The National Park "Sierras de Tejada, Almijara y Alhama" close to Nerja was declared as such at the end of 1999, in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of the enactment of the Andalusian Parlement for Protected Natural Areas in Andalusia, a place you should definately visit during your Holiday´s to Nerja.
The landscape of this natural park in general is steep, very steep, with high mountains close to the sea with deep valleys developed perpendicular to the coast line.
It is not strange that snow covers the highest peaks of the mountains of Tejeda and Almijara. Despite its nearness to the sea it is often that the white blanket covers these tops during many weeks in the winter and spring.
Of its geology one can say that it maintains the general aspect that characterizes the province of Málaga: diversity. These mountains are one of the different pieces that the geological mosaic of the Málaga territory comprises of. Its boundaries denote an abrupt change within the landscape due to the topography and color of the soil, with respect to the surrounding environment.
One of the most beautiful and famous rivers of Nerja and the Axarquía, for its marbles, oleanders, pine trees and waterfalls... The route begins in de lower part of the river, near its mouth. Cross de Almijara housing development in Nerja to get to this point, where the remains of an old quarry are to be found. After going through a seaction of scarce vegetation in the lower part of the river, the "light factory" is reached, where water channels and irrigation ditches can be seen just after passing the waterfall, known as Salto Grande. Arriving at "Los Cajorros" the rock walls start closing in to form a gorge, which was formed by the river cutting down through the marble, one of the mountain range´s most picturesque areas.
Due to its diversity in climatic and lithological parameters we find the same diversity reflected in its fauna, considered as one of the most important or relevant floral keys within the Iberian Peninsula.
· The Inframediterranéo layer: the lowest and warmest layer. Here we find species such as marine rosemary, evergreen or the yellow button. Below the sunny rocky cliffs at the sparkling waters we have recently spotted goats, broad-leaf boxwood, palmetto, the buckthorn, carob and the Aleppo pine is amongst the most represented here.
· The Termomediterráneo layer: in general on this layer we find formations of Aleppo pines with the presence of carob, wild olives, mastic and occasionally myrtle.
· The Mesomediterráneo layer: contiguous in altitude to the former. Cooler conditions are indicated making it ideal for the development of cork trees, in the case of the silicicola substrate from these as well as from the oaks as from the cacicolas. Its conditions are also tolerated by the locust, one of the more symbolic trees from the Axarquía, such as the oak, typical in higher altitudes but also found in the shadier parts of this level. Here one finds species exclusive to these sands.
· The Supramediterráneo layer: here you note the colder conditions own to the high mediteranean mountains. These mountains, with more than 2000 meters in altitude are the largest range present in the Malaga province and practically in the western half of Andalucía. It is characterized by the appearance of tall shrubs of the thorny type.
· The Oromediterráneo layer: the final layer we will find in Tejeda-Almijara, manifesting itself more or less at 1800 m in altitude. Although its conditions are suitable for the growth of trees at this height you nearly only find thorny shrubs and on occasions open rocky faces.
This mountain has a very rich fauna. Within the group of invertebrates we find a large number of the same species that are only found in this area. Some amphibians such as the frogs and toads take advantage of sources provided such as large puddles and natural ponds to reproduce. This area is also the home for snakes, lizards and the remarkable ocelado. The abundant amount of amphibians, reptiles and a lot of the birds is very beneficial in keeping the insect population at bay. It is very common to see eagles and hawks fly over the mountain range. Besides the presence of mammals such as the fox and the weasel it's the mountain goat that stands out for its beauty. The orographic characteristics of this mountain make it an ideal habitat.
Municipalities located in the Sierra de Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama
Alcaucín €“ about 50 kms from Málaga, located on the South west corner of the Sierra Tejeda
Canillas de Aceituno €“ about 45 km from Málaga at 650 m altitude
Canillas de Albaida €“ located in the mountain at about 55 km de Málaga
Cómpeta - at 640 m altitude on the South side of Sierra Almijara
Frigiliana€“ pretty village with a municipality that ocupies an area of 40 km2. Several caves such as Cueva Oscura and the Murciélago (3.000 adc)
Nerja€“ most Eastern municipal of the Axarquía and the province of Málaga. About 85 km2 in size with a 16 kilómeters coastal line.
Salares €“ smallest municipal of the Axarquía with barely 200 inhabitants.
Sedella - about 54 Km from Málaga and occupies 33 km2
The National Park is well known for its hiking routes. Enter the magical world of these ancient mountains and discover its tremendous charm.
Mountain hiking routes:
· The dam across the Chíllar channel
· Río Verde Hike
· The Esparto fountain
· Navachica through the hunters ravine
· Punishers rock through the Río de la Miel street.
You can find the synthesis of some of the proposed routes in our hiking section.
Visit our online travel guide with tourist information about the Torrox and Nerja areas.