Imagine, a beautiful beachfront promenade, stretching across the majority of the Costa del Sol, with no roads, no impassable stretches, no rivers in the way. This is the stated aim of the coastal path project that aims to unite promenades being built in Marbella, Estepona and Mijas.
Along with the Grand Senda de Malaga and the re-opening of the Caminito del Rey, this walkway is one of the largest and most awaited tourist projects being carried out this year.
From Mijas to Manilva, three of the Costa del Sol’s largest municipalities are working on their own section of the path, with the final aim of all 3 of them being united in a 50km long path hugging the coastline of the Costa del Sol.
The walkways have been constructed using environmentally friendly materials and have been designed to blend into the varying landscapes along the route. Constructed mainly of wooden walkways or compacted sand, the walkway has had to overcome cliffs, natural sand dunes, river mouths as well as private homes and gardens.
Marbella’s walkway is the most advanced of the 3, the initial stretch was to complete the path from Marbella to San Pedro de Alcántara, and involved the construction of a wonderfully designed wooden bridge over the Rio Verde in Puerto Banús as well as a wooden walkway over the rocky coastline in front of Ventura del Mar. Work is ongoing to extend the path in between La Bajadilla Marina and Rio Real, with the path currently being carefully built through the protected natural Las Adelfas Dunes, a delicate process that involves and removing and replanting native species of flowers and plant.
Giving residents and holidaymakers the chance to walk and cycle alongside the coast for almost 17km without any obstacles and only a short amount of time until the entirety of Marbella’s 27km of beaches are completely united, this project has been widely welcomed by all and adds another unique aspect to the tourism offered by Marbella.
From San Pedro you can rent a bike from Best in Spain and cycle all the way to the other end of the path, a wonderfully relaxing way to spend a few hours experiencing the beautiful sea views…and stopping for some tapas and refreshments in Marbella before coming back to San Pedro!
Stretching towards Marbella from La Cala de Mijas, the municipality of Mijas has 3 stretches planned, which will eventually unite the two popular towns.
The first stretch of 6km between La Cala de Mijas to Calahonda has already been inaugurated and is used regularly by joggers, cyclists, dog walkers and families and tourists enjoying the fresh air, natural surroundings and beautiful views.
Estepona’s walkway faces the biggest challenges and envisages 12 different stretches of path linking over 20km of coastline. With many stretches of its coastline being inaccessible at the moment, even by foot, the council faces considerable challenges, areas such as Guadalmina and Isdabe present even more challenges as so many developments and hotels front directly onto the beach.
Although the experience of Marbella suggests that the care needed to protect the environment during construction, the specialist materials needed and the consultations with property and landowners means that construction of even a small section can take many months, it also shows that these obstacles can be overcome.
The dream of a 50km long walkway through the heart of the Costa del Sol remains a distinct possibility, with walkways and sections been completed regularly and is a worthy project which will help thousands of people to enjoy and appreciate more the beauty of the area as well as provide protection for the environment. There is even talk of extending the project to connect the whole 180km of coastline, from Nerja to Manilva, with a network of connected pedestrian paths!