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Traditional cheeses from the Sierra de Grazalema are made from goat’s or sheep’s milk. ‘Cabra Payoya’ goats and ‘Oveja Merina Grazalemeña’ sheep are both registered and protected breeds of the Sierra de Grazalema and adjoining Serranía de Ronda. These breeds have been developed to flourish in a mountain terrain where summer droughts are the norm and winter rainfall can be in heavy bursts.These flocks play a key role in the maintenance of local traditions and cultures, contributing to sustainable rural development in the region. Managed well, they aid in the conservation and maintenance of the mountain area.
Summer time is when many insects reach the adult phase of their life. They may have spent months, even years as a larva, drab in colour and unable to move far, possibly living underwater or underground. Now, in this last stage of their lifecycle, they might be brightly coloured, able to fly or to emit sounds and so they become more obvious to us. Insects are a very important part of the food chain on which we depend.
We also rely heavily on insects for their ability to pollinate much of our food crops, and so they deserve at least a moment of our time. Here is a tiny selection of those that might gain your attention within the natural park area.
There will be a marked difference between the first and second parts of this month as plants succumb to the heat and set their seeds. Areas that have held high moisture levels during the winter and spring will now come into their own with ribbons of bright pink Oleanders mapping the watercourses with Penny Royal and Apple Mint accompanying them. Climbing higher, aromatic herbs tucked into rock crevices in the mountains will be attracting bees and butterflies with their nectar rich blooms.
One of Spain's most stunning natural parks. A fabulous location to spend time be it resting, walking, bird watching or photography. Grazalema is to be found in the north east part of Cadiz province (at a height of 800m) in the mountain range bearing the same name Sierra de Grazalema. In 1977 this area was declared a “Biosphere Reserve” by UNESCO due to the exceptional variety and wealth of its fauna and flora. In 1984 it was made the first Nature Park of Andalucia by the Junta de Andalucia.
This is a golden month, as most annual flowers have finished their colourful phase, produced their seed heads and dried completely to a straw colour. Although if you look in the right places there are still flowers to be found; watercourses, irrigated areas, animal watering troughs, damp meadows and high mountains will offer the best selection. However, this is also a good month to see insects such as dragonflies, mantis and bushcrickets!
During the month of September the night time temperatures are lower, allowing plant life a reprieve and the chance of at least a few drops of moisture in the form of dew, if not a rain shower or perhaps a storm. Heavy rain tends to run off the baked ground too quickly whereas steady showers can be absorbed into the parched soil. Either way the wildlife appreciates this sign of the approaching cooler weather and autumn bulbs “spring” into life.
Autumn flowering bulbs are a favourite at this time of year, but you generally have to have keen eyes to find them as they can be very small and well hidden. On the contrary the Autumn Buttercup can turn a rugged hillside yellow with its shiny, rich yellow, blooms. Autumn doesn’t necessarily mean colourful leaves about to fall, as many trees here are evergreen. The Narrow-leaved Ash seems to be the first to turn yellow with tall Poplars following shortly. The deciduous oaks may retain their leaves until the buds shoot again in the new year, unless strong winds shake them free.
When in Spain many people may wonder about scorpions, spiders and venomous snakes and will not be aware that they are much more likely to endanger themselves and their pets by getting too close to an innocent looking line of caterpillars that can be found crossing a pavement, road or footpath during the first months of each year.
FEBRUARY Wildflowers are always a welcome sight, especially through the winter months, as coupled with the birds beginning to sing they show us that spring is near. Almond trees in blossom are the most noticeable in shades of pink and white, along with the Paperwhite narcissus, Branched asphodels and Broad-leaved iris as each can create swathes of colour across pastures. The much smaller flowered Andaluz storksbill and Field marigolds also cover large areas in pink and golden yellow.
Colour is spreading into every corner as now, according to the calendars, spring is official. Our surroundings become a painter’s paradise as lush plants vie for attention, their soft edges contrasting with the sharp mountain landscape. Botanising amongst the orchids is sheer pleasure as more species are appearing in bloom and photographers beware – extra memory cards and batteries are advised!
We run flexible holidays with NO fixed start time or end time. Let us know when you want to come and we will do the rest! You can come and be guided or self guided, it's up to you!
Fully inclusive 7 day guided walking at a fantastic price of 800 pounds per person!
Self Guided 7 day walking holiday just 450 pounds per person
You arrive at Malaga airport with transport pickup at around 3pm to Grazalema and leave at 8am for Malaga airport for departure. We run small groups with normally 8 guests at a time although sometimes we invite other people visiting or passing through the park area with our "join a group" service. Meeting like minded people and making new friendships through our shared love of the surrounding nature is an important part of Wildside Holidays - Grazalema. Click read more for sample itineries and more information and please contact us with any questions about our walking holidays in Spain.
During late May and into June temperatures start to rise as springtime turns quickly to summer. Road side verges are full of flowering plants in all colours and cereal fields turn bright red with poppies and yellow with false fennel. As the weeks progress, spring blooms will be turning to seed and the golden browns of summer will begin to dominate the lower landscapes. However the later flowering of the higher altitude mountainous plants means that there is still plenty to discover in what is known as the ‘hedgehog zone’ describing plants with a dwarf and prickly form.
Spring is in full swing during the month of May and the plants in flower are so numerous that it is difficult to choose which ones to mention here. You will see that the waysides and meadows hold a tremendous variety, pause to count how many species you can find in just one square metre! Note that there is a subtle difference between the flowering times in the sheltered valleys to that of the exposed higher pastures. Look below the featured plants here, to see a condensed list to whet your appetite! (Grouped by colour).
Yes, it gets quite hot here in Grazalema during the summer months but don't let that put you off! Walking through the woods and high mountains with the heavy scent of pine resin and aromatic plants is natures natural aromatherapy.
Cicadas buzzing in the trees and vultures wheeling overhead.
Summertime is simply stunning here in the Sierra de Grazalema
Join us for a week of walking with 3 self guided walks, 2 guided walks fully inclusive of breakfast, lunch and dinner. Lovely village hotel and all transport to and from Malaga airport plus a day trip to the beautiful white town of Ronda.
Price just 750 pounds per person (based on 2 people) Contact us for more information,
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