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Put on your boots and explore the 20 best Grazalema hiking trails (I)

Grazalema hiking trails

The Grazalema hiking trails are a great attraction for lovers of active and rural tourism. They also prove to be rather seductive for lovers of natural environments of ecological interest. They are paths that run through the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park, declared a Unesco Biosphere Reserve.

Hiking in Grazalema will allow you to get to know and look at beautiful enclaves. You will visit places inhabited by unique plant and animal species. There are so many attractions offered by hiking trails in Grazalema that they are some of the favourites of those who hike in Andalusia.

The Del Pinar Sierra with its fir trees and the Del Torreón Mountain or Peak, the highest in Cádiz province. The characteristic karstic landscape, result of the water and limestone rocks. This is the rainiest place on the Iberian Peninsula. The Verde Gorge, inhabited by the griffon vulture along with the goshawk, booted eagle, otter, mountain coat, deer, roe deer and others. These are just some of the wonders to be found on hiking trails in Grazalema.

Hiking through the Grazalema Sierra will also allow you to get to know the customs and traditions of villages such as Zahara de la Sierra, Prado del Rey, El Bosque, Benaoján, Jimera de Líbar and Grazalema. You can also enjoy the area’s delicious and varied gastronomy.

Here are 20 hiking trails that are essential if you want to get to know the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park. Their names, the places they traverse, the distance they cover, the time it will take you to complete them and each one’s degree of difficulty. The landscape will be different depending on the season, but either way, always beautiful and full of life.

 

HIKING TRAIL  – EL PINSAPAR

Grazalema hiking trails - EL PINSAPAR

  • LENGTH  – 10,9 Km.
  • DURATION – 4:15 h.
  • DIFFICULTY – Moderate

HOW TO GET:

From Grazalema, take the A-372 towards Benamahoma. After 1.50 km, turn right towards Zahara de la Sierra. The route starts 1 km away, on the left-hand side of the road.

DESCRIPTION OF THE ROUTE:

This trail runs along the northern side of Sierra del Pinar amongst Spanish Firs, a unique kind of Fir tree that led to the area being designated a Biosphere Reserve and Nature Park. This trail starts with an uphill hike amongst reforested pine trees that have helped to mitigate the erosion caused by intense rainfall. Further up, hikers reach Puerto de las Cumbres, which o_ers wonderful views of Serranía de Ronda and the highest peak in the province of Cadiz: El Torreón at 1,654 m.

We gradually emerge ourselves in the forest of Spanish Fir trees, with the canopy permitting very little light to penetrate through to ground level.

Spanish _rs are one of the new species of _r trees that reside on the mountains bordering the Mediterranean. In Andalusia, they can only be found in Serranía de Ronda and Sierra de Grazalema, covering more than 400 hectares.

Generally, they are located on the northern slopes of mountains, protected from excessive sunlight, and the consequent loss of humidity, allowing the forests to grow in density and shade.

Sierra del Pinar serves as a barrier against the clouds that drift in from the Strait of Gibraltar, meaning that this mountain range records the highest rainfall on the Iberian peninsula.

At the end of the forest, the Spanish firs give way to gall oaks as we head downhill, keeping our eyes peeled for a sight of the small town of Benamahoma, where hikers can catch the bus back to Grazalema. (Check departure times, as the bus only leaves once each day).

Note: Before setting you must obtain a park permit in El Bosque: Tel. Tel.: 956 709733 or email: cv_elbosque@agenciademedioambienteyagua.es (All trails for which a permit is required are closed between June and October due to the risk of fire) Pets are not allowed on this trail!

 

HIKING TRAIL  – GARGANTA VERDE

Grazalema hiking trails - GARGANTA VERDE

  • LENGTH  – 2,5 Km.
  • DURATION – 1:40 h.
  • DIFFICULTY – High

HOW TO GET:

From Grazalema, take the A-372 towards Benamahoma. After 1.5 km, turn right and take the CA- 9104 towards Zahara de la Sierra. After 9 km, after the Puerto de los Acebuches viewpoint, our trail begins approximately 1 km away to the left-hand side of the road.

DESCRIPTION OF THE ROUTE:

Garganta Verde is home to a hermitage that does not belong to any denomination other than nature itself, which proves to be a magical space. The downhill path that provides access to the trail is overlooked by gliding vultures that trace circles in the air.

Our route starts by crossing a gate at Puerto de los Acebuches, on the road that links Grazalema to Zahara de la Sierra. The _rst stretch of the trail crosses a thick tangled brush, home to brooms, wild olives, palmettos and mastic trees. Opposite, we can catch a glimpse of the _rst outcrops of Garganta Verde and when looking back, panoramic views of Sierra del Pinar. Following along the path, we arrive at Puerto de los Portillos, where our descent amongst mastic trees and cornicabra begins; use the steps and handrail as the downhill slope is steep. Making sure to take in the views, heading downwards until we reach a number of steps that drop quickly away. The trail is now carved into the rock itself and the coolness of the canyon is notable; a few metres further along is the Bocaleones stream, with the canyon serving as home to the largest colony of gri_on vultures in Europe. If the stream is dry, proceed with care, as along its course we need to follow the wooden posts up to the hermitage of Garganta Verde.

