Sierra Crestellina Natural Park
Sierra Crestellina Natural Area is located in the Baetic Cordillera and consists of a steep crag of Jurassic limestone which rises up out of
the Triassic sandstones of the Genal Valley. The Sierra Bermeja, with its rugged relief, its reddishcoloured peridotites, and its blue-green patches of Spanish fir, gives way - at its western end - to a different type of landscape, of calcareous origin: the Sierra Crestellina massif. This natural area, which covers 478 hectares, is like a little white island of calcareous rock surrounded by dark mountains and acidic soils.
The entire Sierra Crestellina is found within the district Casares. It, along with the Sierra de Utrera massif, represent the only two outcrops of calcareous rock in the entire region, which tends to be dominated by rock of a lead-grey colour. Sierra de Crestellina was declared a Protected Natural Area in 1989 and it owes its name to the shape of the peaks of its summits - these are truly inaccessible "crests" prized by beautiful birds-of prey like the griffon vultures as a nesting place. La Albarrá Stream is the main surface watercourse in the area, though its flow decreases significantly in summer.
In the south of the province of Malaga, this is considered the most southerly point of the Ronda mountains.
Main access roads: N-340, C-341.
This sierra has enjoyed Protected Nature Spot status since 1989. A small natural area with an extremely interesting relief, it features a row of peaks of medium altitude divided by steep precipices over which the griffon vulture, Bonelli’s eagles and peregrine falcon all fly.
Its rugged topography is the result of the limestone rock with heavily-fractured siliceous sections of which it is composed. The Alboran stream flows across the whole of its eastern border.
The area is characterised by an interesting variety of vegetation, with Mediterranean plants such as broom and rockrose growing alongside other indigenous species including the Mediterranean fan palm, as well as rupicolous species such as the Rupicapnos africana. As we ascend, the scrub becomes less dense and carob trees and cork oaks appear.
Near the border with the Sierra Bermeja, El Monte del Duque is home to several forests of evergreen, cork and gall oaks. Though sparse, vegetation in the mountain zone is extremely rich thanks to the presence of many indigenous plants.
The tree population consists of evergreen oaks and wild olives, while bushes include gorse, buckthorn, white-leaved rockrose, asparagus and blackthorn. In addition, a small Spanish fir grove can be found near Casares.
Notable among the mammals is the ichneumon. Local birdlife is of great interest, including a major griffon vulture colony and birds of prey such as Bonelli’s eagle, the kestrel, vulgar, peregrine falcon, Egyptian vulture, booted eagle, little owl, etc.
Other birds found here include the red-billed chough, black wheatear and crag martin.
Mountain tourism is the most common activity in the area
How to get there
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