From the sea to the mountains, the best hiking trails to enjoy Cádiz
Cadiz is a jewel of nature in its four cardinal points. It has a coastline rich in flora and fauna, unparalleled natural vegetation in its mountain ecosystems, and priceless natural landscapes. That is why you should not miss the opportunity to get to know its environment by practicing some of the best hiking trails that this wonderful province offers you.
The province of Cadiz offers multiple hiking proposals, from long and difficult trails for the more adventurous to shorter and more accessible ones for those who want to enjoy with the family. Whether in the mountains, in the countryside, on the beach, or along the coast … here are some of the most beautiful proposals for you to enjoy first hand this incredible corner of southern Spain.
Hiking trails in Cadiz
1. Cerro del Águila
In terms of walking trails in Cádiz, the Cerro del Águila is affordable for most audiences. It has a low difficulty that takes 1 hour and 45 minutes over a distance of 4 kilometres. It is ideal to do this with children. To get there from Sanlúcar de Barrameda, you have to take the secondary road CA-9027 to La Algaida. This road leads to the entrance of Pinar de Monte Algaida, where the trail begins.
On the other bank of the Guadalquivir, Doñana remains a space full of riches. This paths shows part of them, offering a tour of an area where you can find numerous species.
Do not miss the Tarelo lagoon which is home to many birds, among which one can see stiff-tailed ducks, goldeneyes or grebes together with coots. In terms of vegetation, along the way, you have the opportunity to observe mainly large pine and juniper trees.
2. Rio Majaceite
This trail is one of the most walked in the Sierra de Grazalema. The fact that it is easy and beautiful make it ideal as a family outing. It is a low-intensity walk which covers 4.3km in two hours. The trail starts in the north-western part of Benamahoma, the lower part of the town together with the El Bujío shop. You can access it from the street La Cuesta de la Venta.
The route runs parallel to the Majaceite river and connects the town of Banamahoma (Grazalema) with El Bosque. This river offers a magnificent forest view, a beautiful fresh green tunnel. Poplars, willows, oleanders, cassis, rose bushes, brambles, clematis and honeysuckle among others grow so close together that it is impenetrable to the river banks, providing a safe haven to the abundant wildlife that resides here, such as the otter. Don’t forget to record these moments with your camera and listen to the unique song of the nightingale.
3. Garganta Verde
To reach the Garganta Verde route from Zahara de la Sierra, take the road CA-9104 to Grazalema. After traveling about 4 miles, the trail starts on the right-hand side. The difficulty of this path is high in an area and covers 2.5 kilometres, so you need the agility and strength to do it.
The Garganta Verda hides the Cueva de la Ermita. The Bocaleones stream created this place with the size of a true temple. The trail provides access to this cave by a sharp decline over which vultures fly, circling and hovering in the air after taking off from their nests on the vertical walls on the canyon. This colony represents one of the largest in Europe.
La Ermita is notable for the textures of its pink and green stained walls, caused by algae that thrive in the rock face. The lighting is dim and the sun barely touches the place directly. The silence is broken only by the drops of water falling from the roof of the huge dome and building the stalactites and stalagmites that can be seen in a slow, delicate process.
4. El Torreón
Well positioned within the best hiking trails in the province of Cádiz is the El Torreón route. To get from Benamahoma, take the A-372 to Grazalema. After about 5 kilometres, the trail starts on a road on the left. Although only 3 kilometres, the difficulty is high and it is suitable only for people who are in very good shape.
This trail leads to the tip of Cádiz, the highest peak in the Sierra del Pinar. This formidable watchtower provides a good view of a lot of Andalucia. It is a rather tough but rewarding climb and you can breathe at the top with stunning views which you can then photograph.
During the ascent, you can see the chalky soil of the geological formations and can spot birds of prey and other colourful birds, and, with a little luck, some ibex. As you get higher, the vegetation changes. This is known as altitudinal zonation. Approaching the summit, vegetation disappears, leaving the rocks exposed. In this area we must be careful: piles of stones act as signs, marking the path as well as some paint to point towards the summit.
5. Salto del Cabrero
Billed as a medium-difficulty route, Salto del Cabrero covers 7.6 km and can be done in 4 hours. To get from Grazalema you should take the A-372 to Benamahoma. After about 3 kilometres, you will arrive at Puerto del Boyar where the trail starts.
This route connects the Puerto del Boyar with the town of Benaocaz, through the gorge of the Salto del Cabrero, visible throughout the trail. The limestone composition of these mountains creates a landscape of potholes, caves, shelters and faults like this gorge, a gap which divides the hill in half with vertical walls that exceed eighty metres in height, leaving a space between them of not more than fifty.
The track runs along the west slope of the Sierra del Endrinal, overlooking the Boyar depression. From here you have the opportunity to observe the Sierra de la Silla, Cerro de las Cuevas, the Sierra de Albarracín, the Hurones, Bornos and Guadalcacín reservoirs, and the great mass of the Sierra del Pinar.
6. Llanos de Rabel
The Llanos de Rabel trail is 6.2 kilometres long and can be completed in two hours, so it is rated as low difficulty. If you want to get close to this area from Grazalema, take the A-372 to Benamahoma. After travelling 1.5 km, turn right along the CA-9104 to the Puerto de las Palomas.
