Garganta de Hornos

Garganta de Hornos


The full length of this broad, deep valley is traversed by the serpentine A-317a, which at first ascends through olive groves before moving into enclosed areas of pine forest; Aleppo pines in the lower stretches, giving way to European black pines in the intermediate zones and finally Corsican pines in the highest reaches. Mixed in among these pines are abundant examples of oaks and other species typically found in Mediterranean woodland, giving the landscape a markedly lush appearance.

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Juntas de Miller

Juntas de Miller


This revealing name describes the union of two major rivers which both flow through the Segura mountains, namely the Zumeta and the Segura. It is here, in this beautiful, peaceful spot, that the conjoined rivers leave Jaén behind and flow into the province of Albacete. From a vantage point up on the bridge it is easy to picture the old pineros, or pinecutters, preparing the trunks to be floated along the two rivers on an amazing journey out to the Mediterranean, using nothing more than a two-headed, chestnut-handled hook.

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El Tapadero Viewing Point

El Tapadero Viewing Point


This viewing point is situated on an outcrop of a rock wall, which has sheer sides that rise up dizzyingly from a chasm some 200 metres below. In places the jagged rock face is also home to clumps of Mediterranean plants, which affix their roots into the rock itself, while you will often see Spanish ibex traversing the steep slopes and will also be able to enjoy the majestic spectacle of large birds of prey in flight; for the most part griffon vultures, but also golden eagles, short-toed eagles, booted eagles, falcons, Eurasian sparrowhawks and even, if you are lucky, the recently reintroduced bearded vulture.

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The Source of the Guadalquivir: Cañada de las Fuentes

The Source of the Guadalquivir: Cañada de las Fuentes


The source of the largest river in Andalusia is situated in an area of the park which is of great ecological value. This is a cool and pleasant location, where ash, maple and hawthorn trees accompany the first few stretches of the “Great River”, as it was known by the Arabs. It is surrounded by unusual geological formations with dense forests of Corsican and European black pine. Approximately one hundred meters further up, visitors will come across Cañada de las Fuentes Forest House, which boasts a recreation area often frequented by small groups of fallow and red deer.

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Source of the River Segura

Source of the River Segura


The source is a spectacular pool located on the slopes of a steep rocky hill. The crystal-clear, turquoise waters flow from an underground river, rushing from a channel that connects with the exterior. It is located in an open area with plenty of light, populated for the most part by walnut and poplar trees. The river then flows in a gentle, lazy fashion to the hamlets around Fuente Segura, beginning its long journey in an unhurried fashion as though it did not wish to leave the place of its birth.

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Nava del Espino

Nava del Espino


Ascending via the Navas road you will come across this remarkable spot which will surprise you with the sheer openness of its spaces. At an altitude of 1430 metres you will find high mountain pastures, areas of pine forest and an old, abandoned forest house, a sign that you have reached your destination. Here you are surrounded by towering peaks, so close you feel you could almost reach out and touch them, such as the Cabeza del Tejo from which you can make out the mountaintops of the Sierra Nevada.

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The Ancient Olive Tree at Fuentebuena

The Ancient Olive Tree at Fuentebuena


The centuries-old olive tree at Fuentebuena, or the Olivo Milenario to give it its official name, has been included on the Andalusian List of Outstanding Trees by the Government of Andalusia. It is a venerable example of the species and has been producing generous olive harvests for centuries; as well as its age, its size is also breathtaking, from the base right up to the fork, as it is fully 10 metres tall and its trunk has a circumference in excess of 4 metres.

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Picos del Guadiana

Picos del Guadiana


The Lower Guadiana Valley contains striking geological formations caused by slow and relentless erosion. One interesting site of great geomorphological interest has been proposed as a natural monument: the Picos del Guadiana. This is a limestone outcrop where the vertically-arranged rock strata emerge from a cone of soft clay, forming a rock profile resembling the teeth of a saw. The more imaginative among us say that it is a fossil from a colossal dinosaur which died next to the river, without paying much attention to the fact that this river did not exist during the Jurassic period and that dinosaurs, although certainly enormous, did not grow quite that big.

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Pino Galapán

Pino Galapán


This is a magnificent example of a Corsican pine (Pinus nigra salzmanii), a species known to locals as the pino salgareño. The example here is a living treasure, and at over 400 years old and 39 metres tall it is recognised as one of the giants of Spain’s forests. It is also the most iconic tree in the Segura mountains, and although it may not look particularly spectacular when you view it from the forest track once you walk down along the path and reach the base of the tree you become aware of just how special it is:

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Poyos de La Mesa

Poyos de La Mesa


Ascending along the Navas road your attention will be drawn by the powerful bulk of an enormous, cliff-fringed mountain standing amidst thick pine forests. These are the Poyos de la Mesa (literally, “benches around the table”), and they have a peculiarly mysterious quality which compels you to stop and gaze at them: indeed, their intriguing shapes, in comparison to the peaks around them, invite you to explore them further.

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Puerto de Tíscar

Puerto de Tíscar


Puerto de Tíscar, or the Tíscar Pass, is not merely a mountainous obstacle you must traverse on your way to visiting the church of Santuario de Nuestra Señora de Tíscar, the historical patron of the Settlement of Cazorla and one of the most iconic religious symbols in these mountains; it is a rugged landscape feature, with spectacular views and an excellent place to observe Spanish ibex: in short, a spot of major historical and natural significance. Leaving your vehicle in the car park at the pass itself, take a short stroll around the Atalaya del Infante Don Enrique, a medieval watchtower dating back to the 14th century which boasts spectacular and absolutely unmissable views.

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Río Aguamulas

Río Aguamulas


The Aguamulas is a small tributary of the Guadalquivir which passes through one of the park's most beautiful smaller valleys, flowing through numerous rapids and pools along the way. You can enjoy the sight and sound of the river as you make your way along a pleasant forest trail lined with pines, in the shade of which grows a dense Mediterranean vegetation of oaks, strawberry trees, mastic and terebinth. In the distance you can make out the imposing rock faces of Banderillas, whose peak rises to an altitude of almost 2000 metres.

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Río Guadalquivir

Río Guadalquivir


The first few kilometres of the Guadalquivir north of the Torre del Vinagre are particularly attractive, as the river has by this stage been swelled with the considerable waters of the Borosa and has not yet been contained within the large reservoir at Tranco. There are a number of places where you can get close to the river.

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Río Guazalamanco

Río Guazalamanco


The Guazalamanco is a mountain river, whose turbulent, oxygen- and ice-crystal-filled waters flow all the year round. Every corner of this tranquil spot will invite you to rest your senses and remain still and silent, as though you were able to become one with the natural world around you and return to your origins. If you happen to leave your camera in the car, when you come across this river you will be compelled to hurry back and retrieve it in order to start snapping images of this gorgeous spot.

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Tíscar: the Water Cave

Tíscar: the Water Cave


If you have already visited Covadonga in Asturias and later come across this remarkable spot at the other end of the country, you will be amazed at the visual, mystical and historical parallels between Tíscar and the cave in the Cangas Valley, where it is said that Don Pelayo began the "Reconquest" against the Moors and which was known, in times past, as the Cueva Dominica. There are some who consider this breathtaking corner of southern Spain to be Andalusia’s Covadonga, as, according to tradition, the Virgin of Tíscar appeared at this spot. Her image has been worshipped here since the fall of the Moorish fortress in the 14th century. The structure built to house the shrine is less spectacular than its Asturian counterpart, but the cave itself simply has to be seen to be believed.

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