Sierra de las Nieves, Andalucia, wins the SKal International prize

The spectacular tourist destination and biosphere reserve of Sierra de las Nieves, Andalucia, won the SKal International prize for 2010 in the category of City and Villages. The awards took place on 8th October in Sydney Australia and the Sierra de Las Nieves was awarded the prize for its Strong Commitment to Sustainable Development.

Skal, an international association founded in 1934, is the largest organization of travel and tourism professionals in the world promoting global tourism. Skal began an awards programme in 2002 during “The Year of Ecotourism and the Mountains” as declared by the United Nations. The purpose of the awards was to highlight best practices in ecotourism world widely and to emphasis the importance of interaction of the physical, cultural and social environment. Attention was drawn to the travellers’ responsibility and the need for active community participation for Ecotourism.

The awards in their ninth year, have received continued worldwide support and this year 30 entries were received originating from 19 Countries; four from Asia, six from the Americas, eight from Europe, nine from Africa and three from Oceania.

The Sierra de las Nieves is found approximately 58 kilometres from Malaga and includes the villages of El Burgo and Yunquera amongst others. From Ronda, take the A-366 direction El Burgo and Yunquera. It is an area of outstanding beauty and has been declared a Natural Park and its protection is guaranteed. It covers an area of 18.598 hectares, approximately 45 acres and centres its attention on the conservation and maintenance of the rich and diverse flora and fauna abundant there.

The Sierra de las Nieves is a biosphere reserve an area meant to demonstrate a balanced relationship between man and nature e.g. sustainable development, a pattern of resource use that aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for generations to come.

The Judges categorised the documentation presented by the Sierra de las Nieves delegation as excellent highlighting the project as very complete and meeting the criteria of the heritage conservation, cultural tourism and environmental considerations.

The Sierra de las Nieves is a wonderful location to visit and to live and is known for its spectacular landscape, good food and warm welcome. The area offers traditional country pursuits such as walking, horse-riding, bird-watching and cycling and for the little more adventurous paragliding, canoeing and potholing. Visit Ronda and see the spectacular 100 metre gorge it’s only a short drive and a day at the beach on the Costa del Sol just a further 50 kilometres away.

The Sierra de las Nieves is very proud to have been presented with the award and welcomes you to experience the beauty and tranquillity of the area and see for yourselves the wonderful conservation work that is taking place.