Montes de Málaga Natural Park is located north of Málaga city, occupying an area of 4,901 hectares, extending between Vega de Antequera (Antequera Meadow) and Hoya de Málaga (Málaga Wide Valley) and occupying the municipalities of Málaga, Casabermeja and Colmenar.
In Montes de Málaga Natural Park there are two recreational and camping areas, Torrijos Recreational Area and El Cerrado Recreational Area.
Starting from Málaga along the Montes Road (C-345) at less than 7 kilometers, you will find the Venta del Boticario (Apothecary Inn) and the Venta del Mijeño (Mijeño Inn), where opposite is one of the entrances to Montes de Málaga Natural Park. If you take the access lane and go across just over 1 km, you will find a junction with another lane, closed by a chain, which on the left you will reach the Casa Forestal del Boticario (Apothecary Forest House). Continuing along this lane, about 10 km away is the El Cerrado Recreational Area. You can also access it starting from the Montes Road (C-345) and about 14 kilometers from Málaga, taking a detour to the left and passing through the Mirador del Cochino (Cochino Viewpoint), after traveling just under 2 km.
Starting from the Montes Road (C-345), about 16.5 kilometers from Málaga, there is a paved lane on the left that will take you to Torrijos Recreational Area and Museo - Lagar de Torrijos (Torrijos Winery - Museum) located just under 2 km.
Other points and entrances of interest to Montes de Málaga Natural Park along the Montes Road (C-345), apart from the sales that stand on one side of the road and the other, are the Fuente de la Carretera de los Montes (Montes Road Fountain) about 11 km from Málaga, the Mirador del Cochino about 14 km, the Fuente de la Reina (Fountain of the Queen) about 15 km, the crossing of Olías about 17.5 km, the Carril del Puerto del Viento (Wind Refuge Lane) about 19 km, the Carril del Molino del Viento (Windmill Lane) about 22 km and the Carril Maruján (Maruján Lane) about 22.5 km.
Montes de Málaga Natural Park is inserted in the central-western area of the Baetic System and it is a mountainous area with altitudes that do not exceed 1100 meters above sea level. Among its highest peaks are Monte de la Reina (Queen Hill) (1032 m), Pico del Viento (Wind Peak) (1029 m), Cerro Cuellar (Cuellar Hill) (977 m), Cerro Murillo (Murillo Hill) (882 m), Alto de Jotrón (Jotrón High) (864 m), Cerro Matanza (Slaughter Hill) (774 m) and El Cerrado (The Strong) (770 m).
The materials that make up Montes de Málaga Natural Park are slate in character and originate a relief with very steep slopes, originating ravines and small valleys occupied mainly by Aleppo pine forests.
The origin of Montes de Málaga Natural Park takes place in the reforestation of pine, holm oak and chestnut trees carried out between 1930 and 1950 to prevent the erosion of the mountains and the avenues of torrential waters that caused serious floods on Málaga city. Added to this was the construction of dams on the different tributaries of the Guadalmedina River and a large number of walls and roads. It was declared a Natural Park in 1989.
The climate that dominates Montes de Málaga Natural Park is Mediterranean with mild temperatures and high levels of humidity. Rainfall is usually scarce and is located mainly between the months of November and December, this and the impermeability of the terrain, gives rise to a water deficit throughout the year, which conditions the vegetation that you will find in Montes de Málaga Natural Park. This is how Aleppo pine predominates, although black pines and stone pines also grow from which we can see centenary specimens. Also there are scattered in the park distinguished pine and Canary pine.
Accompanying these, olive trees, cork oaks, holm oaks, carob trees, kermes oak, junipers, mastic, strawberry trees, gall oaks and hawthorn trees grow. Oleanders, poplars, ash trees, honeysuckle, elm and willow trees grow in shady areas and stream edges. Among the scrub that populates it, the gorse, the bowline, the lavender, the esparto grass, the white rockrose, the rosemary, the thyme and the asparagus stand out.
The fauna of Montes de Málaga Natural Park is made up of 151 species, of which 27 are mammals, 95 birds, 19 reptiles, 8 amphibians and 2 are fish. Of the mammals, the wild boar and badger populations are important; although you can also find squirrels, weasels, foxes, rabbits, hedgehogs, wildcats, genets, hares, dormouse, mongoose, bats, shrews, field mice, voles and polecats.
Among the birds, the common bee-eater, the lapwing, the rock plane, the goshawk, the booted eagle, the short-toed eagle, the eagle owl, the calender, the great tit, the common warbler, the kestrel, the nightjar, the bunting, the montesino, the hoopoe, the barn lark, the cattle egret, the hawk, the quail, the cuckoo, the swallow, the sparrow, the goldfinch, the white wagtail, the barn owl, the kingfisher, the little owl, the common linnet, the partridge, the oriole, the wood pigeon, the real woodpecker, the common buzzard, the nightingale, the wild bird, the swift and the thrush stand out.
Among the reptiles, the chameleon, the bastard snake, the horseshoe snake, the viperine snake, the blind shingles, the terrapin and the lizard are of special mention.
You can find amphibians such as gallipat, salamander and frog, and fish such as eel and river boga.
The most common type of rural house in Montes de Málaga Natural Park was the Casa Lagar (Winery House). They were oriented to winemaking and are scattered throughout the park, generally near springs. Most of them are built on one floor, with mud, stones, reeds and wood from the environment. They were used as a private home to which units for livestock and the winery itself were added where the work to obtain wine was carried out. Its use fell into abandonment with the decline in the planting of vineyards, caused by the plague of phylloxera throughout the 19th century.
Currently there are very few houses of this type in good condition. An example of this type of construction is the Museo - Lagar de Torrijos, located in the heart of Montes de Málaga Natural Park, between Cerro Nicolás (Nicolás Hill) and Cerrillo de las Perdices (Partridges Hill). It is a two-story building restored from 1843. In it you will be able to contemplate the different dependencies that make it up, including artisan ovens, a cellar and an oil mill, as well as the house's own dependencies, and farm implements, utensils and machinery for the manufacture of oil, bread and wine.
The wine made in Montes de Málaga is made with traditional techniques, which have survived to this day, transmitted from generation to generation. 34 varieties of vineyards were cultivated, currently it has been reduced to three: Pedro Ximen, Moscatel and Rome, giving rise to the Montes, Malaga and Moscatel dry wine.
These wines are used to accompany their exquisite cuisine that we can taste in the sales that stand on one side and the other of the Montes Road (C-345), with a wide gastronomic repertoire typical of Montes de Málaga Natural Park among which typical dishes of the area stand out such as tomato soup, coastal fish-based soups, seafood rice dishes, casserole with clams or cod, green beans, malagueña rice casserole, white soup, gazpachuelo, stuffed zucchini, tuna with tomato, sardine skewers, dogfish with potatoes and almonds, malagueña cod, fish fry, fried anchovies, pickled anchovies, cortijera rabbit, quail and partridge and quail stew, among others.