Sierra Alhamilla comprises a system of mountains typical of the Baetic Cordilleras, whose landscape extends to municipalities such as Almeria, Nijar, Lucainena de las Torres, Tabernas, Rioja and Pechina, which are all located within the province of Almeria.
It is one of the natural sanctuaries in the province of Almeria covering 8,500 hectares and rises to an altitude of 1,387 metres above sea level, with Colativi Peak being its highest point. This place has become the habitat of numerous species of plants and animals, who have found an oasis in which to take refuge from the hostility of the nearby areas.
It is also considered to be a large “lung”, capable of providing oxygen to the nearby moors, thus filling them with abundant life and splendour. This makes it ideal for both the species that live there and for the people who wish to visit and enjoy the landscape.
It should be noted that the word “Alhamilla” reveals the important Islamic influence that existed in the area, and of which important vestiges are still preserved.
Years ago, the sierra's flora was severely compromised by the actions of man, particularly by the large number of forest fires that were started, as well as indiscriminate tree felling for smelting furnaces and coal manufacturing.
In those years there were several species of plants such as Retama sphaerocarpa, Cistus ladanifer, esparto grass, Thymus and Phlomis purpurea bushes.
However, since the end of the 1960s, a process of plant repopulation was carried out in which pines were introduced, which currently predominate in the sierra to give it life and spectacularity.
You can also find different types of bushes such as flax-leaved daphne, thyme, marjoram, kermes oaks and Cistus ladanifer.
In the lower areas are the black hawthorn, mastic trees and wild olive trees, which represent an important part of the vegetation of the Sierra Alhamilla.
The fauna is also diverse and many of the species have found an ideal refuge in these places.
It is common to see different types of lizards, such as the Iberian wall lizard, Large psammodromus, Psammodromus hispanicus and the Bedriaga's skink. There are also the Tarentola mauritanica and some types of snakes such as the ladder snake.
Among the mammal species include the badger, hare, weasel and wild boar. In addition, shrews, European hedgehogs, country rats and Etruscan shrews are very common. According to some experts, there is evidence that there were formerly wild cats in the area, but there are no longer any there in the present time.
The birds are also an important part of the fauna, and here you will find species such as the European green woodpecker, coal tit, red crossbill, common wood pigeon, great tit and the Eurasian blue tit. We should also highlight the European robin, black redstart, European greenfinch, common linnet, song thrush, spectacled warbler, common stonechat, little bustard and the Eurasian skylark, among many others.
Those who have had the opportunity to visit the Sierra Alhamilla agree that the best way to get to know the mountains is to ascend to its summits, since from there you will have a spectacular view as far as the horizon.
From there you can see the Sierra de Gador and Sierra Nevada to the west, as well as a view of the Tabernas Desert to the north. If you look further south, you will see the blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea, and the volcanic areas of the Cabo de Gata if you look to the east.
Reaching the top involves an easy walk on guided trails, during which you will enjoy the landscape as you go.