THE GUADALQUIVIR RIVER RESTS IN ITS MOUNTAINS

Here you have a lot to do, a lot to see, much more than a river, much more than a valley…

You are in the most visited part of the Nature Reserve, in a passage that connects two different and equally interesting places. It is the natural place of contact between the north – the Sierra de Segura mountains – and the south – the Sierra de Cazorla mountains –; an area where the Nature Reserve’s first tourist services were set up. Here you will find places to lie back and relax, places to visit and places for walks. You come to many interesting hidden-away spots if you go slowly, at the pace of the Guadalquivir river, just strolling along.

An important amount of the Nature Reserve’s water flows into this valley. Dozens of rivers and mountain streams spill the water they bring from the summits, including: the Aguasmulas and the Borosa rivers, two magnificent mountain courses you can follow, not without effort, along the tracks and trails leading up to Las Banderillas (1993 m), one of the best summits in Andalusia for mountaineering. If you prefer shorter walks, the valleys also afford such singular alternatives as the Cerrada de Elías canyon, in the Borosa river.

On your first visit, the scenery around Tranco reservoir will delight you if there has been enough rain during the year. On autumn nights, an awesome concert can be heard from the road and the surrounding paths and trails: it is the call of the male red deer during the rutting season. One of the tracks starts at Los Llanos de Arance and ends at the Cortijo de las Ánimas farmhouse.

Families and groups of friends must not miss a visit to the Collado del Almendral Wildlife Park, in the vicinity of the reservoir. On a short evening walk through the forest you will come across red deer, fallow deer and mountain goats in semi-freedom. Félix Rodríguez de la Fuente, a Spanish naturalist, used this spot for one of his scenes in the filming of the highly successful television series El Hombre y la Tierra. The Torre del Vinagre Visitor Centre and Botanical Garden are a good place to learn more about the biodiversity and wealth of culture within the Nature Reserve.

A clearer understanding of the past and recent history of these mountains can be gained by a visit to the Tranco reservoir, built in the 1950’s to control the flow of the great Andalusian river, and to the historical site of Hornos, a place inhabited by humans since prehistoric times, on the way to the heart of the mountains.

If you decide to stay here, make the most of the site, but don’t forget that you can also access other areas from here, such as THE SOURCE OF THE GUADALQUIVIR, THE MOUNTAIN BALCONY, THE HIGHEST CASTLE and THE MOUNTAIN VILLAGES.

 

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