The Sierra de las Nieves in Andalusia, Spain, is the country’s newest national park. Parque Nacional Sierra de las Nieves will be the first national park in the Málaga province and the 16th for the country overall. The mountainous region has been a protected park since 1989, and half of it has been a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve for 25 years. Now, it’s finally getting the national recognition and protection it deserves.
The park is home to a wide range of wildlife, including ibex, roe, deer, otters, and raptors, but it’s particularly noteworthy for its forest of rare ancient Spanish fir (pinsapos). Around 60 percent of the country’s Spanish firs are located within the Sierra de las Nieves.
The national park isn’t just a destination for nature lovers. Culture seekers will spend hours exploring the whitewashed towns of Tolox, Monda, El Burgo, Yunquera, and Ista, and the ruins of crumbled fortresses and other historical buildings.
Funding for the new park will be dedicated to creating visitor centers and other infrastructure to enhance the tourism experience, as well as benefit the local community. Hiking excursions in the mountains, forest walks, cycling, mountain biking, climbing, kayaking, caving, and canyoning will also be made available.