Sierra Crestellina Natural Area

Sierra Crestellina Natural Area

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.

It is easily accessible from the coastal N340, by taking the A377 road north to Manilva and then towards Gaucín. Either take the right turn-off on to the MA546 to Casares or continue on towards Gaucín, where you can view the Sierra Crestellina to your right, just after the Casares turn-off.

There is a diverse vegetation, made up mainly of Mediterranean vegetation with its characteristic plants of rockroses, cistus scrub and retama. Dwarf fan palms, carob trees and cork trees are also here. On its eastern flank, close to the Sierra Bermeja Natural Area, are woodlands of cork, gall and holm oak. The landscape is more barren on the upper slopes, but there are many endemic species, like holm oaks and wild olive trees. Shrubs here include gorse, hawthorn and blackberry bushes.

This is a good site for seeing a variety of raptors, with an important colony of Griffon vultures at the northern end, as well as Bonnelli's eagles, common kestrels, peregrine falcons, Egyptian vultures and little owls. Other birds are crag martins, red-billed choughs and blackcap, Sardinian and Dartford warblers. The most common mammal is the Egyptian Mongoose.

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