A Mountain Beach in the Heart of Sierra de Grazalema Nature Park
In Zahara de la Sierra, 20 minutes away from Grazalema, it is located the Playita (small beach), a freshwater lake made to enjoy beach on a day in the countryside.
For many people, summer and beach practically means the same, but for others summer can be enjoyed somewhere else than at the beachfront. Do you know that right in the heart of Grazalema Natural Park, in the province of Cadiz, it is located the freshwater beach of Zahara de la Sierra?
The Sierra de Grazalema, in Cadiz, is one of the most important natural treasures of Spain for both its environmental values and its long tradition and vast culture, a site where some of the most beautiful pueblos blancos (white villages) in Andalucia can be found. Some good examples are Grazalema, from which the park takes its name; Ubrique and its long tradition of leather craft; Villaluenga and its rich payoyo cheeses (from a local goat breed); Arcos de la Frontera, designated artistic and historical monument; and the village we focused on today, Zahara de la Sierra, with one of the most stunning landscapes of the area and its mountain beach.
These towns and villages are filled with life and colour in summer, when their annual local festivities take place and visitors are offered a large number of traditional and cultural events, and activities for lovers of rural environment: hiking, river rafting, photography routes, bird watching, kayaking, simple rest and good gastronomy, or one of the most successful leisure options in the area, a day on the beach in the heart of the mountains.
Known as the Playita, it is a manmade beach in the heart of a natural site taking advantage of the river course, which makes its waters be constantly and naturally renewed. It is a wide space amid orchards and fruit trees in the Arroyomolinos area, next to Zahara de la Sierra reservoir.
From June to September visitors to the Playita will find the perfect place to enjoy a great bathing day in the mountain clear waters, the place where you can shelter in the hot summer days with the cool pure water from the mountains.
This freshwater lake, main summer attraction in the area, has 63,362 square metres for camping with your family, partner or friends to enjoy “beach” away from annoying jellyfish. The Playita is also the perfect place for those travelling with children, who can play with no worries, always under the constant vigilance from a lifeguard, because it is shallow, to have a siesta sheltered by a tree, or to sunbathe at a wide grass area surrounding the lake.
Admission fee is about 3 euros and for those who want to enjoy their own omelette or their watermelon brought from home, there is no problem, because you are allowed bringing in your own meal.
To finish the day nothing better than a visit to Zahara de la Sierra old town, a must in the route of the Pueblos Blancos (White Villages) for its typical Andalusian beauty. Located on a large rock next to the reservoir and crowned by the remains of a castle, Zahara offers the traveller the charm of the narrow and winding streets and whitewashed houses, with balconies graced by bougainvilleas and geraniums. In addition, we must not forget the landscape beauty, in the heart of Sierra de Grazalema Nature Park.
If you choose to make this journey, we recommend you Fuerte Grazalema hotel, a superb four-star hotel, located in a stunning cork oak forest. It is a natural paradise perfect to spend some peaceful and quiet days, 5 minutes away from Grazalema and twenty minutes from the Playita. It has rooms with spectacular views over the valley, a fabulous swimming-pool where the village can be seen on the background, and an outdoor Jacuzzi. Child entertainment is offered too, with visits to the ecologic garden and its own farm.
Who said that you must choose between beach and mountain?