Header Banner - Google Adsense

Serranía de Ronda

Serranía de Ronda

The Spanish fir, pinsapo in Spanish (abies pinsapo), is a rare tree most commonly found in the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park. The pinsapo de las Escaleretas is the oldest pinsapo on record at over 350 years old. Its dimensions are impressive: it is 26m high, with a trunk measuring 5m in its circumference and branches that cover an area of 200m².

The small protected area of the Sierra Crestellina, of 478ha, is a limestone ridge rising to 926m at its highest point. It stretches for 4km north-south, immediately north of the village of Casares.

Located in the southwest part of Malaga province, the Sierra Bermeja is a mountain range with an average height of 1,000m (its highest point being 1,450m), covering 1,236ha. It is an area that has undergone major volcanic activity; the rocks are rich in the olivine mineral. Rainwater has oxidised the iron and magnesium present in the rocks and the iron oxide has coloured the rock reddish-ginger, a hue that gives the sierra its name.

A quiet secluded spot ideal for a picnic, next to a natural spring and set in a clearing surrounded by forest. The spring has been capped and the water is collected and pumped to the local estates. There is an outlet for the general public to fill their water bottles.

The village of Benoajan is rightly famed for the caves which are well signposted around the area. South of the village of Benoaján heading towards Cortes de la Frontera, a side road leads off on the right, serving as a carpark.

The entrance of this cave can be seen from the railway as it heads north from the station two kilometres away. It's called the cave of the cat as its entrance is said to look like a cat's head. Perhaps it does, though the present authors failed to see it.

An Andalusian man without his horse is like a matador without a cape. He feels stripped of an essential part of his identity that has been formed over the centuries. It is part of his life, his work, his status, his culture, his earthly possessions... his horse is central to his very being.

There is no better way to get to know the Andalucians than through their many and fascinating traditional festivals. The local fiesta is the moment when every town and village strives to put on a splendid show, not only for themselves but also for those who come from afar to admire and enjoy.

Cycling is a popular sport in Andalucia and it is not uncommon to see groups of cyclists out enjoying a weekend morning together as they tour the countryside. Equally in the last few years the number of cyclists in the cities and towns has increased, and so has the km-s of cycle lanes. Seville being a prime example.

By its very nature, rowing is an inland waterway sport and is immensely popular along the River Guadalquivir, especially in Córdoba and Sevilla, where major international competitions and training camps are often held. It is mainly practised on straight, wide, flat (calm, smooth) stretches of water, hence the popularity of the Guadalquivir.

There can be few better ways to appreciate the sheer beauty of the Andalusian countryside than from a hot air balloon. Combine this bird's eye view with the tranquility and peace derived from being high above humanity - with just the clouds for company - and it is not difficult to see the appeal of the sport.

One of the latest trends in adventure sports, or more daring or unusual outdoor activities, is wild swimming (bañarse/nadar en plena naturaleza in Spanish). This means swimming in any water, though more usually freshwater rather than saltwater.

Those who find hiking not quite exciting enough, may like to try mountaineering, rock climbing or caving, all of which are popular in this part of Spain with a wealth of challenges and some of the best areas in Europe outside the Alps.

Mountain biking and cycling are viewed as both serious sports and a relaxing pastime in Andalucia. It is not unusual to be overtaken by a group of lycra-clad cyclists tackling the steep mountain roads, particularly at weekends.

The international circuit at Jerez has held the Spanish Formula 1 Grand Prix, at other times is used for testing and practice by the F1 teams. It hold the Spanish Motorbike Grand Prix each May. For full information about race dates and ticket information from the 'Circuito de Jerez'.

It was not by chance that Andalucia was chosen as the venue for the 2nd World Air Games in 2001. Indeed, with its excellent all-year-round climate and stunning scenery, it is surely one of the best places in the world to go "microlighting".