Most of the places I visit on a regular basis are located within the province of Cadíz, but there are some beautiful and interesting areas that fall within that of neighbouring Malaga that are at the top of my list of very special places.
The major part of the Alcornocales Natural Park lies in the province of Cadíz, but a small corner is claimed by Malaga province and one place we visit actually straddles the boundary of the two; this is La Sauceda a wonderful venue at any time of the year, but especially in the early spring.
Gaucín village,another place on my visiting list, is in Malaga province and although on the edge of the Alcornocales, is not included within it. From Sotogrande I can drive up there one of two ways, either via the toll road (AP7) ,turning off at Manilva then continuing upwards to the village, or by taking the San Roque to Gaucín road that bypasses Jimena. Either route is worth taking just for the scenery alone, but the former route, although not the best maintained road and takes concentration on the bendy parts, is my favoured way to get there. This is where we come seeking early flowering orchids, but there are also some amazing walking routes around the mountains here, many detailed by Guy Hunter-Watts in his indispensable guide ‘Walking in Andalucía’.
A little further on from Gaucín is the town of Ronda, surrounded by its beautiful mountains, the Serrania de Ronda. During the month of June one of the most popular GONHS outings takes us up there to the Sierra de las Nieves, giving us the opportunity to explore a montane habitat and discover some of its unique flora and beautiful butterflies.
Back nearer to home, another place I like to visit is the unique site of the Roman Baths just outside the town of Sabinillas, about 12 miles back along the coast from where I live in Sotogrande, which is literally just inside the Malaga border.