Andalucía, which accounts for 17% of mainland Spain, has mountains covering 50% of the territory and 18% of the region is protected land.

There are numerous Natural Parks (great ecological, scientific and educational value with ecosystems little altered by man), Natural Areas (moderately protected areas due to the risk to or the uniqueness of the fauna, flora or landscape), Natural Reserves (enclaves to protect an ecosystem or natural element offering the greatest level of protection and where permission to enter is required from the warden of the reserve) and Natural Monuments (Natural elements of archaeological, educational or ecological importance).

Malaga province

Natural Parks

Montes de Málaga

North of the city of Málaga is the Parque Natural Montes de Málaga, an area rich in vegetation and fauna and renowned for its country restaurants. The park has an abundance of mountain streams ranging in altitude between 91 and 1,031 metres above sea level and covers 4,762 hectares. Most of the area is covered with Aleppo pine but you will also find holm oaks, cork oaks and gall oaks. On the animal side, there are polecat, weasel, wild cats, wild boar, badgers, foxes, sparrow hawks, goshawks, golden eagles. It is also one of the few places where you might come across chameleons.

Other places of interest in the area include Lagar de Torrijos, Fuente de la Reina, Rio Guadalmedina and Monte Cuenca.
Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama Natural Park
Sierra de las Nieves

The Parque Natural Sierra de las Nieves, home to one of the largest communities of mountain goat in Andalucía, is at the heart of the Serrania de Ronda and features deep ravines and spectacular cliffs. A limestone area, a number of potholes exist, including the third deepest in the world at 1,100 metres. The highest peak, in the Sierra Blanca de Tolox, is Torrecilla at 1,919 metres. Spanish fir, yews, chestnut trees, cork oak, wild cat, golden eagle and otter are to be found in the area. Other places of interest in the area include Puerto de Pilones, Cañada del Cuervo and the Fuente Amargosa Spa.

Natural Areas

Guadalhorce River Estuary

This is a fertile area which includes the noteworthy towns of Alhaurín el Grande, Alora, Alozaina, Ardales, Carratraca, Casarabonela, El Chorro, Coín, Cártama, Guaro and Pizarra.

Desfiladero de los Gaitanes

Desfiladero de los Gaitanes is a 2,016 hectare protected area and includes a gorge through which the Rio Guadalhorce flows. The walls of the gorge, enormous slabs of limestone, rise to 400 metres in parts and, for the adventurous, there is a hanging walkway, known as the ‘Caminito del Rey’ (The King’s Path), which crosses the gorge at a height of around 100 metres! You will find eucalyptus, holm oak, cistus, Aleppo pine, black juniper, mountain goat, kestrel, goshawk, golden eagle, tawny vulture, mongoose, genet (wild cat). The Cuevas de Doña Trinidad are also not too far away and there are various reservoirs which are worth a visit.

Los Reales de Sierra Bermeja

A 1,236 hectare area of crystalline rocks and an important forest area. On the wildlife side, there are Spanish firs, black pines, mountain goat, deer, mongoose, sparrow hawks, falcons and golden eagles. Other places of interest in the area include Puerto de Peñas Blancas and the towns of Estepona, Genalguacil and Casares.

Torcal de Antequera

The Parque Natural Torcal de Antequera, declared a Place of National Interest in 1929, has a unique, and impressive limestone terrain which has been eroded by wind and rain. There are numerous walking routes marked out – it is easy to get lost – and they are colour coded according to their degree of difficulty. You will find maples, oaks, ivy, irises, wild blackberries, wild cats, weasels, vultures, eagles, falcons…and a lot more. There is also the Cueva del Toro, an important Neolithic site, and the remains of a Roman road at La Escaleruela.

Acantilados de Maro-Cerro Gordo

On the provincial border between Málaga and Granada, at Maro-Cerro Gordo, the Sierra de Almijara mountain range reaches the sea and erosion has created a spectacular coastline of cliffs, coves and small beaches. Covering an area of 395 hectares, the Paraje Natural Acantilados de Maro-Cerro Gordo has a unique ecological system. The area is home to a great variety of flora and fauna, including fields of the submarine plant posidonia. Places of interest in the area are Nerja and the Nerja Caves, Maro, Frigiliana and La Herradura.

