What do you think if today we enter one of the 15 natural parks in Spain? Specifically, we are going to move to Sierra Nevada, a mountainous massif belonging to the group of Beticas. Located mainly in the province of Granada, although it also extends through Almería, it is the highest mountain massif in all of Europe after the Alps. It is in this place where, on January 11, 1999, the Sierra Nevada National Park was created.
If you have the opportunity to visit this place, you will be able to observe its steep peaks covered with snow and ice, an immense horizon full of villages and hamlets, forests, different areas of natural vegetation and a rich fauna. Would you like to discover more details about the Sierra Nevada National Park? Well, we recommend that you do not miss anything that we tell you below!
The highest peaks of the peninsula
The Sierra Nevada National Park, which was declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1986, combines beauty and ecological importance. In addition, it stands out for hosting the highest peaks of the Iberian Peninsula. We refer to Mulhacen , which reaches 3,479 meters in altitude, and Veleta, which reaches 3,398 meters. What’s more, 15 of its peaks exceed 3,000 meters in altitude. Considering these data, it is not surprising that Muslims called this place "mountain of the sun".
Extraordinary landscape value
Beyond hosting these high peaks, the Sierra Nevada National Park is characterized by being a wonderful set of extraordinary landscape value. Of glacial origin, this mountainous massif that can be seen from the Granada basin, hides a unique relief inside, where it is possible to find "U" shaped valleys, lagoons, cirques, lateral moraines and ridges. In addition, it is important to take into account its hydrological richness, which gives rise to numerous rivers and streams and mineral-medicinal waters. The Lanjarón spa and the network of ditches that pass through the Alpujarra stand out.
Flora and fauna
Within the Sierra Nevada National Park it is possible to find more than 2,100 plant species. Among all of them we want to highlight two exclusive endemic species of these massifs. We are referring to the Sierra Nevada violet and the snow star. As for the fauna, experts assure that the park is home to some 2,000 arthropods, 300 of them endemic. On the other hand, it is important to bear in mind that where more animals can be found is in the high mountains, where species such as the snow vole, the alpine accentor, the common lark, the red rocker, the golden eagle or the griffon vulture coexist. Of course, without a doubt, the mountain goat is the most characteristic animal in the park.
Much to do
In addition to contemplating the landscape, flora and fauna, in the Sierra Nevada Park you can carry out numerous activities. The most traditional are snow, hunting and fishing, although today there is a wide range of hiking, mountaineering and mountain biking. Among the sports that you can do in the park are free flying, caving, skiing , snowboarding, mountaineering, rafting, hiking or balloon flights, among others. In fact, the tourism industry that has developed in this area plays a very important role in the whole of Andalusia.
Then we leave you with our gallery , where you will find more images of this beautiful national park located in Granada. Do not miss it!