lunes, 29 de diciembre de 2014

Montes de Málaga

The characteristic forests of Aleppo pine in the Montes de Málaga Nature Park act as protection for the soil. Without them, rain would wash away large sections and cause floods. This is exactly what happened time and again from the 15th century through to less than a century ago, as a result of the felling of old woodland to make way for vine, olive and almond cultivation.

This park is easily accessible and close to the coastal and mountain towns and villages that surround it. It is considered as the green lung of nearby areas - visitors have a perfect place to rest and relax in its recreation areas. Other people prefer activities related with environmental education that take place at the Las Contadoras nature workshop.

It is also perfect for hiking. At rainy times of year, for example, there are beautiful waterfalls like Picapedreros to see. Trails such as Torrijos will lead you along its cool stream and riverine forest, to discover the remains of cultivations and constructions that belie the region's wine-producing past. Cultivation of the vine was responsible for sweet, semi-sweet and dry wines that were gradually lost as the result of successive diseases. Some of these traditional buildings comprised the home, the press where the grapes were trodden, olive oil presses and bread ovens, all in the same location. Torrijos Press is an example of this type of architecture and is now home to the Eco-museum of the same name, where you can find out about these activities in more detail.

Meanwhile, itineraries such as Pocopan will show you the local vegetation, mainly comprising re-planted pine woods. With a bit of luck you may see squirrels, but you will have to be more attentive to see the stealthy, well camouflaged chameleon. Along the route the pine trees are gradually replaced by holm oaks, Portuguese oaks and cork trees.

This nature park is also attractive for the beautiful views of the capital of the Costa del Sol (Malaga) and of other mountain ranges in the province. A good place to enjoy these views is the Cochino Viewpoint, where, with the help of some binoculars, you will be able to see the elegant flight of birds of prey such as booted and short-toed eagles.

At the end of your day you can sample the famous wines produced in these mountains in roadside bars, or even during the Verdiales fiestas. These are the traditional, colourful dances customary on the feasts of San Juan, Santiago and on 28 December.

Other recommended visits associated with the park are the villages of Colmenar and Casabermeja, where you will enjoy Mediterranean architecture and monuments, which include Casabermeja's unique cemetery, a designated Historic-Artistic Monument, built with traditional architecture. 

Price per person: 150 € (4 people) 100€ (6 people)
The price includes:
- Offset from meeting point
- Typical dishes in typical place
- Travel Insurance
- Expert guide

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