Flora, Fauna & Geology

 

There is more to see than you may first imagine!

We are really very lucky, and maybe a little blessed, to have such wonderful areas to walk in. Our predominantly limestone mountains, geologically very young, offer us a variation of walks that occasionally passes through small villages, with the unmissable chance of a cool drink and local tapa, or wandering through the olive groves on the lower slopes, and of course a scramble along the rocky ridges on our way to the summit, and the unforgettable views across to the African continent, and all of this in one of the best climates In Europe. And added to this is the seasonal flora and fauna.

flora1

Without a doubt walking in the Springtime is absolutely delightful; wild poppies that grow in fallow fields, delicate and pretty flowers that adorn the sides of our paths and sprout between the broken limestone rocks, and if we’re lucky maybe the chance to see one of just a few of the Bumblebee Orchids that grow in Andalucía. Our Central Limestone Arch and Moorish Hillfort walks are perfect for this. Outside of the months of Spring we are still treated to many deciduous trees that grow along the paths, and the pine trees higher up in the mountains, and of course thousands upon thousands of Olive trees!

 

vultures

And we shouldn’t forget the giants of the skies. We live on one the most important migratory routes for many species of birds, which includes raptors such as the Griffon Vulture, Egyptian Vulture, Bonelli’s Eagle & Black Kite. These majestic and beautiful birds can be seen soaring high above the mountains and the ridges that we may be walking on. A favourite spot for us stop and watch these glorious creatures is on the Arabic Steps Walk. As we reach the top of the Arabic Steps, and before we make our descent, it’s possible to stop a while and watch as they soar, sometimes directly in front of us, along the valley and circle towards the summit of La Huma. Somewhat smaller and decidedly more difficult to spot are other beautiful birds like the Hoopoe and the Bee-Eater. A pair of binoculars are a must, along with a good bird ID book or App!

fauna

Whereas the flora abounds in the Springtime, with still much to enjoy throughout the rest of the year, the Fauna can be more difficult to see. It can take many walks before you spot your first lone Chameleon, frozen on the branch of an olive tree, or see a Striped-neck Terrapin dashing for cover into a small pool of water, but this adds to the appreciation when you do finally get your first glimpse. More probable is that you’ll see the Southern Spanish Ibex (wild goat) on many of our walks, and these splendid creatures can offer quite a spectacle as they scale the near vertical rock walls. Our walk through the El Torcal Natural Park offers the best chance of seeing these, and when spotted atop a near impenetrable rock formation, they make for an unforgettable sight.

geology

The mountains themselves also hold their own surprises. Formed in the Jurassic period, and consisting of many layers of limestone, we have what is undoubtedly one of the important limestone karst landscapes in Europe. Designated a World Heritage Site, the EL Torcal Natural Park is a wonder, with such an amazing landscape of sculpted rock formations and the occasional fossilised Ammonite. Whereas the strata in El Torcal is predominantly horizontal, we need only travel a short distance westward to El Chorro to see how the twisting of the earth’s plates have pushed them through 90 degrees, and see that this allowed the formation of the El Chorro Gorge . Our walk above the Pass of Zafarraya also holds a mix of limestone karst and a glimpse into the heart of the Sierra de Loja.

"The walks each day differed from day before which added to the experience, being shown quaint villages to enjoy the sights, the food and coffee was most enjoyable."
Pamhibbs - Trip Advisor Review
Hiking Adventure
"The three walking days were excellent, well planned, varied, and a great introduction to the area"
Holidaymaker - Trip Advisor Review
Hiking Adventure
"Wonderful! Would go again in a minute!"
Granofnora - Trip Advisor Review
Hiking Adventure
"4 days hiking the Gran Senda De Malaga (GR 249) and one day to the base camp of El Chamizo! Awesome, a week that will live long in the memory."
Kings Head Coleford - Facebook Review
Hiking Adventure
"...... fantastic guide for our three days walking. Phil was very knowledgeable of the area, and very patient with us. Nothing was too much trouble.."
Anna L - Tripadvisor Review
Hiking Adventure
"Perfect for relaxation and great hiking trips and climbing routes in the Andalusian mountains."
Anna K - Tripadvisor Review
Hiking Adventure