From the depths to the summit: the infinite contrast
24 de May 2023

Declared a National Park at the end of June 2021, Sierra de las Nieves exhibits a universe of contrasts that conceals the most complex labyrinth of caves and galleries in Andalusia.


Sierra de las Nieves


Located in the heart of the province of Malaga, Sierra de las Nieves National Park is an exceptional space of great scenic value and infinite contrasts. It has peaks at an altitude of almost 2,000 m, together with the deepest chasm in Andalusia - GESM - at 1,101 m deep. Its relief is a clear example of a karst system and conceals one of the most complex labyrinths of caves and galleries in the whole region. 


Sierra de las Nieves


Diverse ecosystems embrace each other in this paradise for mountain and speleology lovers, where the unique climatic conditions place special emphasis on an environment in which ten of the twenty-seven natural terrestrial systems required by the National Parks Act come together.


Sierra de las Nieves


Botanically rich, with up to 1,500 types of plants, the main protagonist is the Spanish fir, a Mediterranean fir, a relic of the peninsula's glacial era, which extends over 2,000 ha, the largest area in the world.


Sierra de las Nieves


And accompanying the descent are holm oaks, cork oaks, carob and chestnut trees that provide shelter for the mountain goat, an emblematic animal, and a multitude of bird species, including the golden eagle, Bonelli's eagle, eagle owl, goshawk and sparrowhawk. Other species of interest, such as the roe deer or the otter, find shelter in the water of its rivers.


Sierra de las Nieves


The whole area is dotted with singular white villages that have maintained their identity, with a rich historical heritage and an inviting traditional cuisine. A paradise that can be discovered with a multitude of routes on foot, on horseback or by bicycle and which was recognised by the Senate last June as a national park, the third in Andalusia. The declaration highlights the importance of municipalities such as El Burgo, Yunquera, Tolox, Monda, Istán, Benahavís, Parauta and Ronda, as well as the outlying areas of Alozaina, Casarabonela, Guaro, Igualeja, Ojén and Serrato.


Sierra de las Nieves


The Sierra de las Nieves is home to Pico Torrecilla, the highest peak in the province. The ascent is marked by a surprising diversity of landscapes. The first steps start in an area of pine woods that gives way to the limestone rocks scattered along the path in the second part. Soon the cliffs of the ravines and the enclosed mountains where the prehistoric Spanish fir trees grow come into view.


Sierra de las Nieves


In a territory subject to the whims of the Mediterranean winds, the Spanish firs are the true protagonists of the Sierra de las Nieves. The conical shape of these giants rises up in the darkness, taking root in shady areas above 1,300 metres and below 1,600 metres, in the so-called Cañada del Cuerno.



The best way to explore the Sierra de las Nieves is to put on your boots and start walking. The routes on foot are of little difficulty and extraordinary beauty.

Benahavís- Acequia de Las Angosturas: circular route of approximately five kilometres. With a low level of difficulty it is perfect for children.

Puerto Saucillo- Puerto Bellina: the Spanish fir is the highlight of this circular route that links Puerto Saucillo to Puerto Bellina. It is four kilometres long and runs through pine, chestnut and cedar woods, which are home to a rich native fauna where mountain goats take centre stage.


Sierra de las Nieves


Juanar- El Pozuelo: a circular route of almost six kilometres through various ecosystems. It starts in Ojén and is recommended for clear days because of the numerous panoramic views along the route.

El Burgo- La Fuensanta: this starts in El Burgo and runs for five kilometres with a low level of difficulty. At the end of the path, in La Fuensanta, an old mill offers a good place to rest after passing remarkable hundred-year-old olive trees.




There is no better way of exploring Sierra de las Nieves than staying at the Parador de Ronda, located in the centre of the city in the former Town Hall with unique views over the Tajo. It has two restaurants, one with Andalusian and Mediterranean cuisine and the other called "El Manzel de Ronda" with a cuisine closely identified with the regions of Malaga, informal and for sharing and based on traditional products. A unique setting surrounded by a superb environment.


Parador de Ronda


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Texto: María Fernández.

Fotos: Junta de Andalucía. Paradores de Turismo.