The Sierra de Las Nieves Natural Park (official website and maps) is a mountainous limestone massif with the highest peak of Torrecilla at 1,919 metres, punctuated by deep ravines and spectacular cliffs. Not far from the highest point there is also the deepest at Los Hoyos del Pilar, the third deepest cavern in the world reaching down 1,100 metres. The limestone has created a number of other featues including more potholes, deep ravines, high cliffs and gorges.
Trees include Spanish Fir, Yew, Holm and Cork Oak, Wild Olive, Sweet Chestnut, Carob, Aleppo Pine, Maritime Pine, Stone Pine, Ash, Poplar and Willow. Undergrowth and scrubland includes Gorse, Broom, Crucifer, Lavender and Juniper.
Status: UNESCO Biosphere Reserve – 1983, Natural Park – 1989
Size: 20,000 hectares
Mammals include the Spanish Ibex, Roe Deer, Wild Boar, Wild Cat, Otter, Stone Marten and Mouflon (a type of wild sheep originating from North Africa).
Birds of prey include Bonelli’s, Booted, Short-toed and Golden Eagles, Scops, Eagle and Tawny Owls, Peregrine Falcon, Goshawk and Buzzard. Other birdlife includes Rock Thrush, Blue Rock Thrush, Ring Ouzel, Hawfinch, Ortolan Bunting, Wheatear, Black Wheatear, Black-eared Wheatear, Southern Grey Shrike, Crossbill, Crested Tit, Tree-creepers and Woodpeckers.