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Malaga Travel Guide


Málaga Parks

EL TORCAL

Access from Antequera by the 3310 road to Villanueva de la Concepción. About 12 km along the road you will come to the crossing for El Torcal, once you have gone through the La Boca del Asno pass. From Málaga, you take the Pedrizas motorway (N331). This area, which form part of the limestone arc of the sub-Betic sierras, was granted the classification of Natural Park in 1989. There are almost 12 Km under protection, representing one of the most important karst landscapes in the whole of Europe.

There are four geomorphologically distinct areas: Sierra Pelada, Torcal Alto, Torcal Bajo and Tajos and Laderas. Together they make up a genuine museum of natural sculptures, modelled by Nature over the centuries the result of the erosion of limestone rock that originated on the seabed during the Jurassic period, about 150 million years ago.

Also the area is of indisputable botanical interest. It is sufficient to say that the area is home of more than 650 species of plant, representing almos 100 families.

From the viewpoint of Las Ventanillas you can admire the magnificent views of Villanueva de la Concepcion, the region of Campanillas River and Málaga. On clear days, its even possible to see the African Coast.

Due to its unusual limestone rock formations, Torcal de Antequera Natural Park (Parque Natural Torcal de Antequera) boasts an impressive landscape that is considered to be unique in the world. Its 1,171 hectares have often been used in science fiction films. It is easy to get lost while walking in its labyrinth of rocks, depressions and valleys, passages, landings and narrow passes. The limestone nature of the terrain makes it especially susceptible to erosion by climatological agents such as rain and wind. It belongs to the Guadalhorce-El Torcal, area (13,616 hectares). In 1929, it was declared a Place of National Interest.

Flora
Tree species are those typically found in mountain areas, primarily maples, elders, gall oaks, hawthorns, blackthorns and small holm oaks. The undergrowth mainly consists of scrub such as Centaurea castellana, thyme, a species of shrub known as candilera, ivy, bracken, moss, peony and irises. Also present are a number of endemic species: elms, wild blackberries and wild grapevines (on the edges of the stream).

Fauna
A wide variety of animal life, notably the rabbit, fox, wild cat and weasel as well as some Spanish goats. Vultures, falcons, eagles, sparrow hawks.

SIERRA DE LAS NIEVES

Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park (Parque Natural Sierra de las Nieves) is located at the heart of the natural Serrania de Ronda region, in the province of Malaga. This mountainous area is punctuated by deep ravines and spectacular cliffs, such as La Caina, with a drop of over 100 metres. Furthermore, the limestone nature of the earth has created a number of potholes, such as the G.E.S.M., the world's third deepest at 1,100 metres The highest peak is Torrecilla (1,919 metres) in the Sierra Blanca de Tolox. Its greatest treasure are its conifer forests dating back to the tertiary period, featuring the Spanish fir, the most unusual species of fir in the world.Its relief is extremely rugged, with the deep ravines, high cliffs and gorges characteristic of Alpine folding.

Flora
In the mountain peaks, where precipitation and fog are common, large numbers of gall oaks and Spanish firs are to be found. At lower altitudes the holm oak and cork oak thrive. There are also small collections of madronnos, chestnut trees, yews, maples and ashes.

Fauna
The area is home to one of Andalusia's largest communities of mountain goat, one of only two wild species of large hoofed mammal native to the Park, the other being the deer. Other species such as the stag and mountain ox have been brought in, the Park providing them with an excellent habitat. Also to be found here are certain animal species protected by law, such as the wild cat, golden eagle and otter, the latter having practically disappeared from the River Verde. The Pecho Venus Centre for the Recuperation of Protected Species in Tolox cares for animals which have been harmed.