Sierra Walks is a small travel specialist offering bespoke guided and self guided walking holidays in the protected areas of the UNESCO Mediterranean Biosphere Reserve . Founded by Michael Newcomb, an independent researcher and environmental campaigner with 15 years experience organizing and leading small groups through the wilder parts of the Spanish speaking world.
Serious About the Sierras…………………………….. The Mediterranean Biosphere is one of those special places where, quite literally, different worlds collide to create a unique and diverse landscape of global ecological and cultural importance. The Biosphere’s unique patchwork of habitats is not only a product of Africa’s inexorable geological movement north into Eurasia, but also of the areas geographical location and climatic diversity – a place where Mediterranean and Atlantic weather systems equally fight for primacy.
The Mediterranean Basin is a Global Biodiversity hotspot as identified by Conservation International and the Biosphere has an exceptionally high concentration of protected spaces – most notably Los Alcornocales, Grazalema, Sierra de las Nieves, Sierra Cristallina and Los Reales on the Spanish side and Talassemtane, Al Hoceima and Bouhachem in the Moroccan Rif . On the Spanish side, these wilderness areas hold some of Europe’s highest biodiversity indicators and are also a bottle neck to Western Europe’s most significant bird and whale migrations around the Straits of Gibraltar.
The reasons for the Biosphere’s unique biological diversity have also given rise to a unique and diverse cultural history and within its protected spaces are fascinating archeological reminders of this varied past, stretching over all human history – from caves inhabited by Neanderthal Man to Roman Castles, Moorish Palaces and Andalucian white washed pueblos, perched improbably on densely forested slopes . For the archeologist and historian, just as for the geologist, botanist or ornithologist – there is something very unique and special about this region