The Sierras Subbéticas, part of the European and World Geoparks Network approved by UNESCO since 2006 due to their geological interest, emerged from the seabed during the Alpine folding and the most beautiful story of the last 250 million years of the Earth is told in the traces of its reliefs ;… man, eager to leave his mark, has cast green wedges liquid gold.
The massif, which stands as a huge and impregnable mountainous mass besieged by the plains of Priego and Alcaudetethe valley of Antequera and the Cordoba countryside; but the water, through the dissolution of the limestone from which it is formed, has been carving reliefs at will, creating peaks, ridges and canyons, such as Sierra Horconera (Rute) and Gallinera (Carcabuey); sink-holes - Cortijo del Alto or Los Hoyones-; fertile plateaus such as the Nava polje; grooves, furrows and crests, such as the limestone pavement of Los Lanchares; and, when water is right in the heart of the mountains, it gives rise to chasms and galleries, like the chasms of Cabra and Sierra de Gallinera, the caves of Los Murciélagos and El Fraile, gorges and canyons such as the Bailón River, and finally upwellings and springs, such as the splendid Fuente del Rey in Priego and Fuente del Río en Cabra.
Fauna and floraThe river courses have a lush vegetation of elm trees, ash trees and poplars which shelter water rats and crayfish of Cabrera, a small shrew that only lives in the waters of this province. The higher up you go, the sun determines a landscape with plants of stocky appearance, the habitat of the wild goat, whilst in the shade there are oak patches and Portuguese oak and undergrowth comprising of hawthorns and Portuguese laurel which allows for a large number of birds - the nuthatch, the red crossbill and the golden finch. This area is dominated by moss, lichen and mushrooms, whose importance and diversity have led to the creation of a mycological garden in the village of Zagrilla. The highest peaks are colonised by plants of a spiny and cushioned appearance, such as Echinospartum and Erinacea anthyllis. In the cracks there are usually scarce species such as the rare orchid Orchis ustulata and the liliaceae Allium reconditum. Here we find the most interesting fauna, some of them indigenous to these mountains, such as Festuca cordubensis, Rutea Hypochaeris, Melica bocqueti, Mercudera androcymbioides and Narcissus bugei or the flower of St. Joseph. This is ideal place for rock birds, such as griffon vultures, golden eagles and the Bonelli's eagle, peregrine falcons or eagle owls.
Services and infrastructure
- Botanical Garden
- Tourist Office