Ravine of the Algezares and ascent to the Morro Blanco (Sierra de las Moreras)

Hiking tours

This tour goes through one of the most emblematic places of the municipality: the Sierra de las Moreras (the Mulberry’s trees mountains). It shares name with the Moreras Ravine due to the abundance of these trees in its vicinity, several centuries ago. These mountains, like others, suffered serious deforestations in the 16th century caused by the need of fuel for the mining ovens. The road goes through several extractions’ areas of gypsum and furnace for the calcination of them.


Physical difficulty

We find long slopes and/or the duration exceeds 3 hours.

Technical difficulty 

Occasionally we have to rely on the support of hands. The trails become confusing paths or have points with orientations’ and progress’ difficulties.

Distances

3,3 km (one way)

Slope

Departure height: 60 metres above sea level.
Maximum altitude: 488 metres above sea level at the top.

Duration

About 3 hours and a half approximately.

GPS Coordinates (UTM DATUM E1950)

Start: X 647021 Y 4161727
Ravine House: X 646954 Y 4160489
Hill: X 647131 Y 4160242


Apparently, the itinerary lacks plant wealth, but we will know in this excursion the heart of the mountain where we will discover a pine forest and then climbing to the "Víboras" or the "Morro Blanco" hills, we will enjoy the great panoramic that offers its top and discover its fauna and flora. Not in vain, these mountains enjoy the protections of their cataloguing as 'Protected Landscape', LIC (Place of the European Community Interest) and ZEPA (Special Protection Area for Birds), therefor is necessary to request caution and care to minimise damages to the flora and fauna along the way.

Botanically we highlight the "cornicales" (Pericopla angustifolia), Mediterranean dwarf palms, and “orovales"; aromatic plants like thyme, rosemary, Artemisia and lavender. In a remote area from the mountains is a population of "Cypress of Cartagena"; also some ‘sabina’ (tetraclinis also called “arar”, a cypress species) in the crags, rockroses; herbaceous like navelwort, “orquídea abejera” (orchid species), etc. In terms of the fauna we can be surprised to see the “tortuga mora” (spur-thighed tortoise or Greek tortoise), the “águila perdiguera” (Bonelli’s eagle), the peregrine falcon and the Eurasian eagle-owl (Bubo bubo). 

Hikings

We will arrive at the beginning of the itinerary going through the N-332 (Mazarrón-Águilas road). Supposing that our direction of travel is from Mazarrón to Águilas, we have to find a way that deviates at right angles of our road on the left side. We find it when we’re about to surmount a steep slope of a couple of hundred meters, popularly known as "Cuesta la Dura" (the Hard Slope). From the last roundabout (which has an old yellow public works machine, just after passing Mercadona supermarket of Mazarrón town) to where we will find the way are 1,700m or conversely 500 meters before reaching a large circular that it gives access to the ring road of Mazarrón. 

Upon entering the way we find the ruins of a house. We park and prepare us for hiking. On the right side of the house we will see a way that goes towards the mountain and whereby we have to follow without any difficulty. After a small hill we reach a cultivation of olive trees surrounded by the road, and continue for start the itinerary of the Ravine of Algezares. We introduce us into it passing a pipe that crosses the ravine at right angles. Our way continues straight leaving the pipe behind and few meters onward disappears as way and becomes a little stony path. On our left, on the other side of the ravine, we see remains and parts of the old mining trail that transported the gypsum production of the ravine and the “láguenas” (coloured earth).

We follow the path and we will find on our right a small and ancient quarry of extraction of “láguenas" earth of bluish colour.

The path continues further until to reach the ravine bed. At this point the pathway forks. The trail continues to the right towards the ruins of a small house which is situated on the top of the hillock.

These ruins will be our reference to orient ourselves. We continue along the path towards the house and go slightly and gradually out the ravine bed by its left side. Don’t follow another path that goes along the same ravine bed in Southwest direction. If we did, we would start the 'Pink Route', which we describe briefly below.

Pink route

Variant of the Collado de la Paridera

Distances: 4,5 km Approximately 4,5 km (one-way)

It’s an old footpath to cross the mountains by the hill named "Collado de la Paridera”. The beginning of the hill is quite simple from where we are. But we have to warn that in the ravine, next to the path, is a well, eight or ten meters deep, without protection, so please take care. Further, after crossing the hill, the path disappears. It doesn’t have orientation problems due to the own ravine leads us by its bed, but now down. Just when we are about to reach the end of the ravine, difficulties appear. We don’t recommend the route for persons not very used to steep and sloping terrains. This is the difficulty point 5 within our technical difficulty scale.

After the end of the ravine, we find an irrigation reservoir and a way that leads to a few greenhouses. As you can see on the aerial photo, we will continue along the edge of the plantation until finding a half-abandoned way behind earth mounds. This one reaches the Red Route. Once there, we decide which variant to choose.

We continue and cross an old gypsum quarry area that retains remains of rudimentary brick furnaces. This oven area is divided on two terraces, one higher than the other, where the path forks and passes throug both. It’s indifferent take one or the other, as long as we don’t lose the reference of the house’s ruins of that we already begin to lose sight due to height difference and vegetation that separates us from them.

It is a good place to rest. If you want to take the usual photographies and undertake the return, all the way up to this point has been enough stroll to see the ravine of Algezares.

Others will continue towards the house. We will be forced climb a strong slope that ascends perpendicularly a runoff-made sidewalk by the hikers, until the house.

Once arrived there, take the opportunity to recover. The path starts from the left of the house and goes to the hill which is in the South.

We head toward the hill along a steep path that forks and intermingles among itself of erratic form. Another effort will take us to the hill. We find, for the first time, the great panoramic view of Mazarrón's coast.

The hill is a good place for considering finished the tour for those who don’t want confront the last section that develops through field. The peak on right side is "El Víboras" (the Viper), 488m high. On maps 1:25.000 in the “I.G.N.”, it appears as "Morro Blanco" (White Nose), final objective of our tour. I.G.N = Spanish initials for National Institute of Geography. To undertake the last section we cannot give many indications, because there is not a defined road. At the beginning is a path that leads to the peak, but then practically disappears. We have to take extra precautions due to the perpendicular and rugged terrain. We will contemplate a wide and superb view of the entire municipality at the top. Amongst the stones’ cracks, on the base of the trig point, is usually a small “summit book”, so visitors to the site can express their thoughts. Then just let it well protected in the place that was found. The return is by the same way that we came. Congratulations and enjoy the moment and the views.

 

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