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CAZORLA (northern Andalucia)

FOR A SKETCH MAP OF THIS AREA CLICK HERE

DESCRIPTION OF THE AREA:
The Parque Natural de Cazorla, Segura y las Villas is a marvellous walking area in the hills surrounding the sources of two of Spain's major rivers. The two rivers rise within a few kilometers of each other. The Guadalquivir flows north for a short distance before turning back on itself and flowing through Cordoba and Seville to reach the Atlantic in Spain's south west corner. The Segura flows south east into the Murcia region to reach the Mediterranean near Cartagena.

The main area for walking is the Sierra de Cazorla, at the foot of which stands the only significant town in the region, Cazorla. It is remote, well away from any of the large cities. The nearest is Jaén, some 90 kilometres north of Granada on the way to Madrid. There are also two beautiful renaissance towns nearby, Ubeda and Baeza, which are well worth a visit if you feel like a day off walking. They are just 30 minutes drive from Cazorla town.

There is a wide range of walks in the region, from easy to very strenuous. Walking is often on good footpaths, although some remoter routes are overgrown. The natural park authorities have done a good job recently in signposting paths, and the main paths can be followed fairly easily, assuming that you can understand the signs of course.

The main centres for walking are the town of Cazorla, and the nearby village of La Iruela. These two localities are found as you enter the natural park by road by the main routes from Madrid to the north and Granada, Malaga and Seville to the south. There are other small settlelements further into the park, but Cazorla and La Iruela are the base for most visitors to the region.

RECOMMENDED MAP:

Editorial Alpina. Sierra de Cazorla. 40,000:1. A guide book accompanies the map - ISBN:84-8090-065-2. The book includes a few walks, plus 4*4 and mountain bike routes. It is in Spanish, and the route descriptions are not very detailed, but the map is useful.

TRANSPORT:
The easiest and by far the quickest way to reach Cazorla from anywhere else is by car. There are bus services from Jaen and Ubeda (provided by Alsina Grells), but the journey from Jaén is 2 hours 30 minutes, so car transport is much preferrable. Once in Cazorla, local bus and taxi services will take you into other areas of the natural park, which is extensive.

ACCOMMODATION: The main area for accommodation is Cazorla, where the large Hotel Ciudad de Cazorla is right in the town centre. My personal favourite is Hotel Finca Mercedes, just 1.5 kms from Cazorla in La Iruela, where you will a warm reception, excellent views, great food, and a lot of fun. And the owners are hill walkers who will be delighted to share their routes with you, and if you are a strong walker they may take you out with them.

FOR WALKS IN THIS AREA CLICK HERE or on the Cazorla Walks tab above

 


Above - Cazorla landscape

Below - La Iruela castillo

Spanish Trails
 
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