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Source of the River Genal, Igualeja (Unique Site)

Diputación de Málaga

Source of the River Genal, Igualeja (Unique Site)

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Recommended month to visit it: December.

The Valle del Genal [Valley of the Genal] is the civilized territory with the highest environmental quality of Málaga, and one of the most unique in the whole Mediterranean when talking about the preservation of the landscape and biodiversity.

The Genal, which flows into the Guadiaro, is a short humble river but capable of supplying water to 15 towns and nurturing the nature to populate these wild lands with large masses of chestnut trees, gall oaks, cork oaks and an endless number of both plant and animal species.

The Source of this proud river, in Igualeja, bears the title of Natural Monument, for its special environmental and landscape value. We will travel there from Ronda, towards the Costa del Sol, until we see the sign for the diversion, to the right, towards the municipality of Igualeja. The Source is at the entrance of the town.


  • Source:  310670 / 4056204


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The River Genal, a kind of natural monument, is short but important river in the Serranía de Ronda, which  wells up out of a spring in a cave known as ‘El Nacimiento’ (the Source) in the east of the province, in the Town of Igualeja.

The valley around the river is Genal Valley, the area that forms part of the Serranía de  Ronda. This valley is divided in Higher and Lower Genal and includes fifteen municipalities. In Higher Genal, there are Igualeja, Pujerra, Parauta, Cartajima, Júzcar, Faraján and Alpandeire, and in Lower Genal: Atajate, Benadalid, Benalauría, Algatocín, Benarrabá, Gaucín, Jubrique and Genalguacil. This valley became an important tourist hotspot due to its unique nature and because here the River Genal rises to bring delightful sensations and natural diversity.

In this area, you can smell and feel the sea, between the mountains in this mild weather. It is less than 100 metres away from the town and it turned into a landmark and the symbol of the municipality.

This beauty point offers springs with pure cold water that goes through the village and disappears in its valley. It flows into the Guadiaro and gives the possibility of doing adventure sports along its flow.

The water flow is especially rich in winter when it rains more. There have been changes since the 60s, such as the building of the dams between the source of the river and a bridge that leads to the road in order to create still pools, and other alterations that were made to improve this particular surrounding.

The weather in Genal Valley is mild and temperatures are round 14°C. The access way to the rough landscape covered by chestnut trees, pines, gall and cork oaks, as well as other species, is improving. Watching and feeling the rising of the river is a unique experience.

Population of the city lived on chestnuts, esparto craftwork and cured pork. Moreover, there is to underline the importance of the river for the province and many municipalities of this diverse and unique area.