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Natural Parks in Andalusia

Montes of Malaga Natural Park Casabermeja Colmenar

Natural Parks in Andalusia

Montes of Malaga Natural Park – Casabermeja – Colmenar – Málaga

The Montes of Malaga Natural Park consists of a half-height mountain range that runs parallel to the Mediterranean coast, about 15 kilometres from it. The reforestation of pine trees that were in the river Guadalmedina basin to prevent flooding that Málaga had suffered for centuries, make this park a real covering space.

Its proximity to the ciudad de Málaga and its landscape interest, give a high value to the park as a place for alternative entertainment to the tourism in the Costa del Sol

It occupies a total of 4,996 hectares, being one of the smaller parks in Andalusia and located in the municipalities of Casabermeja, Colmenar and Málaga, with a population of approximately 600,000 inhabitants (including the city of Málaga).

Nowadays still survives the development of the “wine of the mountains”, which is not transported outside the region in order to maintain its quality, it provides an added interest to the Park.

The Parque Natural Montes de Málaga is an example of how the control of the nature forces, capable of producing major disasters, it should be done through the weapons that nature gives us. The origin of this Park is the hydrological-forestal repopulation of pines that took place in the basin of the river Guadalmedina to prevent flooding that Málaga has been suffering for several centuries.

Located to the north of the Ciudad de Málaga, 4,996 hectares cover most of the Guadalmina River basin on the left bank.

The reality of this space is closely linked to the settlement that has sustained since the XV century, when it was conquered by the Catholic Monarchs in 1487. The distribution of lands among the victors led to the replacement of forests by crops mainly Mediterranean vineyards, almond and olive trees, on the pretext of achieving better economic performance. It is from this point when they begin the serious flooding that ravaged the city of Málaga. They become so serious that several are the measures dictated by later kings to clean the mouth of Guadalmedina sediments.

With the development of new technology addresses the problem of overflowing of the river, building the dam hole and making successive afforestation from the thirties. These actions set up definitively the Natural Park.

The mid-altitude mountain range, with heights ranging between 100 and 1,100 metres or so, shows significant slopes. Moreover, its proximity to the Mediterranean Sea provides mild temperatures and high humidity, appreciating different microclimates depending on the height and location.

The further extension of the area is occupied by forests of Aleppo pine, the result of actions as discussed above. However, these stockings show marked differences in development, even in the same time by different climatic and soil conditions mentioned above.

In the north area we can observe Aleppo pines mixed with oaks, cork and oak, Mediterranean species which were abundant here before its degradation.

The interesting and well preserved fauna is appreciated first by the elements that are in danger of extinction, one of the few enclaves in which is located the chameleon. There also inhabit the polecat, weasel, bobcat, marten and wild boar.

Among the rapacious animals that with its majestic flight pass along the mountain peak we can observe driveways toed eagles, goshawks, buzzards and owls, the largest nocturnal bird.

There are several routes that can be performed in space and where it is possible to admire the beauty of it. There are two camping areas, in the Parque de Torrijos with an entrance through Fuente de la Reina, and in the Cerrado. They are also very abundant the “sales”, where you can taste the typical cold meats and donuts accompanied by the wines of the region. On the feast of San Juan and Santiago, as well as in the December 28, you can see the famous “Verdiales” typical dance of great tradition and beauty.

The cultivation of the vine brought prosperity to the area, creating industries associated with mining as coopers. In the late XIX century when the decline occurs crop was affected by the disease phylloxera, which attacks the grape. Currently this activity is marginal, performing in the park still traditionally the “pisa” in the wine press of Los Torrijos, as well as obtaining the wine known as “los montes”, with a purpose rather demonstrative and exposure.

The space offers natural resources such as timber, wood, cork, livestock, game species, etc.. However, its most representative function is closely related to its proximity to the town of Málaga, which has given rise to become a true heart of the city, using the population as a recreational area.

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