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Genal Copper Forest and Benarrabá Cork Oak Grove

Valle Genal

Hidden away in the Serranía de Ronda, in the province of Málaga, you will find somewhere that is so unique, it seems to have been created by a spell. A hidden natural treasure that, with each autumn, manifests itself in all its splendour with the last light of the day: the Bosque de Cobre.

The large, dense extensions of chestnut trees that populate the Valle del Genal make up what is known as Bosque de Cobre, an enchanted forest that embraces the almost pristine white villages of Alpandeire, Benadalid, Benalauría, Cartajima, Faraján, Genalguacil, Igualeja, Jubrique, Júzcar, ParautaPujerra and Yunquera.

The complex topography of the area, together with the humidity of the environment, has shaped a landscape of great beauty that each autumn, minute by minute, provides a different experience, a wealth of emotions that delights the thousands of people who come to visit.

When the leaves of the trees begin to fall, the forest becomes a fantasy. Orange, gold and ochre colour the chestnut tree tops while the ground is carpeted with copper-coloured fallen leaves. This creates a beautiful spectacle, an incredible contrast between the evergreen image provided by the Mediterranean forest, which also abounds in the area, and the deciduous skeletons of the chestnut trees. Full of magic!

The sweet chestnut tree is undoubtedly the great economic engine in the region because you will still find ancient trades and traditions linked to the use of this tree. The fruit is harvested between September and October, and it is used as the main ingredient for the preparation of many traditional recipes here in the mountains.

In this stunning natural environment you can practise a number of outdoor activities, such as hiking. In the area there are a number of routes that can be explored on foot and that enable you to make the most of this sensorial, medicinal grove, at least from a spiritual point of view. There are a number of designated lookout points where you can stop and enjoy the twilight as the sun sets behind the magical darkness of the forest.

Protected by the humidity of the mountains, in the heart of the valley, there is another forest of huge trees with wrinkled skin and a somewhat dishevelled appearance. This is the cork oak forest called the Alcornocal de Benarraba. Every nine years, an extraordinary hustle and bustle returns to disturb the peace and quiet in the forest: The ancient trees are stripped of their bark in a ritual to extract the cork.

Genal Copper Forest and Benarrabá Cork Oak Grove
Alpandeire, Benadalid, Benalauría, Benarrabá, Cartajima, Faraján, Genalguacil, Igualeja, Jubrique, Júzcar, Parauta, Pujerra, Yunquera.