This natural park situated a few kilometres from the north of Malaga is considered the lung of the surrounding areas, a recommended place to go trekking with beautiful spots such as the 'salto de agua de Picapedreros' (the stonemason’s waterfall), remains of crops and buildings that show us the wine-producing history of this place.
This mountain range is made up of high and low hills parallel to the coast through where the river Guadalmedina flows. It was declared natural park in 1989 and is accessed via the C-345 road, also known as the ‘carretera de los montes’.
The Montes de Malaga area was reforested with pine trees to avoid floods, as these floods occurred pretty often since they chopped down the large forests during the middle ages after the Castilian conquest, as they wanted to increase the area of cultivations.
From the Montes de Malaga there are breath-taking views, like the scenery one can enjoy from the mirador del Cochino (the pig’s viewpoint), that has a beautiful panoramic view over the Costa del Sol and, with a bit of luck, from where we can spot birds of prey like the booted eagle or the short-toed eagle.
The park is dominated by Aleppo pines, that were planted between 1930 and 1950 in an attempt to stop the continuous floods that have devastated Malaga for centuries. In the 15th century, the existing trees back then were mainly replaced for olives and grapevines, which caused since 1544 a series of floods that were stopped thanks to the aforementioned reforestation.
There are various trekking routes to choose from in the Montes de Malaga, through which one can admire the beauty of the scenery, the natural environment with its abundant flora and fauna. It has camping areas and the most important paths that we can tour are: Picapedreros, Cerrado, Las Contadoras, Pocopan y Torrijos.
The park is easily accessible and is located near other coastal towns. During the period of rain we’ll be able to contemplate beautiful waterfalls in Picapedreros, or simply enjoy the fantastic views of the entire Costa del Sol that can be witnessed from the park.
As well as trekking, we can also visit some of the park’s surrounding villages like Colmenar and Casabermeja, where we’ll enjoy the typical Andalusian architecture , some of the typical dishes and specially the popular cemetery in Casabermeja declared an Artistic Historical Monument.
To a large extent, the fauna of the Montes de Malaga is nocturnal. This is one of the few places in Andalusia with a significant population of chameleons. Plus, we’ll also find other reptiles such as spine-footed lizards, ocellated lizards and geckos.
Amongst the mammals that we can find in the area, there are wild boars, badgers, foxes, polecats, weasels, beech martens, rabbits, wildcats and squirrels.
From the viewpoints we can observe birds of prey like the booted eagle, the short-toed eagle, buzzards and goshawks, all of which breed in this area.
There’s a great flora to explore and discover in the Montes de Malaga although the main trees we’ll find are Aleppo pines. In the northern part of the park there are holm oaks, cork oaks and gall oaks, the three species of trees that were here originally.
The majority of the trees we’ll find there belong to the reforestation of pine trees carried out in the early 20th century to avoid the floods that continuously devastated Malaga caused by the river Guadalmedina. As from the reforestation, the area’s autochthonous vegetation began to recover and today we can see a complete regeneration of oak trees and cork trees amongst other species.
There are mainly two ways it can be reached, from Fuente de la Reina, turning off the A-345 and from Casabermeja, taking the A-355 towards Colmenar.