El Torcal Park Nature Reserve

Sierras Subbéticas Natural Park
 

Overview
The El Torcal Park Nature Reserve is famous for its’ remarkable limestone rock formations. It can be found approximately 30 km north of Málaga city.  Wind and rain have shaped the limestone, which over time have produced beautiful and unique shapes.
 
Walking
The reserve has three walking routes which are clearly denoted by coloured markers (green, yellow and red – green the easiest and red the most difficult).

The yellow route is noteworthy as it takes you to "Las Ventanillas" The Windows at around 1.200 m. There you are rewarded with panoramic views of the valley of Málaga.  The red route culminates with views from 1.339m which allows you to see the whole of El Torcal Park and the Africa Coastline.

Geology
Many thousands of years ago the area was once under the sea.  When the sea receded its compacted limestone deposits stayed horizontal and have been gradually eroded by wind and rain leaving impressive shapes and underground caves.  One particular cave of importance is the Cueva del Toro (Cave of the Bull), this is due to the Neolithic artefacts found there.

Animals/Birds
There are many species of reptiles found here; these include the Montpelier Snake and Eyed Lizard, both endemic to El Torcal. Griffon vultures, eagles, falcons and owls are also resident here.  As well as mountain goats, wild cats and Iberian foxes.

Plants
El Torcal supports an impressive array of wildflowers including lilies, nazarenes, red peonies, wild rose trees and thirty varieties of orchid. Almond, chapparal, carob, oak, hawthorn, maple and olive trees, with climbing plants, countless berry bushes and succulents, with 14 types of wild peonies, gladiolis, and iris.

 

 
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