There are 24 Natural Parks in Andalucía and you can find the full list here.
In the Ronda area there are 3 Natural Parks: Parque Natural de la Sierra de Grazalema, Parque Natural de la Sierra de Las Nieves and Parque Natural de Los Alcornocales. Each Park has an office dedicated to information and Park mamagement and these are state-run by the Junta de Andalucía. Most have English speakers on staff however please bear in mind that the recent severe budget cuts mean that the state offices are understaffed and it is sometimes quite difficult to reach them on the phone or by email. The staff can get busy attending customers in person and this is the best way to ask for information at these offices at the moment. Nevertheless, Grazalema has a very efficient multi-lingual private tourist office at the moment located at Plaza de los Asomaderos (the main car park in the village) which you can contact by phone, email or in person.
Grazalema Tourist Office (private) Plaza de los Asomaderos 3, post-code 11610, Grazalema, Tel. (+0034) 956 13 20 52 (Mon – Sun 10-14, 15-19, Spanish time).
Oficina de El Bosque (state-run): Avda. de la Diputación s/n., post-code, 11670, El Bosque. Tel. (+0034 956 71 60 63 / 71 62 36). Fax 956 71 63 39. (Mo-Sun 9 am -2 pm).
Andalucía also boasts two National Parks : Doñana and Sierra Nevada. The main difference between a Parque Natural and Parque Nacional concerns human intervention: hunting, grazing, construction. Parque Nacional is much more restrictive than Parque Natural, however the latter also has strict rules and laws which need to be followed by locals and visitors. Please remember these rules are there to help you and others enjoy the Parks safely and responsibly.
Guidelines for Using the Natural Parks
- Free camping is not allowed. The Parks are patrolled by Guardas Forestales (park rangers) and, occassionally, by Guardia Civil (one of the three types of Police force in Andalucía).
There are designated campsites and rural accommodation in the Parks, so please find their location in advance. For the Grazalema Park you can check out the Camping Tajo Rodillo.
Sierra de las Nieves has a campsite called Las Conejeras and in Los Alcornocales there is the Camping Salitre. More camping information here.
- Rest areas (Zona Recreativa) should not be confused with campsites. These are picnic areas. Some have designated barbeque grills but their use may be restricted to spring and winter period. Before using them please make sure if it is allowed. Most of the time there are signs explainig the time periods when the grills can be used.
- Lighting fires is strictly forbidden. Forest fires are a huge problem in Andalucía. Make sure you are not creating a fire risk, cigarette butts should not be tossed on the ground, ever.
- Pick up all the trash behind you, including orange and banana peels which do not decompose quickly. If possible, it is a good idea to report seeing any problems such as trash dumped in the Park to the Park rangers. The rangers wear khaki uniforms with a green Junta de Andalucía logo and drive white jeeps or pick-ups with the same green Junta de Andalucía logo.
- Avoid making noise and disturbing wildlife. You can report excessive noise, quads or motorbikes in Natural Park to the park rangers or to Guardia Civil (062).
- Collecting plants or animals is not allowed in the Parks. Taking photographs with a hide or camouflage requires a permit. Feeding or bating animals for photos is forbidden. Photographing or disturbing birds´ nests is not allowed.
- Pets need to be on a lead. This may seem excessive however if there are ground nesting birds or young rabbits around, a dog could cause a lot of damage. Also, there are farm animals around in the Parks such as goats, cows, horses and sheep and they may not appreciate being chased around. Some walks in the Parks do not allow pets and it is usual the walks requiring a permit.
- Permits are always required for four walks in the Grazalema Natural Park: (also see FAQs )
- Garganta Verde
- Llanos de Ravel
- El Pinsapar
The Grazalema Tourist Office (see details above) can help you arrange the permits. They may charge you 1-2 euros for the service.
It is best to avoid weekends or holidays for these walks as permits tend to be snatched very quickly and the walks may be crowded. It is essential to arrange your permit in advance if you want to avoid disappointment. The four walks are closed to the public form mid-June to mid-October because of forest fire risk. You can still use these walks if acompanied by a legally registered walking guide/walking company.
At the moment permits are not required for Sierra de las Nieves or Los Alcornocales unless you are with a school group, organised walking club, a film crew or any other large organized group when it is best to advise the park rangers of your intended activities and their location.
If you are walking with us, all permits can be arranged free of charge by your guide in advance given notice of 2 weeks. We operate in the following Natural Parks: Sierra de las Nieves, Sierra de Grazalema, Los Alcornocales.