With all the snow very much in the news just now I thought it was time I went off in search of some so yesterday, Amber & I set off to the Sierra Nevada.
For those that don’t know, the Sierra Nevada is a mountain range in the region of provinces of Granada and Almería. It contains the highest point of Spain, Mulhacén at 3,478 m (11,411 ft.) above sea level. It is a popular tourist destination, as its high peaks make skiing possible in one of Europe’s most southerly ski resorts, in an area along the Mediterranean Sea predominantly known for its warm temperatures and abundant sunshine. At its foothills is found the city of Granada and, a little further, Almería and Málaga. Parts of the range have been included in the Sierra Nevada National Park. The range has also been declared a biosphere reserve.
The Sierra Nevada National Park was declared a national park on 14 January 1999. It stretches from the Alpujarras to El Marquesado and the Lecrin Valley, covering a total area of 85,883 hectares, making it the largest national park in Spain. Due to its isolated location in the far south of Europe, the flora and fauna of the Sierra Nevada are unique. During the last ice age, species moved south to escape the colder climate in the north and as the climate grew warmer again, these species survived by taking refuge in the mountains. 2,100 plant species have been catalogued in the park, 116 of which are classified as threatened and over 60 of which are unique to the area (endemic).
For the wildlife enthusiasts amongst you, the park is home to a thriving Spanish ibex population, along with other species such as wild boar, martens, badgers and wildcats. Native bird species include the Golden Eagle, Bonelli’s Eagle, Common Kestrel, Little Owl, Eurasian Eagle-owl, European Goldfinch, Serin, Ortolan, Dartford Warbler, Wheateater, Red-legged Partridge and Common Quail.
We visited the Sierra Nevada during the “European freeze” not really knowing what to expect. Our starting point for our little journey was a small town called Abrucena, just on the edge of the park. We drove slowly and carefully up towards a picnic area called La Roza where it wasn’t really possible to go any further due to compacted snow. There were however plenty of photo opportunities en route which obviously extended the journey time 🙂
This is an area of Andalucía I’ve wanted to visit for a while so what better time than when there are some serious weather conditions across Europe. It snowed whilst we were driving around but fortunately not enough to hinder our travels.
Martyn Thompson – Landscape Photography
Photography Experiences in and around Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata
and Europes only desert in the Almería Province of Spain.