Hike the Cruz de Juanar - minutes from Marbella
Updated: Jul 9, 2022
Spend a perfect day with a complete change of scenery just minutes from the Marbella coast. This gorgeous 3 hour walk through olive trees, pine forest, rocky path and breathtaking views is easy to reach and simple to follow.
This lovely walk takes you through woods and nature that is a complete change from the busy coast. It is mostly flat smooth trail. At the end, it gets rocky and the last 200 meters are a bit steep will need to scramble up the last rocky outcropping using hands and feet.
How to get to the starting point
Nothing is more frustrating than searching for the start of a hiking trail; in this case it is super easy. Click here to see our Google Maps link to this trail.
Put Refugio de Juanar in your gps app, it’s about a 20 minute drive up from the coast.
You can park right near the hotel (not in the hotel parking lot but in the surrounding area), or continue up the dirt track to get closer to the beginning of the trail. Keep going past the hotel as the track winds uphill about 500 meters. There is only one road you can't go wrong. You will come to a parking area and a fence/barrier with some rubbish bins. This is the end of the track for cars, so you can’t go wrong it’s where to park!
To set out on the right path
From the parking area, follow the signs to “La Concha” and “Cruz de Juanar”. It is very well signposted.
There are lots of trails from here and the ones mentioning Marbella, Istan or Ojen all lead down the hill so you don’t want to follow them.
The first part of the walk goes through an olive grove on a broad dirt track. You might pass some olive farmers or people with baskets hunting for wild mushrooms.
At the end of the olive grove, follow the sign that takes you off to the right through the olive trees and into the forest.
Follow the easy track which gradually heads uphill. After about 1 km you will come up over a hilltop and have views over to the sea. This clearing is clearly signposted and you will once again follow the “Cruz de Juanar” direction to the right up the hill.
You'll go through the forest and come out on a hillside with more open views and a stony dirt path that heads up hill.
Use your hands to climb up the last part of the track
This bit gets rockier and rockier until the last 200 meters where you must scramble
along a steepish rocky face using your hands. It’s only a short part that is this steep.
After the steep climb you are treated to an amazing 360* panoramic view over the entire Marbella coastline. If you are lucky like we were today, you will see Gibraltar very clearly as well as the mountains along the Moroccan coast.
Enjoy the great views from the top. To go back down, you can either go back the way you came (it's not boring, it looks completely different in the other direction!), or you can do a loop walk, go down the other side of the rocky hill and you will be on another path back to the Refugio. The path is not marked, on the rocky summit, you will only find signposts at the bottom of the rocky part, so perhaps only do this if other people are around to tell you where to go.
To complete your perfect half-day, if you've worked up an appetite, why not add lunch in a village square?
Suggestions where to stop for lunch
In Ojen you will find several nice places to dine, in the square around the main church. There is a lovely fountain and outdoor terrace dining in the traffic-free village. You can have a hearty peasant lunch for a very small price! Examples on the square are Bar Diego, and El Tapeo, but you will find others if you head into the village and wander around, stopping at the sunny table that tempts you the most! In nearby Coin you will also find many places to have a hearty country lunch for a very reasonable price, such as Bar la Pena on a beautiful sunny square or Al-Andalus for a taste of local cuisine.
Stay with us in Marbella
Cick here to see photos of our 3 Marbella beach properties. We will help you plan a dream holiday between day-trips and beach relaxation. 3 fantastic properties next to the beach for your farniente days. An attentive host who answers all your questions. We care about your holiday and want it to be the best! Airbnb superhost and VRBO premium partner, contact us for special prices if you rent direct. Click here to enter your dates, see availabilities - but contact us first before booking to ask for a special price! Say you want to hike the Cruz de Juanar we'll give you the best deal to enjoy this special day.