Note: Before setting off, you must obtain a park permit in El Bosque: Tel. Tel.: 956 709733 or email:  cv_elbosque@agenciademedioambienteyagua.es (All trails for which a permit is required are closed between June and October due to the risk of fire) Pets are not allowed on this trail!

 

HIKING TRAIL – LLANOS DEL RABEL

Grazalema hiking trails - LLANOS DEL RABEL

  • LENGTH – 6,3 Km.
  • DURATION  – 2:00 h.
  • DIFFICULTY – Low

HOW TO GET:

From Grazalema, take the A-372 towards Benamahoma. After 1.5 km, turn right and take the CA- 9104 towards Zahara de la Sierra. After 9 km, after the Puerto de los Acebuches viewpoint, our trail begins to the left-hand side of the road.

DESCRIPTION OF THE ROUTE:

The trail runs parallel to Arroyo de los Ballesteros and borders the northern slopes of Cerro el Montón. Having crossed the hill, we arrive at El Llano del Rabel, the end point of this trail. This  atland is of particular interest given the spectacular views it o_ers over the land skirting El Torreón, the peak of San Cristóbal, Puerto del Pinar and Puerto de las Cumbreras. The flatland is the starting point for a small circular trail that crosses a forest of Spanish firs.

It o_ers some of the best panoramic views of the park. The trail is almost exclusively flat, meaning that any inexperienced hikers can discover the heart of Grazalema Natural Park.

Note: Before setting off, you must obtain a park permit in El Bosque: Tel. Tel.: 956 709733 or email: cv_elbosque@agenciademedioambienteyagua.es (All trails for which a permit is required are closed between June and October due to the risk of fire) Pets are not allowed on this trail!

 

HIKING TRAIL – EL TORREÓN

Grazalema hiking trails - EL TORREÓN

  • LENGTH – 6,86 Km.
  • DURATION – 4:15 h.
  • DIFFICULTY – High

HOW TO GET:

To reach the starting point, take the A372 towards Benamahoma to km 40 (there is a car park at the start of the trail).

DESCRIPTION OF THE ROUTE:

The trail is signposted and takes us to the summit of the province of Cadiz, a formidable landmark that offers views over a large part of western Andalusia. From here, we can take in: La Garganta Verde and part of the province of Seville (Sierra de El Terril) to the north; part of the province of Málaga (Sierra de las Nieves, Ronda, etc.) and Granada (Sierra Nevada) to the east; a large part of Cadiz, such as the neighbouring Los Alcornocales Natural Park to the south; and the bay of Cadiz (Gibraltar and the Strait) to the west. Weather permitting, the north of Africa and the city of Seville can even be spotted.

Having crossed the gate, head along the ancient Roman road that linked Arcos and Ronda, crossing the mountain range. Our climb starts here. Unfortunately, the trail has not been well maintained and stones have been laid as steps to make the _rst part of the trail easier. Don’t forget to stop and turn around to take in the panoramic views.

Gradually, we are able to spot Puerto del Boyar, El Reloj and El Simancón, La Silla, Prado del Rey, Arcos de la Frontera and the Bornos, Guadalcacín and los Hurones reservoirs, with Zahara reservoir visible from the top. When we reach the rocky area, proceed with caution; piles of stones serve as a signpost and mark the route, with some paint marks guiding us to the summit. Finally, our efforts are rewarded as we reach the top of El Torreón. Carefully head to the northern end and enjoy the wonderful bird’s eye view of Pinsapar.

Note: Before setting off, you must obtain a park permit in El Bosque: Tel. Tel.: 956 709733 or email: cv_elbosque@agenciademedioambienteyagua.es (All trails for which a permit is required are closed between June and October due to the risk of fire) Pets are not allowed on this trail!

 

HIKING TRAIL – LA ERMITA DEL CALVARIO Y EL SANTO

Grazalema hiking trails - LA ERMITA DEL CALVARIO Y EL SANTO

  • LENGTH – 700 m.
  • DURATION – 30 min.
  • DIFFICULTY – Low

HOW TO GET:

A stepped path departs the centre of Grazalema, close to km 48 on the A-372, which represents the start of the trail.

DESCRIPTION OF THE ROUTE:

This route gently climes up amongst the pine trees to the fork between two different routes. One leads to the Calvario hermitage and the second to the Imagen del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús or el Santo, located on a magni_cent natural viewpoint.

This spot offers incredible views of the town of Grazalema. To the north is the Fresnillo dam, which supplies nearby towns and the port of las Palomas; to the west is Peñón Grande and the peak of San Cristobal; to the south is the Sierra Endrinal; and to the east is the Guadalete valley, the Gastor and Malaver peaks and the Mesa de Ronda la Vieja.

 

HIKING TRAIL – PRESA DEL FRESNILLO

Grazalema hiking trails - PRESA DEL FRESNILLO

  • LENGTH – 500 m.
  • DURATION – 30 min.
  • DIFFICULTY – Low

HOW TO GET:

The trail starts at Puente de la Asamblea, located in the centre of Grazalema, next to Calle del Prado.

