2 September 2020

Sierra Blanca is a mountainous massif of the Penibética mountain range, located in the province of Malaga. It owes its name to the whitish color of its limestone rock that contrasts strongly with the reddish tones of the peridotites of Sierra Bermeja and Sierra Alpujata that flank it.

La Concha peak (1215 meters above sea level), so called because seen from the west it resembles the striated shell of a mollusk, is the second highest after Lastonar peak (1275 meters above sea level.) Other peaks are: Cerro de la Zarina (1141 m) and the Cruz de Juanar (1178 m).

It is located between the municipalities of Istán, Ojén, Marbella and Monda.

The climb to the shell is a unique and unforgettable experience… at times exciting and the truth is that to do it you have to be in top shape.

Ideally, park your car near the Refugio de Juanar, a charming little hotel lost in the mountains. It is accessed from the Ojen road, and it is about 10 kms before reaching the town.

From there you have to follow the direction arrows to “La Concha”, since there are several places that can be visited. Although sometimes the direction signs are not very clear.

The first route is through some flat places populated by olive trees that are crossed with agility. After about half an hour of walking, you will reach a small forest of pines and ferns, a shady but pleasant area, especially when the sun sets. Little by little the land gradually rises surrounded by aromatic plants. After this stretch we enter an area of ​​stones and cliffs surrounding the nearby hills until we see the landscape of the south slope … After enjoying the view, we pass to the north face of the route (the Salto del Lobo). Once this stage is over, you will reach one of the most exposed areas of the route … The path becomes very steep and rocky: up this slope and a steep slope you climb to the top of the mountain … the edges of the rocks they are sometimes very narrow. In some areas and for safety reasons, chains have been anchored to the rocks to help the adventurers on this risky journey. This last climb through very rocky areas and slopes until we can see the crest of the summit that we had in the distance becomes long and heavy; the altitude is great, the terrain is very rocky and the trails have almost disappeared. You have to be careful not to deviate and end in a dead end. Cheer up ! One last climb and one last effort,  as then comes the grand prize.

After a climb of approximately 3 and a half hours, you reach the Cima de la Concha. All the efforts along the way are worth it… It is a breathtaking panorama due to its great beauty. You can see the entire coast, passing through the Strait of Gibraltar, Morocco and the Atlas. Marbella and the charming white villages of the surroundings, Istán, Ojén, Monda, the Pantano de la Concepción, in the distance the emblematic Puerto Banus … urbanizations, golf courses, mountains and hills … and above the blue sky … what a beautiful place and that most people are unaware of from that perspective! Knowing the way, the descent takes a little less. Without a doubt, it is worth climbing to the top of Marbella. As a tip: wear good shoes, be in good physical shape and if you are afraid of heights: DO NOT LOOK DOWN!

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