Forming a mountainous border between the provinces of Malaga and Granada the Sierras of Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama Natural Park (official website and maps) rise from the Mediterranean and contain the highest area of the Axarquia region of Malaga before descending to Alhama de Granada in Granada. The national park is home to the Tejeda and Almijara National Game Reserve.
These mountains contain twelve municipalities of the provinces of Malaga and Granada and a population of more than 40,000. In Malaga Province the municipalities are Alcaucin, Canillas de Aceituno, Canillas de Albaida, Competa, Frigiliana, Nerja, Salares and Sedella. In Granada Province the municipalities are Alhama de Granada, Arenas del Rey, Jayena and Otivar.
In the western extreme of Sierra Tejeda solid limestone predominates, with the presence of some Eocene terrain made up of sandstone and marly limestone. Sierra Almijara, the largest and most easterly, contains dolomitic marble formations which constitute one of the foremost examples of this type of mass in the country.
Provinces: Malaga and Granada
Status: Natural Park – 1999
Size: 41,000 hectares
The landscape is rugged and craggy, with large, pronounced slopes alternating with rows of summits which run parallel to the coast, marking out valleys and deep ravines. The varying altitudes and soil types encurages a diversity of vegetation and wildlife, dominated by wild mountain goats and eagles.
This area has one of the largest number of caves in the province of Malaga including Nerja Caves and Fajara Caves, four kilometres from Canillas de Aceituno. The Sierra Tejeda has the highest peak in the area, La Maroma at 2,080 metres.
Trees in the area include forests of black Mediterranean Pines, Holm Oaks, Cork Oaks, Gall oaks, Pyreness Oaks, Yews, Maples, and Scots Pines.
Lower shrubs include Juniper, Mountain Brooms, Dwarf Fan Palm, Barberries, Honyesuckles and Rosaceous mountain plants.
Mammals include wild mountain goats, large numbers of Spanish Ibex and Red Squirrels.
Among the birds of prey are Golden Eagles, Bonelli’s Eagles, Booted and Short-toed Eagles, Peregrine Falcons, Goshawks and Kestrels. Other birdlife includes the nocturnal Red-necked Nightjar, Nightjar, Black wheatear, Black-eared Wheatear, Wheatear, Rock Bunting, Blue Rock Thrush, Nightingales, Golden Orioles, Warblers, Dippers and Grey wagtails.