The Sierra Nevada – meaning “ snowy range” are located in southern Spain, in the provinces of Almeria and Granada. The Sierra Nevada has witnessed some of the most turbulent chapters in Spain’s history. In the first century it was called – Monte Solarius – and acted as the border between the Roman Provinces of Hispania and Traconense. However, its proximity to Granada meant that it was present to the arrival of the Moors in 711 and to their final expulsion from Granada in 1492. It was not until the 18th Century, during the Century of Lights , when the Sierra Nevada was recognised as an area of outstanding biodiversity, and many expeditions by geologists, biologists, zoologists and botanists were made. This incredible biodiversity was further acknowledged when UNESCO ( United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) declared it a Biosphere Reserve and later in 1989 when it was declared a Natural Park and again in January 1999 when it was made a National Park and is the largest National Park in Spain.
The geology of the Sierra Nevada is complex, but is essentially a ridge running west-south-west to east-north-east, with over 20 peaks greater than 3000m. The Sierra Nevada were formed in the Alpine Orogeny – 65-1.8 million years ago – and are still growing today. The area is the most southern glacial landscape, evidence of which is clearly seen in the local scenery.
Today the Sierra Nevada is home to the most southerly ski resort – Pradollano