SIERRA DE LAS NIEVES
Whitish limestone formations are contrasted with steep hills of red color in the Natural Park Sierra de las Nieves, an area east of the town of Ronda (Malaga). Mountaineers in the Park have an appointment with Turret Peak of 1919 meters of altitude, while caving enthusiasts prefer the natural pits and wells as GESM with 1101 meters of depth. Both surface and underground world capricious succeed karst formations caused by erosion and subsequent precipitation of limestones. At lower elevations, the peridotites stain the landscape red. It is much more impermeable rocks to the limestone and with a special composition that favors the emergence of interesting species of flora.
The name of the park reveals the presence of snow in its high mountains, which formerly stood over the year.
Another attraction of the mountains are the surviving forests pinsapos . This Mediterranean fir is in the cold and damp shady, a botanical relic dating from the Ice Age of the peninsula. Some of these trees are around 500 years old, like the Escalereta, declared a Natural Monument. Descending into stand tall oaks and cork oak forests of Istan and Monda and groups of carob and chestnut trees in Tolox and Parauta. A fun way to learn all this diversity is by doing one of the biking routes like Monda-Istan.
The Natural Park houses different mammals as the mountain goat, easily observed in the heights. Other species of interest are the deer, otters, present in the rivers. Among birds, there are many large predators, like the golden eagle and Bonelli and owl. Also characteristic of the forests are the goshawk and the sparrowhawk.
This area was inhabited by many cultures, but undoubtedly would be the Muslims who marked the historical legacy of the area. Examples are the castles and walls that exist in Monda, El Burgo, Istan or Tolox. The Arab influence is also present in their food with flour porridge with honey and almond cheese.
GUARO 2 KM
Guaro is located in the valley of the River Guadalhorce, in a hilly landscape with mainly almond and olive trees. The village lies on a hill. At the top is the 16th-century church of San Miguel. This church was built in 1505 and substantially expanded in 1605. Like many churches in the region was also the church in the Civil War (1936-39) destroyed and then restored.
Besides the usual annual festivals, since the last few years takes place in September in Guaro the Festival of Luna Mora. This festival in Guaro is famous throughout the region. The festival offers various cultural activities with the theme of the Christian, Moorish and Jewish traditions that have formed along Andalusia. Luna Mora attracts many visitors, it has since decided to built in Guaro one of the largest outdoor theater of the province of Malaga.
RONDA 60 KM
Ronda is situated in a very mountainous area about 750 metres (2,500 ft) above mean sea level. The Gualdalevin River runs through the city, dividing it in two and carving out the steep, 100 plus meters deep El Tajo canyon upon which the city perches.
Three bridges, Puente Romano (“Roman Bridge”, also known as the Puente San Miguel), Puente Viejo (“Old Bridge”, also known as the Puente Arabe or “Arab Bridge”) and Puente Nuevo(“New Bridge”), span the canyon. The term “nuevo” is a bit of a misnomer, as the building of this bridge commenced in 1751 and took until 1793 to complete. The Puente Nuevo is the tallest of the bridges, towering 120 metres (390 ft) above the canyon floor, and all three serve as some of the city’s most impressive features.
Another important site in Ronda is the Plaza de toros de Ronda, the oldest bullfighting ring in Spain that is still used, albeit infrequently.
The partially intact baños árabes (“Arab baths”) are found below the city and date back to the 13th and 14th centuries.
The former town hall, which sits next to the Puente Nuevo, is the site of a parador, and has an impressive view of the Tajo.
GRANADA 175 KM
The city of Granada is placed at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, at the confluence of three rivers, Beiro,Darro and Genil, at an elevation of 738 metres above sea level yet only one hour from the Mediterrean coast, the Costa Tropical. At the 2005 census, the population of the city of Granada proper was 236,982, and the population of the entire urban area was estimated to be 472,638, ranking as the 13th-largest urban area of Spain.
The Alhambra, a Moorish citadel and palace, is in Granada. It is one of the most famous items of the Islamic historical legacy that makes Granada a hot spot among cultural and tourist cities in Spain. The Almohad urbanism with some fine examples of Moorish and Morisco constructions is preserved at the part of the city called the Albaicin.
Granada is also well-known within Spain due to the prestigious University of Granada and, nowadays, vibrant night-life. In fact, it is said that it is one of the three best cities for college students (the other two are Salamanca and Santiago de Compostela.
CORDOBA 200 KM
Cordoba is a city in Andalusia in southern Spain. It is the capital of the province of Córdoba. The city is located 120 meter above sea level, on the Guadalquivir River and at the foot of the Sierra Morena. In 2005 the city had 321,165 inhabitants, and in the urban area of Córdoba live slightly more people, making it the third city of Andalusia. It is the warmest city in Europe, the temperature increases each year over 35 months continuous degrees.
It is not one of the largest cities in Spain, but Córdoba was once one of the most important cities in the world. In the 10th century it was the second largest city in the world, with a time of unusually high population of 500,000. Cordoba was the capital of the medieval Caliphate of Córdoba. Those glory days are numerous monuments remain, the most famous example is the Mezquita. In 1984 the historical center of the city as a whole also on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The city is also the birthplace of the philosophers Seneca, Averroes and Maimonides, and the world famous sombrero. Córdoba is known in culinary circles for the court “Rabo de Toro”, the famous stew of bull’s tail and several other ingredients.
Seville is the artistic, cultural, and financial capital of southern Spain.Seville It is the capital of Andalusia and of the province of Seville. It is situated on the plain of the River Guadalquivir, with an average elevation of 7 metres (23 ft) above sea level.
The population of the city of Seville was 699,759 as of 2008 (INE). the metropolitan area (urban area plus satellite towns) was 1,450,214 as of 2009 (INE estimate), ranking as the fourth largest metropolitan area of Spain.
The Cathedral of Seville was built from 1401–1519 after the Reconquista on the former site of the city’s mosque. It is amongst the largest of all medieval and Gothic cathedrals, in terms of both area and volume. The interior is the longest nave in Spain, and is lavishly decorated, with a large quantity of gold evident. The Cathedral reused some columns and elements from the mosque, and, most famously, the Giralda, originally a minaret, was converted into a bell tower. It is topped with a statue, known locally as El Giraldillo, representing Faith. The tower’s interior was built with ramps rather than stairs, to allow the Muezzin and others to ride on horseback to the top. The Alcazar facing the cathedral has developed from the city’s old Moorish Palace; construction was begun in 1181 and continued for over 500 years, mainly in Mudejar style, but also in Renaissance. Its gardens are a blend of Moorish, Andalusian, and Christian traditions.
The Torre del Oro was built by the Almohad dynasty as watchtower and defensive barrier on the river. A chain was strung through the water from the base of the tower to prevent boats from traveling into the river port.
The Town Hall, built in the 16th century in Plateresque style by Diego de Riaño. The Facade to Plaza Nueva was built in the 19th century in Neoclassical style.
The Plaza de España was built by the architect Aníbal González for the 1929 Exposición Ibero-Americana, and is an outstanding example of Regionalist