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Natural Parks in Andalusia

Sierra de Huetor Natural Park Granada

Natural Parks in Andalusia

Sierra de Huetor Natural Park Granada

In the centre of the province of Granada, and to the northeast of the capital we can find the Sierra de Huetor Natural Park, located between 1,100 and 1,900 metres altitude. It is formed by the municipalities of Cogollos Vega, Beas de Granada, Huétor Santillán, Víznar, Alfacar, Nívar and Diezma and occupies an area of 12,128 hectares with a group of hills where significant mountain elevations, narrow ravines, gorges, to pierce and streams, forming a complex relief due to the limestone terrain. This with the lush space configured beautiful scenery.

The different altitudes and changes in humidity and temperature determine the existence of different biotopes, where inhabit many plant and animal species. This together with its proximity to Granada makes this park a traditional enclave of leisure to the population.

Most of the land is covered by forest, although there are large areas where the most characteristic formation is the shrub, sometimes cushion-like and creeping due to altitude, and other forming thymes and gorses because of the degradation suffered the ground.

The forest consists mostly of pines, some natural, but most restocking. However we can observe large patches of oaks and, to a lesser extent, some galls and forests of oak and maple.

Such diversity of habitats host a variety of animals among which can mention: the wild goat and wild boar, and large mammals, foxes, genets, weasels, martens and wild cats as carnivores, and rabbits, voles, badgers and dormouse. Among the rapacious we have to mention golden eagles, goshawk, owls, hawks, booted eagle, little owls and tawny owls. Other birds to be highlighted are: the blackbird, the robin, mosquito nets, partridges, jaybirds, etc…

Among the reptiles we can find several species of small lizards, the ladder snake and the bastard, and the big-snouted viper.

The limestone nature of these mountains raises many karst formations, like the numerous caves among we have to mention the “Cueva del Agua”, of national fame. There are also abundant sources of water such as the famous “Fuente Grande” of Aldácar that along the ditch of “Aynadamar” carried water to Albaicín in Arab age. In the Park also born in the rivers Darro and Fardes.

The abusive use by man of natural resources in this area led to the degradation of natural vegetation mainly due to uncontrolled short, charcoal, overgrazing with fire for regeneration of pasture, etc… For the recovery of forests there were made repopulations with coniferous, species undemanding as to soil and well adapted to withstand the intense sunlight. For this, we currently have large masses of Corsican pine, pinus nigra, pinus sylvestris and Aleppo species.

The main resources of this area linked to the Sierra de Huetor Natural Park are wood, hunting, mushrooming, beekeeping and livestock use. But the main resource is the recreational use of mountain, being visited the Park for large public especially on weekends.

The different cultures that have populated the area have left traces of their passage. In the village of Cogollos Vega we can observe Arab baths in good condition, thus demonstrating the scope of Islamic civilization in the Kingdom of Granada. The palace of “El Cuzco” in Víznar has been declared a Historic-Artistic Site. From many points of the Sierra de Huetor Natural Park you can see magnificent views of Sierra Nevada.

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