The Sierra de las Nieves natural park is located in the hills behind Marbella and to the east of the Ronda-Marbella road as it winds up the mountain along hairpin bends.
The park centres on Mount Torrecilla (1909m) and covers an area of 30km by 20km or 18,530 hectares.
The district of the Sierra de las Nieves is bounded to the south by the western Costa del Sol, to the east by the Guadalhorce Valley, to the west by the Sierra of Ronda and to the north by the district of Guadalteba.
Apart from a few villages, which form a rural mountain community, this isolated area is largely uninhabited, and has seen very little human influence or activity, such as agricultural cultivation. For this reason, it has an unusually rich variety of indigenous flora (pine, fir, ash, chestnut, wild olive and oak trees, as well as juniper) and fauna, including mountain goat and muflon. As the name suggests, the park is sometimes snow-covered in winter.
The area was studied in the 19th century by Swiss botanist Edmond Boissier and in 1933 by Spanish botanist Luis Ceballos. In 1970 the park was declared a National Hunting Reserve, and in 1995 a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Activities available including mountain climbing and horse-riding. Click on any photo to enlarge.