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Sierra de las Nieves National Park

 

© Michelle Chaplow Snow on the Sierra de las Nieves
Snow on the Sierra de las Nieves

Sierra de las Nieves

The Sierra de las Nieves National Park is located in the hills behind Marbella and to the east of the Ronda-Marbella road as it winds up the mountain along hairpin bends. The park centres on Mount Torrecilla (1909m) and covers an area of 30km by 20km or 18,530 hectares. The Sierra de las Nieves, formerly a natural park, was declared a National Park in January 2021 and formalised in May 2021.

 

 

The district of the Sierra de las Nieves is bounded to the south by the western Costa del Sol, to the east by the Guadalhorce Valley, to the west by the Sierra of Ronda and to the north by the district of Guadalteba.

Apart from a few villages, which form a rural mountain community, this isolated area is largely uninhabited, and has seen very little human influence or activity, such as agricultural cultivation. For this reason, it has an unusually rich variety of indigenous flora (pine, fir, ash, chestnut, wild olive and oak trees, as well as juniper) and fauna, including mountain goat and muflon. As the name suggests, the park is sometimes snow-covered in winter.

The area was studied in the 19th century by Swiss botanist Edmond Boissier and in 1933 by Spanish botanist Luis Ceballos. In 1970 the park was declared a National Hunting Reserve, and in 1995 a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Activities available including mountain climbing and horse-riding.

There are several organized campsites with full facilities near the park: Camping Municipal Conejeros in Parauta and Camping Municipal in Yunquera.

There is very little accommodation within the park itself, and camping is not permitted in the summer. The mountain villages situated around the park offer various places to stay.

A challenging walk leaves from the recreation area Los Quejigales up to Puerta de los Pilones (the large antenna) and from there up to summit of Torrecillo or along the ridge to Cerro Alto and… More →

The following villages surround the park, and all offer accommodation. They are spectacularly situated, with mountain backdrops, and are largely unspoiled due to their rural location. The villages… More →

Fuenfria is 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… More →

Leaving Tolox, follow the signs for the balneario (spa). After 1km you come to a small car park and kiosk, and a recreation area where you can observe the Rio Cabillos loop around and descend 100… More →

In La Sierra de las Nieves the there are some beautiful rivers such as Rio Verde, Rio Guadalevín, Rio Turón and Rio Grande.

With a relatively high level of rainfall and a reasonable altitude, there is a good coverage of vegetation and trees. The higher and wetter parts offer a range of trees and bushes of all colours,… More →

The animals found in the park are those typical of southern Spain. The park has one of the largest populations of mountain goat in Andalucia, together with the doe deer or corzo. Other species… More →

There are several organized campsites with full facilities near the park.

The easiest way to enter the park is from the A376 San Pedro to Ronda Road, (36.660750, -5.09944). There is a reasonably surfaced road that extends about 10km to Quejigales recreation zone. The… More →

Music Video

Entertaining and upbeat music video of Northern Soul Girl Levanna dancing dancing Northern Soul on a clear day in the Sierra de las Nieves

Song: Margie Joseph - I Can't Move No Mountains 

Walking guide books by Guy Hunter Watts

Buy walking guide books by Guy Hunter Watts

"Walking in Andalucia" by Guy Hunter Watts

Cicerone Walking in Andalucía is a 260 page full colour guide to some of the very best walks in southern Spain, taking the walker on 34 routes - all starting and most finishing in beautiful villages - in the Natural Parks of Grazalema, La Alpujarra, Cazorla, Los Alcornocales, Aracena, and La Axarquia. Many of the full and half day walks are virtually unknown even though they are a short drive from the Costa del Sol. Even though more and more people are beginning to walk Spain's southern sierras, most of the routes remain blissfully undiscovered. Guy says, 'If you decide to head for the hills with my guide you can be sure of two things: you will be walking through areas of great natural beauty and you will meet with other walkers.'  
Buy a printed or eBook copy online direct from publishers Walking in Andalucia.

 

"Coastal walks in Andalucia" by Guy Hunter Watts

Coastal walks  in Andalucia 45 great coastal walks close to Andalucia's Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts. Discover the best hiking trails close to Vejer, Caños de Meca, Conil, Tarifa, Bolonia, Gibraltar, Casares, Estepona, Marbella, Istán, Mijas, Benalmádena, Alhaurín, Cómpeta, Fuengirola, Nerja, Maro and Almuñecar. Talk to most people about the coast of Andalucía and they’ll picture the small swathe of seaboard that runs from Torremolinos to Estepona, the heartland of what is commonly sold as the Costa del Sol. First associations are of crowded beaches, busy coastal roads and blocks of holiday apartments. Few amongst them will conjure up visions of the mighty chain of mountains, the tail end of the Sierra Subbética, which rises up a few kilometres back from the sea. Nor do they tend to evoke the wilder beaches of the Costa de la Luz or the footpaths that run just a few metres from the Atlantic surf.
Buy a printed or eBook copy online direct from publishers Coastal Walks in Andalucia.

 

"The Andalucian coast to coast walk " by Guy Hunter Watts

coast to coast walk A stunning 21 day, 435 kilometre trail that links the Mediterranean with the Atlantic. The walk passes through six of Andalucia's Natural Parks and protected areas via its most beautiful mountain villages. Far more than a long walk, this on-foot odyssey can lead you to the heart of southern Spain's magnificent sierras and on a life-changing journey of discovery. One of the best things about the simple act of walking is the sense of reconnecting with Nature and the Big Wide World. We've been moving around on two feet for a very long time yet still, in the simple act of putting one foot in front of the next and moving across landscape, it seems that we reassert our identity. Day to day worries fall into insignificance, or rather true significance, when we get out into the mountains and walking is about a lot more than taking exercise.
Buy a printed or eBook copy online direct from publishers The Andalucian Coast-to-coast Walk.

 

"Walking the Mountains of Ronda and Grazalema" by Guy Hunter Watts

Cicerone The dramatically situated town of Ronda can make a great base for a walking holiday in the mountains of Andalucía, as can any one of the picturesque 'pueblos blancos' (white villages) that nestle among the surrounding hills. This guidebook presents 32 mainly circular walks in the Ronda region, covering the town and its environs, the Natural Parks of La Sierra de Grazalema and La Sierra de las Nieves (both UNESCO biosphere reserves), and the Genal and Guadiaro Valleys. Clear route description is illustrated with mapping, and the route summary table and 'at a glance' information boxes make it easy to choose the right walk.
Buy a printed or eBook copy online direct from publishers Walking the Mountains of Ronda and Grazalema.

 

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