Sierras of Tejeda, Almijara and Almara Natural Park

Sierras of Tejeda, Almijara and Almara Natural Park
 

Overview
The Sierras of Tejeda, Almijara and Almara Natural Park are a large and mountainous region which stretches across the provincial border of Granada and Malaga. It covers over 40,000 hectares and reaches a height of over 2,000m (La Maroma, at 2,080m is the highest peak).  From the peak of Tejeda which is 2,065 meters above sea level it is possible to see spectacular views of the Mediterranean coast.

One particular area in the west of Malaga is well known for its beautiful villages which have Moorish origin, this area is called Axarquía. The Natural Park is a great place for walking and climbers alike. The park is situated between the Sierra Nevada National Park and the Montes de Malaga Natural Park.

Walking
The park has a total of 13 signposted walks which range from challenging mountain peak linear walks to easier circular ones. The Sendero El Robledal to La Maroma is one of the most well known. This challenging walk takes you up to the peak of La Maroma. The ascent is around 1,000m and is approximately 8.5km in length. In winter the peak is snow covered and for some of the chasms untouched by sunlight they remain filled with snow all year round. The walker is rewarded with fantastic panoramic views at the top.

The region called Axarquía is also a very popular place for walkers. There are many companies who have setup to give guided tours around these beautiful villages.

 

Sightseeing
The limestone rocks of the mountains have been eroded over many millions of years to leave behind numerous caves. The most famous being those at Nerja. Others are found near the sierras' highest peak, at La Sima de la Maroma, and close to the village of Canillas de Aceituno.

Geology
The Sierra Almijara has a characteristic landscape of grey and white. This is due to the dolomitic marble being broken down into small stones in some areas. The predominant rock in Sierra Tejeda is limestone which like the marble has been eroded over thousands of years, but has left the area with steep gorges and cliff faces. The decomposition of these rocks creates areas where pine forests form the most widespread ecosystems, consisting of Aleppo pine. In the higher areas and on north facing slopes it is possible to find oak trees and maples.

Animals/Birds
Like most of the mountainous areas of Andalusia, raptors are a common sight. These include golden eagle and Bonnelli's eagle, short-toed eagle and the booted eagle. Also found here are the peregrine falcon, the goshawk and the common kestrel. Examples of other birds found in the natural park are rock buntings, rock thrushes, woodpeckers, crag martins, golden orioles and grey wagtails. Mountain goats thrive in the area. There is an endemic species which was in danger of extinction only 100 years ago which has now increased in numbers.

Plants
The sierras provide an idea habitat for a rich variety of plants, many of which are rare and or endemic. Boxwood, wild olive trees, Phoenician juniper and joint pine are all common. The Sierras are home to a small section of yew woodland (one of the best preserved in Andulucia). The varying heights of the Sierras are ideal for supporting many different species of plants. These include Mediterranean woodland, dwarf fan palms, broom, maples, saxifrages, knapweeds and the obligatory herbs of Spain, thyme, oregano and rosemary.

 

 
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