It seems as if Nature chose Casares as the location for some of its best work, with this Costa del Sol municipality standing out owing to its Biodiversity and the variety of landscapes. Its geographical location, divided between the Strait of Gibraltar, the Ronda Mountain Range and the coast, has provided this territory with three different environments which form part of the Andalusian Network of Protected Natural Spaces.
Casares is home to the Natural Park of Bermeja Mountain Range, a mountainous massif of a characteristic volcanic origin, which receives its name from the reddish (or bermejo “auburn”) colour of its peridotites, the dominant rock types. This unusual geology is responsible for the few plants that manage to grow in ground with a very hard composition. However, those that do grow are quite special, standing out because of their endemic qualities and for being unique in Andalusia. Perhaps this was the reason that brought well-known botanists here at the beginning of the century to explore this mountain range and, thanks to their interest, Felix Haenseler and Edmond Boissier discovered the Spanish fir in 1837, an endemic fir tree that is unique in the world and is found in the forests at the top of Los Reales of Bermeja Mountain Range and El Puerto de la Mujer.
Bermeja Mountain Range leads to another type of environment of limestone origin in its western side, the massif of Crestellina Mountain Range. A designated Natural Protected Area, it owes its name to the peaks of its heights, genuine and inaccessible crests chosen by beautiful birds of prey, such as the griffon vulture as a place to nest and establish their home; a beautiful spectacle that can be appreciated from the castle in Casares. The walk along the sign-posted route is also recommended as it crosses the forests of this mountain range, reaching the shelter in the mountains before descending to the village.
Between the Bermeja and Crestellina mountain ranges, there is a valuable natural frontier, in which the limestone rocks and peridotites of both massifs come together, giving birth to a particularly scenic area: Monte del Duque, populated by lush forests of holm oaks, cork oaks and Gall oaks, which are part of the Natura 2000 Network, as it is qualified as a Place of Community Interest because of the quality of its biodiversity.
This journey through the Casares landscape would not be complete without a visit to Canuto de Utrera, a spectacular replica of the Torcal de Antequera, a place that emerged from the depths of the ocean and was formed by a maze of Karst relief in which one of the most endangered species of the Mediterranean, Bonelli’s eagle, resides. Another must is admiring one of Casares’ true jewels, the Genal river and its valley which are beside the Natural Park of Alcornocales.