Sierra Nevada, Granada

Sierra Nevada Nature Reserve


The Andalusian colossus

  Set in the central part of the Penibética mountain range, the Sierra Nevada massif is the largest Iberian mountain area with its own structural unit. Known by the Arabs as the “Sierra del Sol”, or “sunlit mountains”, it is home to some of the most valued flora in Europe. It was declared a Biosphere Reserve in 1986.

  Sierra Nevada is a mountain massif which forms a clearly distinct geographic unit. It is located to the southeast of Granada and extends to the eastern edge of Almería. It is characterised by its contrasting relief, with gentle slopes in some areas and steep cliffs in others. This reserve is home to the highest peaks on the Iberian peninsula: the Mulhacén (3,482 m) and the Veleta (3,392 m). The main plant communities to be found in this mountain massif are holm oak groves, deciduous forests of chestnuts and Pyrenean oak, high-mountain pine groves, and broom at the highest levels, where the species adopt a pin-cushion shape to protect themselves from the winter temperatures and freezing winds. The fauna includes several invertebrates which are exclusive to this massif, and particularly, over 20 species of butterfly. There are also numerous species of small birds, a considerable number of birds of prey and various mammals including the Spanish ibex which grazes on the mountain tops.

Sierra Nevada Nature Reserve

Nature Reserve Management and Conservation office

Granada  (Andalusia)

Type of area:Natural Park Area:85,883 hectares Tel.:+34 600 169 305 Tel.:+34 958 980 238 Website:Sierra Nevada Nature Reserve Website:Sierra Nevada Nature Reserve

Almería (Andalusia):

Ctra. C-332, Laujar-Berja, Km 1

04470  Láujar de Andarax, Almería  (Andalusia) Tel.:+34 610 197 466 Tel.:+34 950 515 535 Website:Visitor centre website

Ctra. de Sierra Nevada A-395, Km.23

18160  Güejar Sierra, Granada  (Andalusia) Tel.:+34 958 340 625 Website:Visitor centre website
Useful information

What you need to know

  • Cultural information

    Granada, at the foot of the Sierra Nevada massif, is well worth a visit, particularly for its historic Albaicín quarter, the Generalife gardens and the Alhambra palace. These sites all have the World Heritage designation.

  • Environmental information

    The most outstanding feature of the Sierra Nevada Nature Reserve is its exceptional flora, one of the richest on the Peninsula in local and general endemic species. It is also a haven for numerous endangered species.

  • Information for visits

    Check with the visitor centres.