. So when you hike up or down, you will not meet many walkers, I did not see any, but perhaps the shadows of those Romans, Arabs, and Spanish who travelled and rested on this lovely Andalusian trail.

Nov 20, 2010
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on horse back
by: Vincent

Yes, Torsten, I should think that you could go up on horse back. The trail would allow it. There is a riding school in Ronda where you could probably leave your horse over night. Have fun, Vincent

Nov 19, 2010
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posibel on a horse.?
by: Anonymous

What a cool trip.
is this posibele white the horse.
Greetings, Torsten.

Nov 13, 2010
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Very interesting
by: Franck

Thank you Vincent. I am inspired by this trek posting. The idea of reaching Ronda from the coast is very appealing and reminiscent of old Andalusia, when people reached the interior on donkeys and horses. I will probably start with the short half though :-).

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