SIERRA DE LAS NIEVES - Things to see
|Mountain biker checking out the routes on his GPS|
La Fuenfria. 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. A ruined farmhouse reminds us of its prior importance. There is also evidence of mine workings nearby. The place is popular with birders.
Fuenfria first became a known strategic staging post, before the conquest of Ronda in 1485. The Catholic King established a temporary general headquarters at this spot, having come up the road from the coast, before he moved on to besiege the city.
Later in September 1570, the Duque de Arcos established his forward camp in the same area, before he moved into the Genal Alto to suppress the Morisco rebel villages.
Even today the ruins of the Civil Guard building can be seen at the highest part of the deserted community. Until the bandit Flores Arrocha met his death in 1932 further down the track towards Benahavis, he used to stalk this road as it was the main highway. Therefore, the Guardia Civil kept a constant presence on the road with various staging posts.
Knowing that this was an important gateway in and out of the mountains, the Moors must have settled in this valley and some key lookout tower must be near by. When entering Fuenfria Bajo after a walk of two kilometres, a line of poorer deserted homesteads can be seen. A climb of one kilometre to Fuenfria Alto reaches the main Cortijo, the Guardia Civil post and one or two outlying rural ruins.
An old trackway leads from this area down to the main highway, just a kilometre north of the Rilke Monument. From here, the old road led down into the valley and on to Igualeja passing a marble quarry on route, before the change of landscape back to forest and reddish soil.
A recreation area a Casa Forestal and an excellent point to start one of the many lengthier walks in the park.
Puerto de las Gondrines
There is not actually much to see here but this is the 'Crewe Junction' of the park. Roads go to Monda and Istan, to Ronda - San Pedro entrance, and another two lead back to Tolox.
A camping and recreation area. Cross the little bridge and explore the grounds of the old Fuensanta Cortijo in the woods. Now abandoned.