Summer
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While frogs and toads doze half-buried in the earth during the hottest periods, summer is the period in which their young make the passage from aquatic to terrestrial life via the fascinating process of metamorphosis.

Although the birds of the forest are silent, the sounds of the swallows and common house martins are a treat for the ear as they flutter around the rooftops of the towns at dawn and dusk, to be replaced at night by the ceaseless song of the crickets.

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The park's mammals are not comfortable in the heat, leading relatively quiet lives during the day. The garden dormouse even goes so far as to sleep away the hottest periods in its nest, until the temperatures become cooler. Does and female Spanish ibex are able to keep an eye on their still-nursing young without too many threats to startle them, and are most active at night and in the early morning. Summer is also the time for wild-boar piglets to lose their striped coats and take on the reddish hue of their parents, under the nervous gaze of the squirrels that are already feeding their second litter of the year in the crowns of the pine trees.


Suggestion 1: Sporting Activities

During the day, the heat directs our thoughts to the many water-based activities the park has to offer. All the towns have municipal swimming pools with very reasonably priced entry fees, whilst the rivers, canyon watercourses and reservoirs provide sporting activities in the most refreshing surroundings possible. However, it is important that you find out about the specific activity you have in mind from the Ministry for the Environment or authorised companies, as there are certain protected areas where these types of leisure activities are not permitted. Rafting, kayaking and canoeing are very popular on the stretch of the Guadalquivir River below the Tranco dam, particularly from June to August when the reservoir is calmer. You can go horse riding or even join in one of the innovative night-time excursions on foot or by mountain bike, organised to take advantage of the coolness that comes after dusk. In the Sierra de Segura mountains, adrenaline junkies can enjoy a bird's-eye view of the park with paramotor and paragliding excursions.


Suggestion 2: Stargazing

The park boasts perfect conditions for gazing at the sky and identifying mysterious, far-off astral bodies. If you have your own observation equipment all you need to do is select a spot far away from major light sources, while if you are looking to get started in this exciting hobby you should head to the Sierra de Las Villas mountains, where the new Astronomy Promotion Centre at La Fresnedilla school organises a wide range of activities throughout the year, particularly during the summer. Prior booking is required.

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Suggestion 3: Music, Festivals and Open-air Dances

Summer is the season when many of the park's local festivals take place and you will find an endless number of reasons to enjoy nights out in the open air. In July, the regions of Cazorla and Segura hold a range of events in which music takes centre stage, such as the International Air Festival (FIA) and the Blues Festival in Cazorla, while you can become acquainted with the folk songs and dances of the different towns and villages by visiting their festivals throughout the summer. If you visit the park in summer you are almost guaranteed to come across at least one local fiesta.


Suggestion 4: Mountain Bowls

This unusual game is played in all the regions taken in by the natural park. It is an extremely old game, with origins that date back at least as far as the 15th century, and oral tradition has not only kept it alive but also restored it to its former popularity. Today, mountain bowls is a game that is famed and respected throughout the region, and during the summer and autumn, championships are contested in many municipalities, such as Orcera, Beas de Segura, Pozo AlcĆ³n, Cazorla and MogĆ³n. This sport is a great way of becoming better acquainted with the customs of the mountain populations and local residents will be only too happy to show you how to play. The Andalusian Bowls and Mountain Bowls Federation has its headquarters in the park, in all likelihood representing the only sport that is native to Andalusia.


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