DESCRIPTION OF THE ROUTE:

The path connects the centre of Grazalema directly to the Fresnillo reservoir. The trail starts on a gentle slope, on which hikers will come across a wide variety of plants and can catch a glimpse of griffon vultures and even wild goats on the crags. The route o_ers wonderful views of Sierra de las Nieves; a dense pine forest grows to the right of the path with titmice and chickadees taking refuge in its branches. The walk ends at the dam of the Fresnillo reservoir.

This small reservoir was built due to the lack of drinking water su_ered by residents in summer, despite being one of the areas on the mainland with the highest rainfalls.

 

HIKING TRAIL – HOTEL RÍO CAMPOBUCHE

Grazalema hiking trails - RÍO CAMPOBUCHE

  • LENGTH – 1,8 Km.
  • DURATION – 1:00 h.
  • DIFFICULTY – Low

HOW TO GET:

From the hotel, head up towards Venta Los Alamillos at the crossroads, take the lane to the left of the restaurant.

DESCRIPTION OF THE ROUTE:

This route is perfect for those looking for a comfortable trek accompanied by children. At the start of this stretch there are small houses and agricultural land, in addition to a range of plantations.

As we move on, we come across umbrella pines and a few cork oaks; this is a good area to spot birds such as the bee-eater, jay and a number of other birds of prey. After a moderate climb, we descend towards Llano de Campobuche, crossing the River Campobuche or Gaduares. The trail ends in the Campobuche flatlands, the perfect place to have a picnic or observe the surrounding wildlife.

 

HIKING TRAIL – CALZADA MEDIEVAL DE GRAZALEMA

Grazalema hiking trails - CALZADA MEDIEVAL DE GRAZALEMA

  • LENGTH – 600 m.
  • DURATION – 30 min.
  • DIFFICULTY – Low

HOW TO GET:

From Calle Ronda in the centre of Grazalema.

DESCRIPTION OF THE ROUTE:

This route traces the lower part of Grazalema, around the River Guadalete, and follows an ancient, restored Medieval road, made using locally quarried limestone. The Medieval road of Grazalema is an extension of the two thousand year old route that crosses Manga de Villaluenga. Its path is de_ned by the rocky formation close to which it is located, with steep, narrow slopes.

Over the course of the route, hikers can enjoy the wealth of nature o_ered by the forest along the banks of the River Guadalete, formed by willows, ashes, oaks and alders, amongst others. This valley is known as Las Veguetas.

 

HIKING TRAIL – LA CUEVA DE LAS DOS PUERTAS

Grazalema hiking trails - LA CUEVA DE LAS DOS PUERTAS

  • LENGTH – 6 Km.
  • DURATION – 1:30 h.
  • DIFFICULTY – Moderate

HOW TO GET:

Drive along the A-372 to the Camping Tajo Rodillo car park. The trail starts on the stone steps close to km 48 to the west of Grazalema.

DESCRIPTION OF THE ROUTE:

The uphill stone steps amongst pine trees that lead to a crossroads represent the start of the trail. Head straight on until the hermitage, where an uphill path leads o_ to the left amongst pine trees. Yellow painted arrows indicate the direction that we must follow.

Head along the Cortados de Peñaloja, which offer wonderful views of the Guadalete valley and pass through another pine forest which leads to Puerto de Retocapas, from where wonderful views of the Reloj and Simancon peaks can be taken in. Turn to the right, cycle the ridge and head through another pine forest.

Cycle the ridge again until you reach a point where you can spot Grazalema; from here, head right towards Cueva de las dos Puertas. Head back to the fork and start the descent (the trail is marked by a number of milestones). Head into the pine forest and come out just a few metres above our starting point.

 

HIKING TRAIL – LLANOS DEL ENDRINAL

Grazalema hiking trails - LLANOS DEL ENDRINAL

  • LENGTH – 3,2 Km.
  • DURATION – 2:00 h.
  • DIFFICULTY – Moderate

HOW TO GET:

Drive along the A-372 to the Camping Tajo Rodillo car park. From here, the trail is signposted.

DESCRIPTION OF THE ROUTE:

This uphill trail takes us to the heart of the Endrinal mountain range, allowing us to discover a wide range of interesting formations, created by the weathering of the limestone, typical to the Sierra Grazalema Natural Park; furthermore, the trail offers us access not only to a sample of plants typical to the area, but also to one of the most emblematic animals of this mountain range: the mountain goat.

From the highest points, hikers can enjoy stunning views of this mountain range’s most famous peaks, such as El Reloj, El Simancon or Peñon Grande.

 

Put on your boots and explore the 20 best Grazalema hiking trails (II)

 

ACCOMMODATION

Fuerte Grazalema

If you come to Grazalema, there is no better place to stay than Fuerte Grazalema. The hotel has 77 rooms with private balconies including spectacular views of the Guadalete Valley. Among the most loved services are the outdoor pool and the hot tub overlooking the Sierra de Grazalema. The hotel chain has branches where you can enjoy the best of each area throughout Andalucia, in addition to its services. Its more than 50 years of experience are the best guarantee.

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