Nevero (Snowfield) and Gall Oak Forest, Parauta (Unique Site)
Recommended month to visit it: February.
Parauta has its heart divided by the coppery charm of the Valle del Genal [Valley of the Genal] and the strength of the Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park. This small mountain town flirts with
both, and has been declared ecological municipality for its respect for the environment.
The municipality penetrates the Park through the settings of Conejeras, La Nava de San Luis, Los Quejigales or the important Spanish fir wood of the Alcojona hill, all which constitute a great sample of the natural richness of the area. A species typical of the Mediterranean forest, the gall oak, has grown strong in these places and there are some very beautiful hundred-year-old specimens.
If they could speak, these trees would recall the times of the “neveros” [icemen or ice-dealers], who would carry blocks of ice from the mountains to the cities and towns when refrigerators did not exist yet to keep the food fresh.
- Parking: 317224 / 4062421
- Trail start: 317311 / 4062503
- Nevero (Snowfield): 320310 / 4062796
The town of Parauta looks over Genal Valley from a privileged location such as the Serranía de Ronda. Here we have a real environmental variety and the contrast between the hills covered in chestnut, holm oak and olive trees and the rocky mounds.
This territory enters into the Nature Park Sierra de las Nieves, which was proclaimed Biosphere Reserve because of its ecological value, and where the stars are Spanish fir, gall and holm oaks. Beauty spots like Conejeras (Rabbit Hutches), La Nava de San Luis (the Valley of St Lewis) or Los Quejigales (the name for a gall oaks area) are some of its natural treasures. Moreover, in the Sierra de las Nieves, we can find Spanish fir of Parauta that grows on the side of Alcojona Hill at an altitude of 1, 440 metres.
Parauta was designated ‘Ecological Municipality’ thanks to its attitude towards the environment and sustainable development. The gall oak, evergreen oak or oak from Valencia is a kind of medium size tree, round 20 metres high, and very typical of Mediterranean climate in North Africa or the Iberian Peninsula. This indigenous species from Mediterranean forests flourishes in April or May, almost always before holm oaks. Its acorns ripen and the seed is scattered in September or October.
The gall oak is similar to the holm oak, although less dense and deciduous. Its leaves have light green face and pale green reverse side, and its margins are slightly toothed and sometimes sharp. Its flowers are very plain, gathered in groups around a hanging catkin. The fruit is a velvety acorn covered by oval flakes, above all on the back.
The area with gall oaks provides an absolutely delightful sight.
Here is a habitat of wild goats, wild boars, roe deers and rabbits. There are also big quantities of Spanish firs and gall oaks. The Nature Park Sierra de las Nieves enters into different parts of the province: Guadalhorce Valley, the Serranía de Ronda and the Costa del Sol. Curious land formations and extraordinary surrounding make of it an idyllic territory.