Route by car: Cazorla - Cerrada del Utrero - Torre del Vinagre

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Route by car: Cazorla - Cerrada del Utrero - Torre del Vinagre


History and nature along the banks of the Guadalquivir river are the suggestions for a route of many contrasts that leads to some of the most significant areas of the Sierras de Cazorla, Segura and Las Villas Nature Reserve.

The main feature you will come across is the Guadalquivir river, of course. It winds quietly through the olive grove countryside and loudly in the upper reaches of the valley, where it has sculpted the stunning landscapes you will come across. You can admire the contrast afforded by villages brimming with history and culture set in the midst of unspoiled natural surroundings. Here you will spot wild animals and discover forests extending as far as the eye can see, high mountains, and water… water everywhere.

Suggested options:

Km 0. Cazorla.. The best way to appreciate Cazorla is to wander through the old town with no specific destination in mind. You will come across many wonderful spots, but some are really not to be missed. Essential visits include the Plaza de Santa Maria, La Yedra Castle and a number of churches, such as the Church of El Carmen or the Renaissance-style Church of San Francisco.

Km 1,5. La Iruela. This is another recommended stop. Park your car alongside the road and walk up one of the steep streets to the castle, which was once the property of the Templars. There is a lovely view of the Guadalquivir river basin when you get to the top. The Church of Santo Domingo stands close to the castle and welcomes visitors to learn more about how its history and how it was founded. The way back to the car takes you through streets lined with whitewashed houses and bright flowers.

Km 12. Paso del Aire viewpoint. Climbing up the road that leads to the nature reserve park, what better way to bid farewell to the countryside behind you than to stop at this viewpoint and enjoy the panoramas it affords? From there, the landscape changes from towns, castles and olive groves to valleys, rivers and mountains.

Km 13. Puerto de las Palomas viewpoint (1200 m). Here the scenery changes dramatically. There is a stunning view over the upper Guadalquivir Valley flanked by beautiful mountains and the unmistakable sheer cliffs of Poyos de la Mesa to the right. This is also a good place to spot birds of prey, for these mountains are home to golden eagles and griffon vultures.

Km 16. Empalme del Valle. Actually, Empalme del Valle is not a place to stop but a junction. You can turn left to go down to the village of Arroyo Frío, but we suggest heading to the right along the JF-7092 road that takes you to Cerrada del Utrero canyon.

Km 19.5. Cerrada del Utrero canyon.. 3.5 Km from Empalme del Valle you will come to a bridge over the Guadalquivir river. This is where you park your car and set out on foot along a circular route that takes around 45 minutes to complete. This delightful walk follows the banks of the Guadalquivir as the canyon gradually closes in until you come suddenly to the Linarejos stream cascading down from the sky above. Not to be missed.

Km 23. Empalme del Valle. Returning to the junction, continue to the right along the A-319 towards Arroyo Frio.

Km 30. Arroyo Frío.This is where you can visit the Nature Reserve's Museum of Ethnographic Arts and customs. Arroyo Frío is also a good place to have some refreshments or do some improvised shopping.

Km 33. Tejerina Recreation Area. A stop along the way to take a break, stretch your legs and have a picnic, if that was your intention.

Km 40. Torre del Vinagre. This is undoubtedly a strategic location within the nature reserve as it represents the starting point of routes that lead to such famous places as the Cerrada de Elías canyon and Lake Valdeazores. There are also some facilities where you can learn more about the Nature Reserve. The 'Paseos por el Valle' or Walks through the Nature Reserve area provides you with information on this unique spot.


Distance: The total distance of the proposed route is 40 Km (one way) along a mountain road with a good surface for most of the journey.

Starting point: To go to Cazorla, follow the Úbeda-Albacete N322 national road and turn onto the A-315 road at Torreperogil. Follow it for 21 Km until you come to a roundabout where you take the A-319 that leads to Cazorla. Most of the route is along this road until it comes to Torre del Vinagre.

Itinerary: 1 day

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