The Costa del Sol is famous for its gorgeous Mediterranean coastline, temperate climate, delicious cuisine and relaxed lifestyle, among other things. What may be less obvious to those who haven’t delved further into the delights of this Andalucian region is that if you can pull yourself away from the coast for a day or two, the interior also has a whole lot to offer.
Andalucia beckons to the wanderer with landscapes nothing short of exceptional, so if you’re in the area with time to kill, it would be remiss of you not to broaden your horizons! Once you’re done on the beaches, explore the stunning Spanish ecology for some unforgettable experiences. Andalucia contains national and nature parks, as well as reserves and mountain ranges that are well worth your time.
Many of these unique areas are protected because they are considered to be of such high ecological value. Here are some of the best we know of:
The Sierra Nevada Mountain Range
The Sierra Nevada mountain range is the second highest mountain range in Europe and can be found a small way from the city of Granada. It is also classified as a national park and biosphere reserve. This mountain range has the highest peak in the country; you can see Africa from it when skies are clear.
It is also home to a very attractive ski resort, which you can attend from November. Until then, there are many other activities you can take part in this region, from hiking, climbing and orienteering to mountain biking, horse riding and paragliding.
While you’re there, it would be a shame to miss out on the Alpujarras mountain range which is located in the of foothills of the Sierra Nevada. This range is also a popular hiking spot; it is incredibly picturesque and with it’s various and tiny mountain communities, it exudes charm while giving you the feeling that you’ve wandered into a place untarnished by time.
Montes de Malaga
The Montes de Malaga Natural Park is very close to Malaga itself, so is easily accessible from Marbella. Here you can find beautiful forests full of Aleppo pine trees, which were planted around the start of the twentieth century in a bid to halt damaging floods caused by deforestation. Now, this breath-taking natural park is home to around four hundred species of plants; the flora and fauna here are simply spectacular.
Make your way to the Cochino Viewpoint for jaw-dropping views of the Sunshine Coast. People come here in the hope of spotting some of the eagles that soar over this lush natural park.
Montes de Malaga has a background is producing quality wines, as well as olives and bread. The traditional buildings here give clues to these historical productions, as within them you can still find much of the machinery used to harvest and process them. While you are here, check out the charming villages of Casabermeja and Colmenar, which both consist of stunning architecture.
Doñana National Park
Another unmissable Andalucian national park is Doñana, which is a UNESCO Heritage site and one of the most highly valued parks in the whole of Europe. It contains sand dunes, brushwood and salt marshes. Located in the area of the Guadalquivir River delta, this bio diverse land is loved by many. As it is protected, access is limited; you will need to book a tour ahead of your visit in order to experience its many wonders.
It is a nature reserve that attracts an abundance of birds from Europe and Africa, including rare types of eagle and some other birds that are in danger of extinction. You may also see boar, deer, mongoose and if you’re lucky, even the beautiful Iberian lynx.
El Torcal de Antequera
Another mountain range that should be on your radar when you’re in the Costa del Sol is Sierra de Torcal. This captivating land boasts limestone rock formations that will leave a mark on the memories of all who behold them.
To look upon these is to feel transported to another dimension! Kids will love to play games here, spotting animals and other shapes in the rock formations. You may see some real animals too, as goats, snakes and lizards tend to frequent the area! Don’t worry – the snakes are not poisonous!
Exploring some of the limestone caves here is a must – although you won’t be able to enter them all, some must be seen to be believed: the Cueva del Toro is one such sight not to be missed. As well as the impressive rocks, there are some beautiful expressions of nature here in the form of brightly coloured flowers. Expect eye-catching orchids, peonies and Nazarenes aplenty.
The four national parks we have listed are only a handful of many, so if you’re planning to spend much more time in or around the Costa del Sol, you will have no shortage of amazing trips to make. For many visitors, the holiday actually becomes the life… and life really should be a holiday!
If you’re in agreement, step one would be to browse the wonderful properties on Spain’s Costa del Sol. If you love the city life and just want to get away to the national parks on occasion, check out the properties for sale in Marbella first. We’re betting you won’t regret it!