Today we want to propose you an ideal trip with family or friends, visiting the gardens and natural parks of La Costa del Sol. A trip full of surprises, such as the largest butterfly garden in Europe.
As we already know, La Costa del Sol enjoys one of the best climates in mainland Europe, with mild temperatures in midwinter that make this coast one of the most favorable places for the proliferation of lush gardens of tropical vegetation. The route that we have chosen is an alternative to the beach, this ideal road trip starts in Málaga, the capital.
Some of these gardens have centuries of history, others have an interesting collection of plant species and there are some of them which are inspired by exotic places.
Molino de Inca botanical garden
Fistly, we find This garden that can be visited in the surroundings of Palacio de Congresos de Torremolinos. It has an area of 40,000 square meters. The garden has just celebrated its 10th anniversary since its opening as Botanical Garden to the public. You can see more than five hundred different botanical species and a restored flour mill. Around them, there are small lakes, waterfalls and a natural labyrinth made of different plants. It can be accessed by paying an entrance fee of 3 euros (registered residents of Torremolinos will pay only one euro). Its opening hours are morning and afternoon from Tuesday to Sunday (closed on Mondays).
La Concepción botanical-historical garden
It is considered the most important tropical garden in Spain, and one of the most complete in Europe. You will feel that you are in a real tropical rainforest.
The Marquises of Casa Loring crearted the garden in 1855. Its importance was so great that even the very Empress Sissi visited it incognito. It was during a stopover on her Mediterranean cruise. From the magnolias with their large white or cream flowers, with aromas of jasmine and orange blossom, to the dombeyas (the tree hydrangeas plant) with pink pompoms, which blossom in winter, without forgetting the eucalyptus with its evergreen and balsamic leaves, they will make you feel like in a spa.
We find it in Benalmádena. It was inaugurated only two years ago, in front of a Buddhist temple (Tibetan Stupa). For this reason, the park has a Thai style just like the building that houses it, which seeks aesthetic and conceptual harmony with the Tibetan temple.
It has 1,000 square meters of flight area where you can find more than 1,500, from the main tropical rainforests of the three continents (America, Asia and Africa). For this reason, it is the biggest butterfly park in Europe.
You can see species such as the ‘monarch butterfly’, the giant Attacus atlas, which is the largest nocturnal butterfly in the world, the ‘false eye owl’, the ‘fairy’ with transparent wings or the mythical Morpho, the blue butterfly.
It is an animal park located at Avda. De Camilo José Cela in the town of Fuengirola in Malaga. This place is dedicated to the conservation of tropical species which are adapted to jungle environments, mainly from Asia, Africa and the Indo-Pacific Islands.
Besides, in 2001, the old zoo of La Costa del Sol changed its concept of classic Zoo to a more avant-garde one: the ‘zoo-immersion’. With this transformation, it hopes to immerse the visitor in the natural environment of the animals through the recreation of the habitat from which they come. One example is the reproduction of the Madagascar habitat thanks to a surprising 26-meter baobab, which has become the icon of the Bioparc.
It is one of the first museums of La Costa del Sol but also of Spain. There we find a collection of 300 bonsai from 40 different species. It is located at the Arroyo de la Represa Park, in Marbella.
Among the most remarkable species, we find a Chinese hackberry, which belonged to a family for five generations. The museum also has a 500-year-old Ficus Retusa (China). It is the oldest bonsai in the collection. However, the most representative tree is El Toro, a 400 year old ‘Juniper of the Pagodas’, from Japan. But the originality of the museum is the collection of samples of nature from the surroundings of Marbella. From the Serranía de Ronda or the Sierra de las Nieves, miniatures of local species have been recovered. Some of them are in danger of extinction, such as the Spanish firs.
The Orchidarium of Estepona
It is home to the largest collection of orchids in Europe. The Orchidarium of Estepona is a botanical park with more than 1,300 species. This includes a bamboo forest, vertical gardens, a lake and waterfalls. Under its three glass domes, you will live a unique spectacle of color and aromas.
El Ángel de Marbella
The lakes and waterfalls form the landscape of this Botanical Garden. In its 15,000 square meters we can find centenarian ficus and palms. Besides, it has three spaces: the romantic garden, the tropical garden and a garden with cross paths.
If you are thinking of spending a day or weekend with family and friends, do not hesitate to travel and make the route among these parks of La Costa del Sol.
You will spend a magnificent day enjoying Málaga nature.
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