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Parque Natural de los Montes de Malaga, Malaga Places of Interest 

Parque Natural de los Montes de Malaga, Malaga
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<b>Parque Natural de los Montes de Malaga Malaga places of interest Malaga</b>

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Just 5 kilometres north of the city of Malaga you will come across the ´Montes de Malaga´ which was declared a National Park by the regional government in July 1989.
The park covers an area of 4.900 hectares and falls between the area of Malaga and Casabermeja and offers spectacular views over the city and a large part of the Mediterranean. It is an area of low lying hills which range from just 80 metres to the peak of La Reina which is at 1032 metres and is criss crossed by many streams, which over time, have carved valleys through the area.
In ancient times these hills were blanketed by forest but when the Christian settlers arrived in the area after the reconquest of Spain, they removed part of the natural vegetation and planted olive and almond trees and vines as these were of more use to them economically than just trees. Unfortunately the de-forestation had a disasterous effect on the city of Malaga as it seems that this took away the protection that they had, and the city suffered many flash floods which occurred only too frequently. During the thirties a re-forestation programme began and this led to the park´s present appearance.
There are many different species of tree here among them being the common Aleppo Pine which was planted during the re-forestation, Umbrella and Monterey Pine and Cypress which are on the drier lower slopes and support the sub-tropical Mediterranean eco-system. The other most predominant trees here are the holm oak, cork oak, gall oak and olive and carob trees, and these provide an ideal habitat for the chameleons which dwell here.
There is an abundance of wildlife including wild boar, fox, badger, wildcat, weasel, mongoose and polecat, and smaller animals such as rabbit, squirrel, bat and hedgehog. Reptiles and amphibians that seek their refuge here include the aforementioned chameleon, lizard, snakes, salamander, gecko and toads. They all find the perfect environment in this park and the best conditions for their survival. Ornithologists will be interested to know that there are a variety of birds of prey such as the goshawk, eagle owl, kestrel, short-toed eagle and golden eagle as well as more common species of birds.
The park has a nature centre where you find routes and itineraries that cross the park and for you to enjoy the scenery at you leisure. Campsites are available for the adventurous and there are many small typical country restaurants. These are reasonably priced and offer some delicious (possibly cholestrol scary) menus and are very popular, especially at weekends with the locals, and it may be difficult to find a restaurant that is not full. You should try ¨Vino de Los Montes¨, a tawny-coloured sweet muscatel wine from the Montes, or the locally-produced eau-de-vie (“aguardiente”) to accompany your meal. At Torrijos there is an ethnological museum which is an old farmhouse that still preserves its natural wood beams and has a wine press that is over 200 hundred years old. There are many itineraries available and they have been chosen to give the visitor the many varied options of seeing this magnificent park.


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