Autumn is the time of the year to enjoy hiking. The drop in temperatures after summer, the ochre colours that invade our nature, create a welcoming atmosphere that invites you to take a walk along some of the hiking trails in Andalusia and observe the autumn landscapes that are drawn at this time of year.
Bosque de Cobre is one of the enclaves where you can admire the beauty of nature. Located between the Serranía de Ronda and the Sierra de las Nieves, both in the province of Málaga, it is a place with a special charm that leaves an impressive impression of the most autumnal landscape. It is the only place in this province that offers us a snapshot of yellow, red and orange colours, which makes thousands of hikers and curious people enjoy a very special walk outdoors while contemplating this unique image of this forest.
For lovers of hiking, we leave you a selection of routes through this magnificent Bosque de Cobre and the surrounding towns, to experience the most special autumn in a unique way.
BOSQUE DEL COBRE (Copper forest)
Why is this area in Valle del Genal called Bosque del Cobre? The answer is very simple: because you step into a landscape of ochre, brown and orange which look like copper and make you feel that you have come to some kind of copper land. All this is mainly due to the leaves of the chestnut trees, protagonists of this region during autumn, when they acquire some shades ranging from green through red to brown.
Alpandeire, Benalauría, Cartajima, Faraj, Genalguacil, Igualeja, Jubrique, Juzcar, Parauta Pujerra and Yunquera the municipalities that are part of this Bosque del Cobre. Its ecosystem offers a wide range of landscapes due to its difficult terrain. Soils and river valleys guarantee the necessary moisture for the emergence of thick forests of cork oaks, pines and chestnut trees.
Bosque de Cobre is a privileged setting in the Malaga mountains that leaves a spectacular picture where we can see different species of trees, including a large chestnut tree that colours this forest in shades of brown.
It is an ideal place to practice outdoor activities such as hiking. There are thousands of hikers who travel several of the routes that we can do through this forest and that make you take a very special tour of the different towns that adjoin Bosque de Cobre.
For this reason, we leave you here a list of hiking trails to make your journey much more pleasant.
- De Cartajima a Júzcar (PR-A-224)
- De Júzcar a Pujerra (PR-A-225)
- De Júzcar a Faraján (PR-A-227)
- De Alpandeire a Atajate (PR-A-229)
- De Atajate a Benadalid (PR-A-235)
- De Benadalid a Benalauría (PR-A-236)
- De Benalauría a Algatocín (PR-A-238 )
- De Benarrabá a Genalguacil (PR-A-240)
- De Jubrique a Benalauría (PR-A-291)
THE BEAUTY OF WATER
The hiking trails of Bosque del Cobre have a common element besides their colour: water. With the arrival of autumn, Serrania de Ronda experiences a revival of its rivers, streams and springs. Along the route, the visitor can come across beautiful sceneries featuring these hydrological sites.
From Sierra de las Nieves numerous streams go downstream that converge in the three main rivers of the region: the Guadalteba, the Guadiaro and Genal. A very nice place to visit at this time is the source of Benaojan river, a tributary of the Guadiaro River.
Across the basin we find the source of Genal river, located in the municipality of Igualeja. Its waters are calmer but offer a huge sense of relaxation. We recommend that once you arrive to this point, close your eyes and relax, just listen to the melody of the stream as it passes by.
In the high and bare limestone peaks that separates the waters of the Genal and Guadiaro rivers, it is possible to access and climb through vias ferratas, an experience not to be missed if you like adventure.
The villages that make up Bosque del Cobre have a charm that will surprise you. Their main feature is the whiteness of their houses, inescapable sign of identity of the Andalusian municipalities. All but one, Júzcar, internationally known as the “Smurf” town. Its houses, all painted blue, have earned this recognition and as a result, have become a very popular destination.
Do not hesitate to make a stop on the chestnut road to watch these white towns. Throughout the tour you have the opportunity to enjoy breathtaking panoramic views from balconies and strategically located viewpoints.
Alpandeire, Benadalid, Benalauría, Cartajima, Faraj, Genalguacil, Igualeja, Jubrique, Júzcar, and Parauta Pujerra in Serrania de Ronda, and Yunquera, in Sierra de las Nieves are the municipalities of Bosque del Cobre that have a long tradition around the chestnut. Every year local festivals are organized around this fruit, and the recipes based on it are delicacies that cannot be missed.
VIEWS TO BOSQUE DE COBRE
This spectacular forest is surrounded by chestnut trees, which are responsible for giving us that snapshot in ochre tones. You will find this autumn tree along all the hiking trails and in any of the towns where the Copper Forest is located. The view that it offers us is such that throughout our tour of the municipalities, you will find various viewpoints from where you can observe the panoramic view. The natural viewpoint of the chestnut grove in the town of Pujerra, the Fray Leopoldo viewpoint in Alpandeire and the viewpoints of the chestnut groves in Atajate and Benadalid, are some of them.
THE CHESTNUT, GASTRONOMIC EXPERIENCE
The enormous chestnut grove that we find in Bosque de Cobre has served as an inspiration for gastronomy lovers, who have launched the most authentic culinary arts, to prepare recipes where the chestnut is the protagonist.
There are many villages that are found in this forest, where you can enjoy a gastronomic experience and that have taken advantage of the fruit of this tree to give a more autumnal flavour to their traditional dishes.
Desserts, meats, creams, fish…there are many products that have made room for the chestnut and thus create a mixture of enveloping flavours. This product has a great wealth of nutritional value, so much so that they call it the “chic candy”.
Walking along some of these routes and ending up in a local restaurant trying a chestnut lamb stew, a chestnut flan or a cream, is a unique experience that can only be experienced in this forest in the Malaga mountains.
THE CHESTNUT FESTIVAL, LOS TOSTONES
When the autumn season arrives, the fruit falls to the ground and the “hedgehog” opens to let the chestnut out. In the months of October and November, this fruit begins to be harvested. In our land, this place is the largest producer.
This fruit is a fundamental part of the economy and gastronomy of this area of Malaga. In addition, due to its importance, its large percentage of carbohydrates and starch gives it great nutritional value.
The residents of the surrounding towns take advantage of the end of the chestnut harvest to celebrate it, with the traditional festival of the tostones.
Visitors and locals gather to roast and taste the chestnuts in the most traditional style. A paper cone holds the roasted chestnuts, which together with the aroma given off by roasting, creates an impressive autumn-winter atmosphere. Although as we have already seen, the chestnut has been part of the most elaborate culinary arts, in this festival the typical thing is to eat them in the street, surrounded by the people of the towns of the Serranía de Ronda.
The most typical recipe of Valle del Ggenal is the roasted chestnut. Its smell is really captivating, and it is impossible to resist the taste of this delicacy. The most popular ways of having chestnusts include syrup, cooked, sugar coated or soup. You can try some at the restaurants and taverns of the villages within Bosque de Cobre. Chestnuts are also fantastic for desserts, including cakes, muffins and other varieties.
WHERE TO STAY
The best option to stay in the province of Malaga and adventure yourself in Bosque del Cobre is Fuerte Hoteles. The chain has places where you can, in addition to its services, enjoy the best of each part of Andalusia. 60 years experience are the best guarantee. Marbella or Grazalema are some of the sites where you can find these amazing hotels, an exceptional starting point for your private tour around Bosque del Cobre.