4,900 acres make up the stunning Montes de Malaga mountain range. The mountains around Malaga span a total of 15 kilometres as they dyne from west to east. This mountainous area has an average amount of topographical variation, with an elevation range of 97–1031 meters above sea level.
It is advisable to proceed cautiously when descending the southern massif of the park's steep slopes into the Guadalmedina River valley because this is the point at which the likelihood of being detected starts to decrease. This area has a thick forest since it receives about 500 millimetres of precipitation yearly.
On July 18, 1989, the land was designated as a park after it was deemed worthy of protection. Parts of the cities of Casabermeya, Colmenar, and Malaga are located inside its borders. About 15 kilometres north of Malaga, on the other bank of the Guadalmedina River, is where you'll find the park. The Vacas, Chapters, Humana, Files, Hondo rivers, and four other river basins all drain into the Guadalmedina River inside the park's boundaries. The primary goal in establishing the park was to facilitate the regeneration of Mediterranean woods that had been degraded by 100 years of agricultural activity. More than 150 kilometres of forest roads are in the park, 45 of which are accessible to vehicles.
Montes de Malaga Flora
The centre of the park's Montes de Malaga highlands rises at 100 to 1100 m above sea level, comprising central mountain slopes. Due to its closeness to the Mediterranean Sea, the park has a wide range of microclimates, with temperatures and humidity varying depending on its topography. Because of restoration work made in the first half of the 20th century, pine woods now cover most of the park's land area. However, even pine woods vary from one another, and these differences become more pronounced as one moves upwards in elevation or travels to various parts of the park. The two locations' distinct soil and climate conditions account for the variation. The park's northern half is characterized by mixed deciduous woods, where you can observe oaks, cork oaks, and Mediterranean trees that populated this region before the soil balance was altered.
The unique Aleppo pine grows in the park, towering above other trees. The forest undergrowth is represented mainly by mastic and strawberry trees. The famous Kermes oak and other shrubs are also typical of the Mediterranean coastal mountains. In addition, you can see entire alleys of exotic Monterey and Spanish pines. The lower border of the park is already represented by olive and almond trees, as well as preserved vineyards, which are used to make the famous Malaga sherry wine.
Montes de Malaga Fauna
The park is home to unusual animal species. One of the threatened species protected here is the chameleon. Since this park is one of the few locations in Spain where the chameleon's native environment has been preserved, the chameleon population is prospering. There may also be weasels, martens, deer, lynxes, and ferrets in this region. Eagles, vultures, buzzards, hawks, owls, eagle owls, and other sizable nocturnal birds of prey can be seen in the park. Flying between the surrounding peaks of the park may reveal brave birds.
In terms of fauna and mammals, the park is also home to small carnivores typical of the area, such as foxes, badgers, and ermines. However, the largest species living in the park is the wild boar, which you can even watch with binoculars during the tour.
Montes de Malaga History
Following their conquest of Andalusia in 1487, the Catholic Monarchs gained control of this region around the end of the 15th century. The dispersal of this mountain range's territory among the Malaga independence war winners resulted in the eradication of Mediterranean forest crops favouring vineyards, olive groves, and almond trees. The necessity of achieving greater economic efficiency in this Andalusian area served as justification for this intervention. However, beginning at that time, the city began to experience catastrophic flooding, which almost destroyed Malaga every year. They caused so much damage that the kings issued orders requiring them to clean the Guadalmedina River's mouth whenever it rained. Due to them, vineyards started to experience illnesses around the end of the 19th century, which ultimately caused the mountain range's territory to significantly shrink.
Currently, winemaking is minimal here, and only the Lagar de Torrijos wine museum reminds us of the park. The remaining few vineyards perform a demonstrative function during excursions to show the process of obtaining Montes wine as a small excursion into the history of winemaking. After the emergence of new technologies for flood control, the construction of a dam began in the mountain range, and consistent reforestation started in the 1930s. All these actions subsequently led to the decision to declare this mountain range a park.
Historically, vine-growing in this region paved the way for viticulture to flourish in Malaga Province. This resulted in economic growth in the Andalusian area, which led to the developing of other service sectors connected to winemaking, such as the coopering trade.
San Juan and Santiago Day, observed on December 28, are traditional winemaking holidays, and the Park serves as a venue for these events. You may see the spectacular "Verdiales" dance, which has been practised for centuries, as part of their presentation. Because of its proximity to the city, Park has become a "light" city and entertainment destination for Malaga residents.
Several Montes de Malaga park hiking trails will take you to exciting and remote locations. The magnificent water slowly wears the ridge's stone throughout the rainy season. A walk around the park will allow tourists to experience the coolness of the running water, ponder the strength of the waterfalls, and see the forest and the ruins of structures that have preserved the history of winemaking for millennia. Malaga province's famed sweet, dry, and semi-sweet wine all originated in these mountains, now a park. The museum is in a park and serves as a showcase for Malaga's architectural style while educating visitors about these famous wines. Pine trees are one of the park's most valuable assets. Squirrels will dart through the underbrush during the walk, and if you look hard, you can even spot chameleons that have adapted to their surroundings. You may take in the spellbinding, graceful flight of birds of prey from this vantage point with binoculars. Each guest will get the opportunity to sample some of Malaga's world-renowned vintages at the end of the trip.
At the entrance to Montes de Malaga park, there is a royal spring and a cerrado, and there are two tent camps where you can stay. Here, in small shops, you can buy traditional sausages and doughnuts accompanied by local wine. The protected area of the park has two playgrounds and a campsite. There is even a sketch in the park where pilgrimages are made. The park is an ideal recreational area for the whole family. Here activities are carried out on environmental education in the form of hiking. Montes de Málaga Park is the perfect place to feel close contact with nature. More than 15,000 people visit it every year.
While wandering through Montes de Malaga Park, look at some of the unique species and peculiar natural features Spain is renowned for in the surrounding cities of Casabermeya and Colmenar.