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Malaga Natural Parks
*SIERRA DE LAS NIEVES
Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park (Parque Natural Sierra de las Nieves) is located at the heart of the natural Serrania de Ronda region, in the province of Malaga. This mountainous area is punctuated by deep ravines and spectacular cliffs, such as La Caina, with a drop of over 100 metres. Furthermore, the limestone nature of the earth has created a number of potholes, such as the G.E.S.M., the world's third deepest at 1,100 metres The highest peak is Torrecilla (1,919 metres) in the Sierra Blanca de Tolox. Its greatest treasure are its conifer forests dating back to the tertiary period, featuring the Spanish fir, the most unusual species of fir in the world. Its relief is extremely rugged, with the deep ravines, high cliffs and gorges characteristic of Alpine folding.
This area, which form part of the limestone arc of the sub-Betic sierras, was granted the classification of Natural Park in 1989. There are almost 12 Km under protection, representing one of the most important karst landscapes in the whole of Europe. There are four geomorphologically distinct areas: Sierra Pelada, Torcal Alto, Torcal Bajo and Tajos and Laderas. Together they make up a genuine museum of natural sculptures, modelled by Nature over the centuries the result of the erosion of limestone rock that originated on the seabed during the Jurassic period, about 150 million years ago. Also the area is of indisputable botanical interest. It is sufficient to say that the area is home of more than 650 species of plant, representing almos 100 families.
*MONTES DE MALAGA
The park is rich in flora and fauna, with species of 400 plants, 90 birds, 27 mammals, 19 reptiles and eight amphibians being recorded here. Barely a few kilometres north of Malaga city, the Montes de Malaga Natural Park is a region of dense pine forest. It covers a gently rolling area of 4,996ha crossed by small valleys and water courses, fast flowing in winter, and waterfalls. Due to its proximity to Malaga, it is a popular weekend destination for malagueños. The park is dominated by Aleppo pines, which were planted in the Río Guadalmedina river basin by Malaga city council in a concerted reforestation campaign, from 1930 until 1950, in an attempt to prevent the disastrous flash floods that had plagued Malaga for centuries.
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