At... The Source of the River Guadalquivir we also recommend...

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Visiting the following towns


The town of Quesada, at the foot of a hill known as Cerro de la Magdalana, retains important remnants of an ancient past that harks back to the Argaric culture. A visit to this town will enable you to discover some important buildings, including the former hospital, built in 1634, which has a church that boasts a lovely Baroque alcove for the Virgin, also known as the Arco de la Manquita de Utrera (with Visigoth imposts on the walls). Next to it is the Arco de los Santos (Archway of the Saints), a narrow town gateway composed of a pointed Gothic arch.

The museum of local painter Rafael Zabaleta is probably the most well-known place in Quesada. Apart from works by Zabaleta, the museum houses a collection of modern art with works by Tápies and Miró, among others.

Quesada is also renowned for the craftspeople who work with wood, esparto grass, wicker and embroidery.



The place known today as Peal de Becerro was once occupied by flourishing Iberian settlements: The Toya burial chamber is one of the most fascinating legacies from that period. Two medieval fortified towers, remnants of the city’s fortification, are also worth visiting: the Torre del Reloj and the Torre Mocha.

Five kilometres outside of Peal de Becerro, close to the striking Iberian burial chamber of Toya, stands an imposing tower that was once part of the historic castle of Toya. It is well worth a visit to learn more about the important role this place played in the ancient Iberian civilization.



Salvatierra castle, or the Castillo de Cinco Esquinas (Castle of Five Corners) is a rectangular building on a rocky plain close to the summit of Salvatierra hill. Half of the east wall and the pentagon-shaped keep are still in fairly good condition. The castle was built in the 14th century, probably in the day of Archbishop Pedro Tenorio. To get there, go up to the Riogazas checkpoint from La Iruela, and further on take a turnoff on the right onto a track that goes down to the castle and continues on to the Montesión monastery.



The Montesión monastery was originally a series of hermitages that were grouped together by presbyter Julián Ferrer in 1625, the year the monastery was founded. Its religious name is Desierto de Montesión (the Desert of Montesión), as the Order of Hermits Saint Anthony and Saint Paul called this place. Vestiges of the former vegetable gardens that fed the Order can be traced all around the monastery, where life was secluded and austere. The place gives a feeling of peace and calm; sitting close to the monastery it is easy to imagine the life of the monks in this remote spot.



The beautiful limestone wall, visible from any point in Cazorla, is an effective refuge for the little birds that build their nests in its hollows and cracks. It also is home to many birds of prey, as well, and you can see griffon vultures wheeling above the summit almost every day. You can go there from the shrine of the Virgen de la Cabeza, on the road to Riogazas. Opposite the shrine, at the far end of a small meadow, you’ll see a path between the rocks that leads up to Puerto del Tejo pass. When the path reaches a ridge and becomes less steep, take the opportunity to turn off to the right and walk two hundred metres until you come to a vantage point where, being very cautious, you can see Cazorla from the Peña de los Halcones peak.



As you come to the Collado de la Zarca summit on the road to Las Navas, you’ll find an amazing Corsican pine that is more than 300 years old. From here, you have delightful views of the Barranco del Guadalentín canyon and the Nature Reserve’s massive limestone formations (Navalasno, Poyos de la Carilarga, La Cabrilla, and others). This was one of naturalist Félix Rodríguez de la Fuente’s favourite mountain spots.



This popular spot boasts some of the best views of the Guadalquivir river valley, closed in between mountain chains. To get there, take the A-319 mountain road from Cazorla and go up it for 13 km. From here you can see some of the Nature Reserve’s highest peaks on your right: the Empanadas (2106 m), the Cabrilla (2032 m) and the Cabañas (2036 m). Further to the right, you can also make out the Los Poyos de la Mesa mountain and the flat expanse of rock that goes around Cerrada del Utrero hill. Far away in the heart of the valley you can spot the Yelmo peak (1808 m) standing out in the Sierra de Segura mountain chain.

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The Headwaters of the Guadalentín via Fuente Acero

The course of the River Guadalentín has carved out a valley of immense beauty. The riverbanks are covered with lush vegetation: maples, ashes, poplars and gall oaks will line your route, while the river itself flows slowly through a series of crystal-clear pools that are home to otters and the native white-clawed crayfish, before quickening its pace through areas in which the banks narrow to form gorges. This is an indispensable excursion for anyone who wishes to become better acquainted with the Nature Park.


Cerrada del Utrero and Cascada de Linarejos Hiking Route

The area known as Cerrada del Utrero-Linarejos is a breathtaking natural work of art, sculpted by the River Guadalquivir out of the surrounding limestone. The route is traversed on foot, enabling you to appreciate the jagged rock forms and apertures created by water over the course of thousands of years. During this pleasant hike you will be accompanied by narrow-leafed rock privet, terebinth and willow as you head towards one of the most photographed spots in the park: the Cascada de Linarejos waterfall, also known as the cola del caballo or “horse’s tail”.


Poyos de la Mesa Hiking Route

Navas are extremely fertile stretches of land located at a certain altitude and which have, since time immemorial, been used by residents of the mountains for grazing their livestock or planting crops. The first of these, which you can reach via the JF-7091 (a provincial road, the first section of which is asphalted before later becoming a dirt track), is known as the Nava del Espino…


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