Look at these fantastic hotel deals in the Sierra de Grazalema

With 14 villages inside the protected area of the Sierra de Grazalema, accomodation is fairly easy to come by… Check out these fantastic hotel deals at Booking.com.

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The White Village of Grazalema

Grazalema is a traditional white village (pueblo blanco) located in the north-eastern area of Cadiz province. It nestles amongst the beautiful mountains of the Sierra de Grazalema and has a local population of around 2000 people inhabiting the village and surrounding countryside. Set in a protected area popular for nature and outdoor enthusiasts the village itself is on the list of obligatory visits on the route of the white villages of Andalucia. Continue reading The White Village of Grazalema

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Three routes for the white villages (Pueblos Blancos) of the Sierra de Grazalema

Absorb the tranquillity as you meander through the narrow, charismatic streets and open squares, noting the blend of Arabic layout and design with eighteenth century grandeur and ornamentation. This guide offers you a choice of short tours passing through stunning surroundings of lush Mediterranean woodlands and high mountain passes, with each white-washed population cluster separated by stunning Andalusian scenery. Continue reading Three routes for the white villages (Pueblos Blancos) of the Sierra de Grazalema

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The Grazalema Natural Park

This protected area consists of a large cluster of high limestone peaks that holds within it a range of ecosystems from sheer and colourful cliff faces to deep lush valleys, rich green forests to bleak white scree slopes. There are around 20 peaks above 1000m creating an impressively sculpted landscape, the highest being El Torreón at 1654m (5426 feet) which command fabulous views across the mountains and over to the plains of Cadiz province. Continue reading The Grazalema Natural Park

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Permissions for restricted areas in the Grazalema Natural Park

There are 4 footpaths in the Grazalema Natural park that require permission to enter. They are. El Torreon, El Pinsapar, Garganta Verde and Llano de Ravel. You can apply for a permit one month in advance and right now the best way to do this is by email. The information you need to give in the email is…. Your name, your passport number, how many people going on the walk, what date for the walk and which walk you want to do…. It is also a good idea to give an alternative date just in case the date you want is full… It is highly recommended to to do these walks during weekdays if you can… Try to avoid bank holiday weekends and early summer weekends when these walks get very busy.

From the 1st of July until the 1st of October 2015 the walks are even more difficult to access as they are closed or semi closed due to the risk of fire. I recommend to walk these routes outside of these dates due to the heat and also the difficulty in arranging a permission

The Interpretation centre in the village of El Bosque is where you get permits from. Little English is spoken and if you are in the area it is sometimes better to just turn up at the office (by the bullring) with your passport. El Bosque is a nice village to visit anyway 🙂

Pinsapar: 6 hours, steep initial climb. Linear. Start 2km from Grazalema, finish in Benamahoma arriving at the campsite on Calle Nacimiento. There are great views and of course the Pinsapar forest is the highlight of this walk. (Alternatively, retrace your steps from the forest to return to the car park.) Permit needed.

Torreon: 5 hours, a steep incline to the  summit. Same path return. Start point is 5km from Grazalema on the road to El Bosque. The highest peak within park at 1654m. Amazing views of the park and surrounds. Good chance of seeing wild mountain goats and raptors.
Permit needed.

Garganta Verde: 4 to 5 hours with a very steep descent. Same path return. The start point is 4km from Zahara on the mountain pass road to Grazalema. Approx 400m deep gorge with a vast, beautiful cave at the base. (For the vulture viewing platform continue along narrow path hidden behind sign, without turning left down hill to the Garganta. The last part is a steep, short rocky climb. Please respect the silence sign.) Permit needed.

Llano de Ravel: 3 hours, a gravel track, slight incline. Same path return. Start point 4.5km from Zahara on the mountain pass road to Grazalema. The more gentle of the permit walks aims towards the base of the Pinsapar forest, though not into it. Permit needed.

The following walks do NOT require permission….

Salto del Cabrero: THIS FOOTPATH IS CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC FROM THE GRAZALEMA SIDE. ACCESS IS FROM BENAOCAZ TO THE SALTO DEL CABRERO THEN BACK TO BENAOCAZ .4 hours, linear (or walk to the rock from which the name is taken and return on the same path, beginning from either end.) Start from Puerto del Boyar 3km from Grazalema on the Benamahoma road. There is a fairly steep decent into Benaocaz to finish the linear route arriving near Hostal San Anton. Great views, plenty of plants, animals and birds to enjoy.

Cerro de Coros: 2 hours, circular, narrow in parts. Start point is the parking area at Puerto de las Palomas.When facing the Zahara lake the entrance is through a wire fence on the right hand side. From this high vantage point an easy walk will give fabulous overviews of Grazalema and Zahara areas. Often bringing you close to the vultures.

Rio Majaceite: 2 to 3 hours, linear, crossing the river by small bridges. Start in Benamahoma at the lowest point of the village, to descend with the flow to El Bosque. Entering El Bosque near to the Botanical gardens and continuing to the centre.  A cooler, easy, walk for the summer. ( Returning by the same track 5 to 6 hours.)

Sima del Republicano: 4 hours, returning on the same route. Mainly on farm tracks, with the last part across fields. Start point is alongside a derelict hostal just on the Grazalema side of Villaluenga. The Sima or swallow hole is a steeply descending cavern created by water flow.

Fuente de Libar: 5 hours, ascend from Montejaque to a large high, limestone valley typical of the area. From the Plaza de Montejaque aim uphill to the church and then continue out above the village. This track also leads to several farms and much of the valley is grazing land. You could return at any point although the track does continue to Cortes de la Frontera, the last part becoming more difficult and adding another hour or so.




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