There are places in the world that, due to their geographical, climatic and environmental conditions, become extremely special areas and are therefore considered true jewels of nature.
This is the case with the Sierra Maria-Los Velez Natural Park, with an extension of 22,562 hectares, perfect for anyone who likes to enjoy the beauty of its landscape, the diversity of its fauna and its pleasant climate.
It is a set of mountainous massifs located at the northern end of the province of Almeria. It contains spectacular valleys that contrast with the aridity of the surrounding lands.
It was declared a Natural Park on October 17, 1987; a distinction that continues to this day, and which has allowed for the conservation of this range of beautiful mountains.
The Sierra Maria-Los Velez Natural Park is also famous for its cultural heritage and for its important archaeological wealth, among which we can highlight the perfectly preserved cave paintings that can be found in the caves of “Ambrosio” and “Los Letreros”.
From there arises the figure of the Indalo
, which has become an icon of Almeria. In addition, it is important to note that it is more than 7,500 years old, and has been catalogued as one of the most spectacular places on the Iberian Peninsula.
These caves are not the only place to visit, because the park has other attractions such as the “Umbria de la Virgen” Botanical Garden, in whose surroundings you can see some of the area's unique vegetation.
This park contains one of the best preserved forests in Almeria, which you can enjoy through a walk along the “Pinar de la Alfahuara” path.
A very important point to know is that Sierra Maria-Los Velez was twinned in 1990 with the “Altmühltal” Natural Park, located in southern Germany, which has generated a series of exchanges in knowledge, experience and other educational, cultural and business activities.
Black pines and Aleppo pines abound in the impressive forests, which are some of the best preserved in the province, as we have already mentioned. You will also find species such as Quercus faginea, holm oak, thyme, kermes oak and rosemary. A large Sabina Albar (Juniperus thurifera) that has been declared a Natural Monument forms part of the Sierra Maria-Los Velez landscape.
The diversity of its fauna is really impressive and is one of the location's additional attractions. Among the birds, you will find the golden eagle, short-toed eagle, eagle owl, hawk and the goshawk, among many other birds. Among the mammals are the wildcat, fox, wild boar, genet and it is also home to the indigenous butterflies known as Apollo.
Through numerous trails, you can explore and learn about the forests. There are paths where you can walk easily and also engage the help of guides. Among the most visited places are the “Cueva de Los Letreros”, the “Sabina Albar” Natural Monument, the “Umbria de la Virgen” Botanical Garden and the “Pinar de la Alfahuara”.
Do not forget to visit the Sierra Maria-Los Velez Natural Park; one of the most beautiful places in the province of Almeria.