The Montes de Málaga Natural Park is the closest protected area to the capital of the Costa del Sol. This park has almost 5,000 hectares and is in the hills 5 km north of Malaga. This park belongs to the capital of the Costa del Sol and to the towns of Casabermeja and Colmenar.
This park is the green lung of the city and is surrounded by the Guadalmedia river basin and its tributaries and streams. The hills of the park have a height of 80-100 meters above sea level.
In this park you can find many species of mammals, birds, and plants. So, if you want to spend a day enjoying nature, this is the best place.
History of the Montes de Málaga Natural Park
This area was exploited from the 15th century until the beginning of the 20th century. The oldest trees were removed to create a new space to plant vineyards and olive trees. As a result of the exploitation and the elimination of the old trees, the city of Malaga itself was also damaged. The damage caused was floods that destroyed the villages around Malaga and even the city itself.
A phylloxera plague in 1878 eliminated the planting that had been done before, i.e., the vineyards and olive trees, and because of the plague the population of Malaga began a process of reforestation to recover those old trees. They created a dam called El Agujero.
Thanks to all this process of pine reforestation, in 1989 the park was declared a “Natural Park“. Because of the very denomination of natural park, it attracts many tourists to the area looking to enjoy and relax in nature.
The Montes de Málaga Natural Park is open 24 hours a day all year round, from Monday to Sunday. These hours vary when there are holidays or long weekends.
The ecomuseum “Lagar de Torrijos” is open in the mornings. In the morning it is open from 10.00h to 15.00h on weekends in winter. If you go to the ecomuseum during the week, on Thursdays and Fridays in winter the opening hours are from 10.00h to 14.00h. On Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays the ecomuseum is not open. In summer, the ecomuseum is open in June, July, and August from 10:00-14.00 on Saturdays and Sundays.
To access the ecomuseum it is necessary to make an appointment with a group. This visit is worthwhile because it is a more cultural visit, and you can visit the archaeological sites inside the park and the cave paintings. The entrance to the ecomuseum is always free, so it is worth the visit.
The entrance to the Natural Park of Montes de Málaga, is totally free for everyone and for all the seasons of the year. In addition, if you want to visit the ecomuseum “Lagar de los Torrijos” its entrance is also free and accessible for all ages.
If you want to stay in the park, you will find rural houses, and villas around the park which is the only thing that has a price. The price of accommodation is usually affordable, it is around 80€. You will also find restaurants to eat.
If you go hiking in the park, your entrance fee is also free.
What to do?
In the natural park of Los Montes, you will not get bored, as you can do various activities or even enjoy and relax in nature.
It offers activities such as hiking or cycling routes. The park has 45 km of routes, all of them suitable for vehicles. Take one of the routes and enjoy the nature of the park and its living beings that live there. On the route you will encounter various mammals, birds and diverse plants.
If you want to make a more cultural visit, you must visit the ecomuseum “Lagar de Torrijos” from 1843. Here you will see archaeological sites inside the park and enjoy various cave paintings of our ancestors. This center is also called Interpretation Center, so you can learn about the culture of the place, how wine was made and produced, how they made homemade bread, and you can also visit an oil mill and the old property where our ancestors used to do all the above mentioned.
How to get to the Montes de Málaga Natural Park
This park, being close to the city of Malaga, is easily accessible, so its location is very good. So, if you are in Malaga, and you want a day to enjoy nature, going to this natural park will not be difficult to access.
The park can be accessed from Fuente de la Reina, which is in its eastern part. We can also access from Malaga city, taking the A-345 highway, we will arrive at Torrijos Park.
If we want to visit the “ecomuseum” this is located one hour from the city of Malaga. This museum is in the region of Los Montes de Málaga. To access it you need your own vehicle, so you must go to Fuente Olletas and from there take the A-7000 which is also known as Carretera de Los Montes and you will find different entrances to the natural park on the way up.
Main routes of the Natural Park of Montes de Málaga
If you want to enjoy the wonders of the park, there are 5 routes available that you can walk. You can visit them by hiking or even make the journey by bicycle, so you cannot miss the routes.
El Cerrado Trail
This trail has a circular shape and is 4 km long. This trail starts at the picnic area El Cerrado. On this trail you will be able to see the area destroyed by a fire, and although there has been an attempt to reforest it, the area is still recognizable by the fire.
On this trail, you can enjoy the Mirador del Cochino, which has incredible views of the park and the city of Malaga.
This trail starts at the Lagar de Torrijos Ecomuseum and is 2.5 km long. Here you will be able to enjoy the Chaperas Stream and old houses from the 19th century. Not only that, but in this trail, you can enjoy the area where there are barbecues, which have tables and chairs. In addition, in this trail you will find free camping areas where you can enjoy the incredible Malaga Mountains in the best company.
The Picapedros trail starts in the southwestern part of the park and is the longest of the 5 trails. It has 7km. To access this trail, you have to take the A45 highway from Malaga in a northerly direction.
This route is characterized by the Molinos de San Telmo, where bread used to be baked. You can also see the aqueduct of San Telmo that provided drinking water to the city of Malaga. And not only that, but you can also enjoy an incredible waterfall of 30 meters.
Contadores Trail and Pocopán Trail
These two trails are the last ones. They both start at the Fuente de la Reina and on these trails, you will enjoy and discover the incredible landscapes of the Parque de los Montes. These trails are 3 and 5 km long. If you are a nature lover in these trails you will be able to see the mixture of oaks and cork oaks that was the typical vegetation of the place.
In the Pocopán Trail you can enjoy the incredible viewpoint that runs along this trail over a dense pine forest. It is a good plan to visit this viewpoint as you will see much of the Natural Park of Montes de Malaga.