A pinsapar is a forest of firs. A Spanish fir (Abies pinsapo) is a beautiful tree, but actually endangered. Fortunately, there are still places where you can find them, but only in Andalusia and Morocco, presenting in both continents different characteristics. It's a kind of southern pine, of soft wood of not very good quality. It is said that it was used for the masts of the ill-fated Spanish Armada that sailed so successfully 500 years ago.
Spanish fir (Abies pinsapo)
Spanish fir leaves are 10 to 15 millimetres in length, are tough and sharp, staying on the plant for up to 8 years. Its fruits or cones ripen in September and October and, as with all firs, drop their seeds and their scales leaving the axes of the cones behind on the tree, pointing skyward.
More specifically and very close to Málaga, we have el pinsapar de los lajares, a magical and biodiverse place. It is a lush green and mysterious forest. It owes its formation to the tragedy of phylloxera, a disease that killed almost all-existing life there was, and to the retreat of man from these fields that used to harvest for grapes. It is located in the Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park, which is also a Biosphere Reserve, and shows that the figures of protection work and are, in fact, a great tool for preserving what belongs to no one (or what belongs to everyone). It is for this reason that you cannot collect neither plants nor animals or their parts.
El pinsapar de los Lajares
At the top of pinsapar we find the famous Tajo de la Caína, nickname of an alleged witch who was said to be as bad as Cain, and that allegedly was thrown off that cliff by the Inquisition.
El tajo de la caína
Walking a long the trails, one can appreciate the silence, or the wind whistling. There are also oaks, junipers, Aleppo pines, olive trees, oaks, hawthorns, plus gorse bushes as thyme, rosemary, or matagallo. If you are silent you might catch a glimpse of mountain goats, badgers, weasels, toads, salamanders and a good collection of birds studied by the group of the Spanish Ornithological Service in Malaga.
To get there take the road westwards towards Campanillas an Pizarra. Take the left turning towards Casarabonela. Then we go to Alozaina driving through the town, to finally get to Yunquera. From there, a trail leads to the Sierra de las Nieves. Possibly this road is closed to traffic, but it is a path worth to be walked.