Posted by: casaisabellaspainblog | September 9, 2012

self catering holiday accommodation for a walking holiday in Ronda Spain

After a very long hot summer , the temperature has finally dropped a few degrees but is still lovely and warm with clear blue skies the perfect time to have a walking holiday and explore the amazing area of the sierra de las nieves.

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Posted by: casaisabellaspainblog | October 15, 2011

Walking in the sierra de las nieves

There are more than 30 hiking trails in the Sierra de las Nieves park  for public use. These trails cover a wide variety of distances and difficulties so that you can choose the most suitable for you .We have a good selection of maps and information in the house.

There are many beautiful walks around and in the mountains of the sierras from the village of El Burgo,  where you can walk alongside the river Turron before ascending to the top of a beautiful central ridge between 2 valleys which give amazing views to both sides, if you are lucky you can see wild boar and goats. As the ridge ends you descend to the river once again and return to El Burgo past some wonderful dams and rock pools  surrounded by wild flowers in springtime.

 One of these is a challenging walk which takes you up to the summit of Torrecilla. This walk takes about 2 hours for the ascent and one hour for the return. Most of the way uses paths intended for  the park rangers. This means that the path is easy underfoot and it is not really possible to get lost. This walk is highly recommended.

 Another beautiful village in the park is Casarabonela.  After exploring this lovely Moorish village you climb through forests where bee eaters fly overhead and camomile and thyme grow at the side of the track. Once you reach a high track you have views all the way to the Mediterranean then walk to the village of Jorox past the cut faces of working marble quarries.

Yunquera is a 15 min drive from El burgo and takes you into the unique Pinsapo forest, the reason for the creation of the Natural Park. Begin by walking through grape and sweet chestnut and past ancient lime kilns, before entering the pine forest itself.

Posted by: casaisabellaspainblog | October 14, 2011

Sierra de las nieves malaga fauna & flora

The natural park Sierra de las Nieves starts in the hills behind Marbella and stretches up to Ronda. The park  centres on Mount Torrecilla (1909m) and covers an area of 30km by 20km or 18,530 hectares Apart from a few villages, which form a rural mountain community, this isolated area is largely uninhabited, and has seen very little human influence or activity, such as agricultural cultivation. For this reason, it has an unusually rich variety of indigenous flora (pine, fir, ash, chestnut, wild olive and oak trees, as well as juniper) and fauna, including mountain goat and muflon. As the name suggests, the park is sometimes snow-covered in winter, and in 1995 it was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Activities available including mountain climbing and horse-riding and of course plenty of stunning walking.

FUANA

The animals found in the park are those typical of southern Spain. The park has one of the largest populations of mountain goat in Andalucia, together with the doe deer or corzo. Other species have been introduced, such as the muflon (Ovis musimon), the ancestor of our domestic sheep and another acorn-loving creature of the sierra. In the autumn the males fight it out with their large horns to determine who will father the next generation. There is a relatively high population of meloncillo, a kind of mongoose that is in danger of extinction in other parts of Andalucia and many wild boar. By day you can see the royal eagle, pelegrino falcons and much more bird life and in the  evening it is possible to hear the sound of the royal owl (Buho bubo).

FLORA

With a relatively high level of rainfall and a reasonable altitude, there is a good coverage of vegetation and trees. The higher and wetter parts offer a range of trees and bushes of all colours, particularly in the autumn months. Greens and yellows, plus the reds of the maple trees contrast with the grey rocks. Areas near small brooks and springs are ideal for the ash, the chestnut tree or castaño  likes the moist areas and silica soil . Spring brings the time of the year to see the many different varieties of wild flowers . In the drier areas we find the region’s famous pine trees, Pinus pinaster aiton,  Pinus halepens and the Pino piñonero.. The pine forest constitutes 2000 hectares of the park. The carob tree or algarrobo  grows spontaneously all over the park. The common Quercus found all over the Mediterranean is found here too, in the form of the gall oak or quejigo  and the evergreen oak or encina .The wild olive tree or acebuche  is one of the species best adapted to this Mediterranean climate. Cork oak is also found in the park as the acorns are the staple diet of the black pigs whose cured ham – pata negra – is the local delicacy. The Spanish Fir, the juniper  and the enebro  are also common. In 1837,  the Swiss Botanist Edmond Boisser discovered a new species of tree: Abies Pinsapo, popularly known as the pinsapo pine or Spanish fir. The tree can grow up to 30m tall and live as long as 200 years. It has tiny needle-like leaves, which are extremely sharp and cylindrical in shape, and is found only in the southern mountains of Andalucia and in the north of Morocco, botanists discovered that the pinsapo had been around since the Tertiary geological time period – before the Ice Age!

Posted by: casaisabellaspainblog | October 14, 2011

Some history on El Burgo Malaga

 This pretty mountainous town on the road between Ronda and Coín is dominated by the limestone outcrops of the surrounding mountains of the Serrania de Ronda. Built high on a hilltop it has had many civilizations    come and go due to this strategically placed area.The Río Turón is the river that passes through it which has provided sustenance for human settlements as long ago as the 8th century BC. Its earliest settlers would have husbanded sheep and goats, as well as meagre crops in protected valleys, but it is likely   that they also traded with pre-Christian Phoenician and Greek explorers who roamed the region. These early visitors also imported key crops such as olives and grapevines. Roman settlers arrived in the first century BC; and built a small bridge across the Río Turón here to serve their  road from Ronda to Málaga, and used it as a trading base and staging camp .

The towns name is Arabic originally called Al Burgis, the name refers to a tower which stood in the village and formed part of the fortress  built by the carthaginan armies. Following the Moorish invasion of 711AD. a castle was built, where the church Inglesia de la Encarnation now stands but its ruins can still be seen around the old town. El Burgo grew chiefly on the production of silex, a flint-like deposit found in the surrounding hills used to make implements and weapons and  was also a hotly-contested defensive point  during its Arabic occupation.

The story of the Christian Reconquest in 1485 closely follows that of the fate of Ronda.  We are only told that it was taken by Pedro de Barrionuevo in the name of the King and Queen. The inquisition came to El Burgo in 1560, which led to the huge Muslim uprising of 1568–70. The pueblo was recorded as having 241 residents at the time, and  the area was repopulated in 1579, predominantly by landless peasants from Estepa .By the mid 17th century, it boasted three leading  work shops producing silex wares and its population had expanded to over a thousand , with that came a steady increase in ganaderias or cattle farms. One interesting factor in the various uprisings was the clash of cultures and eating habits. The Moors irrigated their terraces, planting many varieties of vegetables and fruit. The new Christian masters wanted cereal and meat and this completely changed the farming techniques in the area.

                                                          

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