The central Mountains of Southern Spain, generally called Serranias or Sierras, were united in its origins with Morocco’s Rif Mountains. That was a long time before the Straights of Gibraltar were created by the earth telluric forces. Today one can still observe the traces of that period, mostly in the nature of the terrain and of course in some vegetal species which can only be found in the extreme South of the Iberian Peninsula and North of Morocco. The most notable of this species is the so-called Pinsapo or Abies Pinsapo, also called Spanish fir. Locals from the Ronda region call “Pinsapar” a forest of Pinsapos. Its radially arranged and short needles can quickly identify this tree. Another interesting detail is that the Pinsapo tree is considered as a botanic gem as a result of the fact that it represents one of the very few relics of the tertiary period forests.
The Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park is one of the 82 natural reserves of the region of Andalusia. It is part of the Mountains which can be observed from the beautiful city of Ronda, the true capital of Andalusian traditions. With an altitude of 1.654m above sea level, this park is before all, with 53.500 hectares, a fantastic ecological reserve, and a very important protection zone for birds, hosting what many experts consider In this area we may find one of the largest nesting communities of tawny vultures in Europe. We also can admire various species of eagles flying in the sky. As mammals, large colonies of genets, wild boars and stags can be found.
The villages are all part of the white villages route and among the most interesting not only for their beauty but also for the survival of true artisanal productions of cheese based on indigenous cattle races. The most relevant are Grazalema, with its extraordinary miradors over the Mountains, Villanueva del Rosario, where the worldwide famous Payoyo cheese was created and Benaocaz, a genuinely charming Mountain village perfect for country retreats.
The Pinsapar Hiking:
This track is not usually open to the public, so you always need a special pass or being escorted by licensed guides from the Park.
This track goes through the Pinsapo forest situated in the slope of a mountain with very high rainfall, one of the highest of all the Iberian Peninsula. On the top of this mountain is the Puerto de las Cumbres Port, with stunning views over the Ronda region and all its Mountains. You will also admire the highest Mountain of the Cadiz region called El Torreon.
The Pinsapo forest is quite a natural wonder with its extreme density of vegetation allowing only a small quantity of light to penetrate. To experience this festival of colors, in the heart of this prehistoric woodland, always makes a profound impact. These forests were very numerous in the third earth formation period and are a real memory of the global history.
Following the initial track, we will finally arrive at the small and charming village of Benamahoma with typical small taverns where to eat some excellent tapas and discover the incredible cheeses of the area.
This hiking activity is part of the adventure package that Terra Traditions presents in all the Iberian Peninsula and especially in the South where climatic conditions allow the practice of sports, different kinds of active tourism, and in-depth explorations all over the year: Hiking, speleology, deserts SUV exploration, canyoning, etc.
Have a look at our full range of art, food and wine, lifestyle, and private walking tours in Spain, or if you already have something in your mind, and you are itching to start planning your next luxury trip in Spain and Portugal, contact us some initial info and we’ll get back to the get the ball running.