Geoff Simpson, Master of Wildlife Photography takes us on another journey to the hidden gems of Andalucia
Hidden behind the mountains that tower over Estepona is a secret verdant oasis of pure air, a crystal river, a carpet of trees and jewel-coloured flora, soaring birds and the bells of flocks: this is The Genal Valley (Valle del Genal). The valley is divided geographically by height: the Genal Alto is where you can find the Rio Genal issuing from a cave’s mouth in Igualeja or you can head towards Júzcar, the blue Smurf village.
The villages of the Genal Bajo begin with Gaucín which is a popular home for campo-lovers enjoying the facilities of the coast not a million miles away. The views up the valley towards the Sierra de las Nieves are sublime and at this time of year Morocco’s Rif mountains can clearly be seen rising out of the Mediterranean across from Gibraltar.
Exploring further into the valley towards Ronda takes you on a curving mountainside road that will give you tantalizing views into the parallel Guadiaro Valley and put you at eye level with birds of prey levitating on thermals.
This year’s heavier rains have extended the glorious wildflower displays and a plethora of butterflies feasting on nectar. If you visit in the next couple of weeks you will experience the eau de cologne fragrance exuding from the racemes of the thousands of chestnut trees grown.
Words by Fee Brookes ~ Images by Geoff Simpson