Route by car: Santiago de la Espada - Juntas de Miller

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Route by car: Santiago de la Espada - Juntas de Miller

The route through the Zumeta valley is an authentic trip back in time. Settlements have existed on the banks of the river from the Neolithic period to the present day. You will discover archaeological sites, rock paintings, small castles and villages that are veritable open-air ethnological museums. You can still see the locals busy at their age-old crafts.

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The lay of the land also speaks of surroundings where water alone was the master craftsman for thousands of years. As you go down this road, the oak and pine forests make way for lush riverbank woodlands.

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Km 0.Santiago de la Espada. Situated at 1350 m above sea level, its main economic activity is extensive livestock farming. The town's 14th century Parish Church of Santiago Apóstol is built on top of an old shrine dedicated to the same saint and boasts a beautiful Baroque main altarpiece. An old 16th century inn boasting an elegant wooden balcony stands in the same square as the Town Hall.

Km 10.El Salto de la Novia or El Zumeta viewpoint. This viewpoint is situated 10 km from Santiago de la Espada on the right of the road and affords splendid views of the edges of the Nature Reserve and the province of Jaen. Make sure to hold on to your hats, they could get completely blown away.

Km 12. The village of Tobos. An obligatory stop to buy fine bread and delicious cakes. A modest public washing place fed with cool, clean water by the Tobos stream stands close to the road.

Km 13.The village of Vites. Turn off to the left and drive 2 Km to arrive at the village of Vites. Delicious white grapes, big and sweet, are grown in this village to be distilled into aguardiente, a strong fiery spirit. Ask the locals about where to find some.

Prado Moro. At the far end of the village of Vites, a road to the left climbs up to Prado Moro meadow. Here a hundred-year-old oak still stands, a vestige of the woods that once existed in this area.

Km 16. La Vieja Reservoir. A prominent peak called El Morrión marks the beginning of the La Vieja reservoir. After the village of El Morrión, a road (not signposted) descends on the left towards the reservoir.

Km 18.El Vadico. 2 km from the reservoir you come across a number of houses to the right of the road, behind a wall. Directly opposite a path climbs up to El Vadico. It is a pleasant walk, through a veritable botanical garden with water springs that is worth doing on foot. You will come across several water fountains along the way where you can cool off and get fresh water.

Km 18,5.. Entrance to the villages of La Muela, Marchena and Marchenica. La Muela lies 5.4 km from this point. The important Bronze Age archaeological site of Hoya Somera is in the vicinity of the town. Marchena and Marchenica are farther away. Roman ruins and an Arab necropolis have been found in the area.

Km 22.Las Juntas de Miller. At this point the Zumeta river, which we have followed from the outset, joins the Segura river. A natural stone tunnel indicates that you have arrived at this meeting place.

Village of Miller.Another road leaves Las Juntas and leads to the historic Village of Miller, which boasts more than 20 springs. It is the departure point of several routes leading to beautiful spots in Sierra de Segura mountains. Follow the sign to the "Central y Miller" when you come out of the stone tunnel.

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Distance: The distance between Santiago de la Espada and Juntas de Miller is 22 Km, along a mountain road. The route is longer if you visit the villages and recommended spots.

Starting point: The town of Santiago de la Espada, which you reach by taking the A-317 road. The route follows the JF-7038 provincial road.

Itinery: 1 day



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