Sierra de las Nieves National Park

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Sierra de las Nieves National Park
Parque Nacional de la Sierra de las Nieves
IUCN category V (protected landscape/seascape)
Sierra de las Nieves
LocationProvince of Málaga
Nearest cityTolox
Coordinates36°41′00″N 05°00′00″W / 36.68333°N 5.00000°W / 36.68333; -5.00000Coordinates: 36°41′00″N 05°00′00″W / 36.68333°N 5.00000°W / 36.68333; -5.00000
Area93,930 ha (362.7 sq mi)
EstablishedJuly 28, 1989 (1989-07-28)

The Sierra de las Nieves National Park (Spanish: Parque Nacional de la Sierra de las Nieves) is a natural park in the Sierra de las Nieves range, Andalusia, southern Spain. It is located behind Marbella and to the east of the road to Ronda from the Costa del Sol. In 2019 it was approved to become the sixteenth Spanish national park,[1] the third in Andalusia. On July, 1st, 2021 it was declared National Park.[2]


The park centres on La Torrecilla (1,919 m (6,296 ft)), the highest point of the range, and covers an area of 300 km². This mountainous area has a rich variety of flora and fauna. Historically there has been little human influence or agricultural activity in the mountains, which can be snow-covered in the winter, hence their name in Spanish.[3]

The Sierra de las Nieves area was studied in the 19th century by Swiss botanist Pierre Edmond Boissier and in 1933 by Luis Ceballos.

In 1970, a delimited area of the Sierra de las Nieves Range was declared a National Hunting Reserve. On 28 July 1989, it was declared a Natural Park, covering an area of 201.63 km2 (77.85 sq mi).[4] On 15 June 1995, it was declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, and the park area was expanded to 93,930 hectares (362.7 sq mi), including 11 municipalities.[5][6]


There are a considerable number of large caves in the park, several taking the traditional form of horizontal caverns. Three are of particular interest,[according to whom?] namely Hoyos del Pilar, Hoyos de Lifa and Cuevas del Moro.

The area is known for its shafts. One of these, GESM, is one of the deepest in Europe and was named after the Grupo de Exploraciones Subterráneas de Málaga (GESM) which explored it in September 1978. The entrance to this shaft is located at 1670 m and descends 1098 m with a few large drops. The Gran Pozo drops 115 m and the Pozo Paco de la Torre has a vertical fall of 194 m. At a depth of 900 m there are some interesting rock formations in the Sala de Maravillas, and Lake Ere is located almost at the bottom. It has still[when?] not been fully explored.

Sima de la Tinaja is located in the area of the Tajo de la Caina at an altitude of 760 m. It is 54 m deep. It can be reached from Tolox. Many prehistoric artefacts have been recovered from this cave and many are to be found in the Málaga Museum.

Some of the other shafts are mentioned here. The list is by no means exclusive and many are surely yet to be discovered.


  1. ^ "El BOE publica la aprobación de la propuesta de declaración del Parque Nacional de la Sierra de las Nieves". Diario Sur (in Spanish). 8 January 2019. Retrieved 17 July 2020.
  2. ^ "Ley 9/2021, de 1 de julio, de declaración del Parque Nacional de la Sierra de las Nieves". (in Spanish). 3 July 2021.
  3. ^ "Sierra de las Nieves". Centro de Arte. Retrieved 17 July 2020.
  4. ^ "Sierra de las Nieves". Official Andalusia Tourism. Retrieved 17 July 2020.
  5. ^ "Sierra de las Nieves". Red Española de Reservas de la Biosfera. 2020. Retrieved 17 July 2020.
  6. ^ "Sierra de las Nieves y su entorno". UNESCO. April 2014. Retrieved 17 July 2020.

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