National Parks and Nature Reserves
ANDALUSIA has two National Parks, the Donana in Cadiz Province and the Sierra Nevada in Granada Province, and 22 Nature Reserves. UNESCO declared both of the National Parks, along with the Sierra de las Nieves in Malaga, Sierra Grazalema, Cadiz, Cabo do Gata, Almeria, Marismas del Odiel, Huelva and Sierra de Cazorla, Segura y Las Villas, Jaen, Biosphere Reserves.
High in the SIERRA DE LAS NIEVES is the historic hotel, Refuge de Juanar. Built on the foundations of a hunting palace originally owned by the wealthy LARIOS family and was a favourite retreat of King Alfonso XIII. The area is still very much a hunting reserve where Ibex, wildcats and eagles.
The SIERRA DE LAS NIEVES stretches from EL Burgo in the north to ISTAN in the south and is one of Malaga’s provinces most important national parks. One of the most distinctive peaks in the Sierra Blanca range named “La Concha”, the shell is reputed to “howl” when the wind comes from Africa.
CORDOBA PROVINCE - PARQUE NATURAL SIERRA DE CARDENA-MONTORO is a Mediterranean forest of oak, evergreens and pasture, where you might catch sight of lynx, wolves, otters, big game and Royal and Imperial eagles.
PARQUE NATURAL SIERRA DE HORNACHUELOS located in the Cordoban part of the Sierra Morena and accessed from Posadas or Palma del Rio is a Mediterranean forest of cork oak, pastureland and evergreen washed by the Bembezez river, streams and dams.
There is plenty of WILDLIFE here and you are very likely to see LYNX, black storks, vultures and IMPERIAL EAGLES.
PARQUE NATURAL SIERRA SUBBETICA CORDOBESA situated in the Southern part of the Province is a rugged landscape with evergreens and a number of quaint towns like ZUHEROS and LUQUE.
A short distance from the town of ZUHEROS is the Cueva de los Murcielogos (Bat Cave) and the fascinating castle literally hanging on the hillside.
JAEN PROVINCE - PARQUE NATURAL DE CAZORLA, SEGURA Y LAS VILLAS has 214,000 hectares and here you will find mountain goat, red and fallow deer, mouflon (wild sheep) and wild boar.
The source of the mighty GUADALQUIVIR RIVER emerges as a creek in a wild rocky landscape and wild narcissus and CAZORLA violet are plentiful.
PARQUE NATURAL DE LA SIERRA DE ANDUJAR is smaller with only 60,800 hectares and is again a typical Mediterranean forest with groves of holm, cork and gall oak. There are plenty of golden eagles and you might have a chance sighting of LYNX or WOLF.
PARQUE NATURAL DE DESPENAPERROS is the smallest reserve in ANDALUSIA and is ruggedly beautiful with craggy landscapes. The narrow mountain pass is the only natural passageway between ANDALUSIA and the Castilian plateau and a regional road leads to Aldeaquemada and the waterfalls of LA CIMBARRA.
GRANADA PROVINCE - PARQUE NATURAL DE SIERRA NEVADA has the highest mountain peak in ANDALUSIA, the Mulhacen at 3,481 mts. The road goes up to the ski resort "SOL Y NIEVE" and the up to the Veleta peak, only accessible in the Summer and from here a dirt road descends to CAPILERIA in LAS ALPUJARRAS. The SIERRA NEVADA has been a National Hunting Reserve since 1966.
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