National Parks of Andalucia, discover the breathtaking nature of the South

21 Oct
2016
Last update: 27 March, 2019

Find out which are the two national parks of Andalucia, and plan your route to enjoy their majestic landscape.

Andalucia is home to two national parks, where a huge variety of plant and animal species live protected. The Doñana National Park in Huelva and the Sierra Nevada National Park in Granada are a jewel of Andalucia and show how Mother Nature has provided them with spectacular touches.

Let’s find out the perks of visiting the two of them!

Doñana National Park in Huelva

The National Park of Doñana extends for 543 square km on the east side of the province of Huelva and the west side of that of Seville, from the town of Mazagón until the estuary of the river Guadalquivir on the Atlantic Ocean. It is composed of a protected area of 135 square km, bordered by the Doñana Natural Park, whose protection is less strict. In addition to being considered Spain’s most famous national park, Doñana also is the largest roadless area in Western Europe.

Marshlands of Doñana National Park

The variety of biotopes is home to 360 bird species and 37 types of mammals. Among them, there are extremely endangered European species such as the Iberian Lynx (60 individuals) and the Spanish imperial eagle (only eight breeding pairs). The fact of protecting this species has made it possible for the Doñana National Park to be declared World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 1994.

Iberian Lynx in Doñana National Park

You can visit the marshlands, the fixed and mobile dunes, and the scrub woodland that depict the Park’s landscapes thanks to various guided tours and free walks targeting different areas of Doñana.

The Doñana National Park has five visitor centres, three of which in the province of Huelva, one in Seville and one in Cadiz. The most ancient one is the “El Acebuche” Visitor Centre, located 3 km far from the town of Matalascañas (whose fantastic beach is among the best of Huelva) towards El Rocío. In addition to being the starting point of all the Park’s guided tours, El Acebuche also hosts a permanent exhibition about Doñana.

Sierra Nevada National Park in Granada

The Sierra Nevada’s 862 square kilometres make it Spain’s largest national park. It belongs to the province of Granada and part of that of Almeria, and it is characterised by some of the highest peaks of Europe, the 3395-meter-high Veleta and the 3479-meter-high Mulhacén, the highest of Iberian Peninsula. These are known as “Los Tresmiles”, literally “The Three Thousands” for being higher than 3000 meters.

Sierra Nevada national park in Andalusia

The Sierra Nevada National Park is also famous for being the most southern glacial area of Europe, which lets its mountains be topped in an almost-permanent snow. The south and lower part of the Sierra Nevada is called Alpujarra, and it is dotted with picturesque and scenic villages, a must-see if you are in the area.

The Sierra Nevada National Park is home to 2100 plant and (many) animal species, in the various areas that compose the Sierra Nevada National Park.

Los Cahorros is an area of the Sierra Nevada located near the river Monachil, which provides spectacular views of the gorges. You can go for a route in this area, the most famous of which is the Cahorros Altos, whose starting point is to 5 km east of the town of Monachil.

Los Cahorros in the Sierra Nevada National Park

The Vereda de la Estrella is another breathtaking route, whose origins date back to 1890 when it was used as a connection path with the mines. The starting point of this mesmerising route is the Barranco de San Juan, a fantastic river valley where the last Sierra tram used to stop.

If you want to discover a true show of the Sierra, go for the Lavaderos de la Reina route. This spring route takes you along paths that show you the spectacular Sierra Nevada glacier melt. And if you are more of a mountain person, don’t miss the Arenales del Trevenque route, whose views over Granada will leave you breathless.

Lastly, Pradollano is the ski resort area of Sierra Nevada, where you can spend your holiday skiing and skiing and skiing without bore yourself, thanks to its 100 km of ski slopes.

Pradollano ski station in Sierra Nevada

Places to stay in Huelva and Granada

The best way to enjoy the national parks of Andalucia is by staying at a holiday home in the surrounding area of these two breathtaking environments. If you want to visit Doñana, choose a holiday home near Huelva.

And in case you prefer the Sierra Nevada, find out the best holiday homes in its surroundings. The two options won’t deceive you, we promise!

Don’t miss the opportunity to plunge into the beauty of the national parks of Andalucia!

Have you ever been to Doñana or the Sierra Nevada? Which one would you like to visit the most? Tell us in the comments below!

National Parks of Andalucia, discover the breathtaking nature of the South is an article that talks about Nature in Granada
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