Natural Reserves

Laguna de Fuente de Piedra

Fuente de Piedra Lagoon is the largest in Andalusia, with 164 hectares of Nature Reserve and a 1,364-hectare Protection Zone, and is home to the largest flamingo colony in the Iberian Peninsula. It is one of a group of lagoons in the Antequera area, it is elliptical in shape, and is replenished by rainfall and underground water sources. The substrata is extremely saline and in the spring you will find crystalised salt on the surface. The neighbouring lagoons of Campillos and La Ratosa are similar. The flora has, naturally, adapted to the saline conditions, and includes canes, reeds, sedges and cereal crops. In addition to flamingoes, a number of migratory birds also regularly visit the area.

Laguna de la Ratosa
Lagunas de Archidona
Lagunas de Campillos

Natural Monuments

El Tornillo del Torcal
Pinsapo de las Escaleretas
El Cañón de las Buitreras

Granada province

Natural Parks

Sierra Nevada
Sierra de Baza
Sierra Castril
Sierra Huétor

Natural Monuments

Peñones de San Cristóbal
Peña de Castril
Falla de Nigüelas
Cueva de las Ventanas
Infiernos de Loja
Cárcavas de Marchal

Almeria province

Natural Parks

Cabo de Gata-Níjar
Sierra María-Los Vélez

Natural Areas

Desierto de Tabernas
Sierra de Alamilla
Karst en Yesos de Sorbas
Punta Entinas-Sabinar
Alborán

Natural Reserves

Albufera de Adra

Natural Monuments

Arrecife Barrera de Posidonia
Isla de Terreros e Isla Negra
Isla de San Andrés
Piedra Lobera
Sabina Albar

Cádiz province

Natural Parks

Sierra de Grazalema
Bahía de Cádiz
Los Alcornocales
Peñón de Zaframagón
Breña y Marismas de Barbate
Estrecho

Natural Areas

Embalse de Arcos
Embalse de Bornos
Estuario de Guadiaro
Isla del Trocadero
Marismas de Sancti Petri
Marismas del Palmones
Playa de los Lances

Natural Reserves

Complejo Endorreico de Chiclana
Complejo Endorreico de Espera
Complejo Endorreico de Puerto Real
Complejo Endorreico del Puerto de Santa Maria
Laguna de Medina
Lagunas de las Canteras y El Tejon

Natural Monuments

Tómbola de Trafalgar
Punta de Boquerón
Duna de Bolonia
Corrales de Rota

Sevilla province

Natural Parks

Sierra Norte

Natural Areas

Brazo del Este

Natural Reserves

Lantejuela
Lebrija-Las Cabezas
Utrera
Laguna del Gosque

Natural Monuments

Cascadas de Huesna
Cerro del Hierro
Chaparro de la Vega
Tajos de Mogarejo

Córdoba province

Natural Parks

Sierra de Cardeña y Montoro
Sierra de Hornachuelos
Sierras Subbéticas

Natural Areas

Embalse de Cordobilla
Embalse de Malpasillo

Natural Reserves

Laguna Amarga
Laguna de los Jarales
Laguna de Tiscar
Laguna de Zoñar
Laguna del Rincón
Laguna del Conde o Salobral

Natural Monuments

Sotos de la Albolafia
Cueva de los Murciélagos

Huelva province

Natural Parks

Doñana
Sierra de Aracena y Picos de Aroche

Natural Areas

Los Enebrales
Estero de Domingo Rubio
Lagunas de Palos y las Madres
Marismas de Isla Cristina
Las Marismas del Odiel
Marismas del Río Piedras y la Flecha del Rompido
Peñas de Aroche
Sierra Pelada y Rivera del Aserrador

Natural Reserves

Laguna de El Portil
Isla de Enmedio
Marismas del Burro

Jaén province

Natural Parks

Despeñaperros
Sierra de Andújar
Sierras de Cazorla, Segura y Las Villas
Sierra Mágina

Natural Areas

Alto Guadalquivir
Cascada de la Cimbarra
Laguna Grande

Natural Reserves

Laguna Honda
Laguna del Chinche

Natural Monuments

El Quejigo del Amo
Pinar de Cánavas
Los Órganos
El Piélago
Huellas de Dinosaurios