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El Burgo, Pure Nature between Paths and Rivers

Diputación de Málaga
Topoguía GR 243. Sierra de las Nieves. pag 91 Dique en el río de El Burgo

El Burgo, Pure Nature between Paths and Rivers

At the foot of Torecilla in the Sierra de las Nieves

No visitor cannot remain indifferent to El Burgo after their first visit. The town on the hill, defying the history, has seen many different civilizations who wanted to have its strategic watchtower, which has deeply influenced its existence. It was home to family clans from the Copper Age; Hannibal's Tower during Carthaginian rule, the way through for people and goods during Roman rule and a boarder castle during Arabs. Today, this is a place where you can hike surrounded by nature, enjoy quality tourist supply and see its streets, which show the mixture of Christian and Arabic culture.

Nowadays, El Burgo is a peaceful place, where travellers can enjoy their time. This is why we recommend you to read this short publication about the town, where certain places or events are highlighted like the castle, bandits, the Roman bridge, and the irrigation channel of the old mill, which was designated a Unique Corner in the province as for its cultural heritage. More enthusiastic visitors can learn about this town's  history and gastronomy, as well as its festivals, such as Los Siete Ramales (the seven esparto bunches or the seven ingredients) Soup Festival in February, Historical play about bandits' passion in October, both of them designated Unique Tourist Festivities in the Province.


El Burgo is the place where two long-distance paths (longer than 50 km) meet: Stage 23 of the Great Málaga Path (GR 249) and Stage 1 of the Sierra de la Nieves Great Path (GR 243). It also connects two valleys and two rivers - El Burgo and its tributary La Fuensanta (Fuensanta sports and recreation area), which is acknowledged as Unique Corner of this province as for its natural sites.

It is also the place where dams distributed along the course of the El Burgo river were built more than a century ago with the idea of retaining the strong flooding in periods of torrential rain. In 1906, a torrential storm happened with tragic consequences. The river was in full flood and several houses, a mill and some vegetable gardens close to the village got destroyed. This was a huge disaster as six people lost their lives. One of the people who died was found few days later, downstream in the Guadalhorce River close to the Town of Pizarra. The dams that can be seen from the path are the Molino Caído Dam (the Fallen Mill Dam), the Nacimiento Dam (the River Source Dam), and the Hierbabuena Dam (the Mint). Moreover, there are a couple of old dams called azuds. The longer one can be accessed from the path at the altitude of the first dam.

Protected Areas

There are three nature reserves in this area. One of them is the Serranía de Ronda Andalusian Game Preserve, where mountain goats are looked after, as they were occasionally affected by the plague of mange, and the Moorish roe deer, a species which is recovering.

There is also the Sierra de las Nieves Nature Park (today National Park), which has been part of the Andalusian Nature Conservation Protected Areas Network (RENPA) since 1989. It covers a span of 20,163 hectares that belong to the Towns of Ronda, Parauta, El Burgo, Yunquera, Tolox, Istán and Monda. It was declared World Biosphere Reserve in 1995, when its surface was 93,930 hectares large.

Landscape and Forest Area Management

If you wish to see the contrasts in landscapes that surround this town, you can follow the circular path 14 - 'El Burgo – los Diques del Río Turón y la Fuensanta', part of the Great Path for All. First of these contrasts is related to a river, along which fertile plains, poplar grove, ash trees and a willow grove extend successively. In the east, the grey chalky Sierra Blanquilla is a good example of karstic scenery. The third kind of landscape is Lifa Valley, which shelters highly protected turpentine trees in the centre of the Sierra de las Nieves, which has recently become a National Park.

Large pine forests which stretch southwards and eastwards are the result of the reafforestation preformed in 1960s and 1970s. The forest management of the area has been based on some forestry actions which enable species, such as holm oaks, olive trees and Spanish fir, to spread over the terrain which was used for farming and livestock.