Sierra de Gador (Almeria)

Sierra de Gador

The Sierra de Gador is a mountainous complex that stretches 52 kilometres through the southwest of the province of Almeria, specifically by the municipalities of Felix, Enix, Gador, Alhama de Almeria, Alicun, Huecija, Illar, Instincion, Ragol, Fondon, Laujar de Andarax, Alcolea, Berja, Dalias, and Vicar.

In this range, whose height is at the peak of “Morron de la Launilla”, 2,249 metres high. is a great wealth of flora and fauna, with many specimens from the area, which have caught the attention of researchers.

The main forests that are found in the Sierra de Gador are made up of pine trees from the last third of the last century, although it is still possible to find holm oaks and, in the wetter areas, Quercus faginea groves. On the summits, the Cytisus predominates. Among this rich and varied flora, we can highlight some endemic species from the Sierra de Gador, such as the Coronopus navasii or the Astragalus tremolsianus.

Regarding the fauna, the most numerous group is the invertebrates, emphasized by the importance of butterflies. The Apollo butterfly of the Sierra de Gador (Parnassius apollo gadorensis) is one of the most typical species of the area; there is also the “chapa” snail, an indigenous species of the Sierra de Gador whose population has recently been greatly reduced due to man's activities. The Sierra de Gador is catalogued as a Zone of Special Interest for Lepidopterology.

The presence of more than 130 different species of birds makes the Sierra de Gador one of the richest areas in ornithofauna in the province of Almeria.
Eurasian Eagle Owl

The birds of prey include the eagle owl, the little owl, the barn owl, the golden eagle, the Bonelli's eagle, the hobby, the merlin, and the vulgar kestrel.

Among the mammals, the most significant presence is the mountain goat, coming from the neighbouring Sierra Nevada. Far more numerous are the wild boar that are distributed throughout the territory. Within the small predators, next to the threatened wildcat, foxes, genets, weasels, and badgers abound.

In the abandoned mines it is common to see and hear bats. Chameleons are also found among the impressive fauna of this beautiful mountain range of Almeria.

In the Sierra de Gador there are numerous remains of old extraction mines, mainly lead and silver, which were abandoned in the second half of the 20th century, but once had great importance and were the trigger for the great increase in population that occurred in the area, especially in Berja, at the beginning of the 19th century.

The Sierra de Gador offers a fantastic view and interaction with nature, which has earned the interest of hundreds of tourists, athletes, and hiking enthusiasts, who choose any of the routes available to enjoy the natural beauty offered by the mountain range.

The Sierra de Gador is particularly appreciated during the snowy winter, due to the great beauty of its whitewashed landscape, of which innumerable photographs exist. The richness of its landscape responds to its great extension, bordering to the north with Sierra Nevada, to the south with the Mediterranean Sea, to the east with Sierra Alhamilla, and to the west with the Sierra de la Contraviesa. This gives it a stunning landscape and a diversity of animals and plants, which varies according to the landscape, temperature, and characteristics of the mountain at each particular point.

At its feet is the region of the Poniente of Almeria, traditionally called the “Campo de Dalias.”