After travelling about 9 kilometres, the route starts on a road on the left. As far as hiking trails in Andalucia, this is one of the best to do as a family. The path goes into the Sierra de Grazalema reserve area with a firm and smooth path.
The path runs through the Spanish fir grove along a road densely populated by Mediterranean vegetation which shelters a wide variety of fauna. In the background, we see the Sierra del Pinar which highlights the silhouette of El Torreón, and higher up, the flawless flight of the vultures.
The real star of this trail is the Spanish fir, one of the nine species of fir trees surrounding the Mediterranean which only grows naturally in the Sierra de las Nieves, Sierra Bermeja and the Grazalema massif.
7. The Roman Road
In Benaocaz, the trail starts on the A-2302, just next to the town bus stop. If you start from Ubrique, look for the monastery or hermitage of San Juan. It is a low intensity trail measuring 3.3 kilometres and lasts hour, ideal for enjoying the relaxing landscape.
This trail combines nature and culture. It allows us to see some of the natural park from Benaocaz to Ubrique and the history of its settlement. The Roman road was the model of road used in Rome for the structuring of the empire, laying the foundation of today’s communications networks.
From the Salto de la Mora, the Roman city of Ocuri, the path can be seen while the remains of the former village of Archite can barely be seen.
8. The Fir Grove
The beauty of Grazalema comes, undoubtedly, from its huge expanse of firs. That same singular Mediterranean fir was what led to the declaration of the area as a Biosphere Reserve and Natural Park.
This trail runs along the northern slope of the Sierra del Pinar and has an average difficulty covering nearly 11 kilometres, taking about 4 hours and 30 minutes. To get there from Grazalema, take the A-372 to Benamahoma. After travelling 1.5 km, turn right along the CA-9104 to the Puerto de las Palomas. Access to the path is 1 kilometre away to the left of the road.
The Spanish fir in Andalucia is only found in the Serrania de Ronda and the Sierra de Grazalema, where it covers over 400 hectares on the Sierra del Pinar. It generates a cool atmosphere so it is important that you take something warm to wear.
9. Llanos del Republicano
As you leave Villaluenga del Rosario towards Grazalema, you should take the road where the municipal pool is found in order to reach the low-intensity, 5 km long route.
This trail connects the town of Villaluenga del Rosario with the Llano del Republicano. The road starts climbing gently through pastures to the Port de la Mesa. From here, you descend a steep path between the bushes and dense cork trees, covered with moss and lichen on shady slopes, to the Llano del Republicano. On the way down, you can see the Sima del Republicano where the trail ends.
This area is ideal for caving enthusiasts since the Sierra del Caíllo has a large number of caves, especially the Sima del Republicano.
10. La Breña and Marismas de Barbate Park
In this natural space of more than 5,000 hectares can be distinguished by up to five different ecosystems. If the visitor decides to visit this wonderful space will have the opportunity to choose between several trails to enjoy the environment, one of them is the Torre de Meca, which is located in the recreational area Majales del Sol, this trail is just over 2 km one way, and you can enjoy a space surrounded by pine forest, and a 17th-century watchtower and a viewpoint over Cape Trafalgar, a trail that combines nature and history.
Another recommended trail is the one that runs along the edge of the Acantilado de Barbate, to reach the starting point of this trail we will travel along the A-2233, towards Los Caños, and about 5 km, take the detour to the right and follow the forest track that leads to the recreational area El Jarillo, where the path begins. This trail can be done in both directions, having as an intermediate point the Torre del Tajo, with its incredible views, the starting point of the trail.
11. Parque del Estrecho – Sendero del Tambor
In the Parque del Estrecho, the Junta de Andalucía indicates up to 7 trails to be done, and it must be said that four of them are of low difficulty. The first one we want to talk about is the Tambor trail, which starts at the visitor center Huerta Grande and ends in an incredible viewpoint with a fabulous panoramic view of the two shores of the Strait of Gibraltar. To our left, we will see the Tomo inlet and Punta del Acebuche, before the Rock of Gibraltar and, in front of us, Africa.
It is also a good place for whale watching. The most frequent are dolphins, pilot whales, and killer whales, the latter coinciding with tuna migrations. It is also possible to see other giants of the sea, such as the sperm whale or the fin whale.
It is six kilometers long and can be covered in 1 hour and a half.
12. Circular walk along the Roche Trail
The Roche Trail is a circular trail, 7 kilometers long and of low difficulty, which runs through the Roche de Conil pine forest. The trail starts next to the Roche River until it reaches a wooden bridge, where we will enter a majestic pine forest. From here the trail passes through coves and cliffs, where we can contemplate the incredible views of an area of unparalleled beauty. We will have to continue towards the lighthouse, from where we will see the port, which was the beginning of our journey.
13. Circular walk along the Sendero del Buda (Los Alcornocales Natural Park)
The Buddha Trail, in Tarifa, is a hiking trail that runs through the Sierra de Enmedio, being able to enjoy excellent views of the part of the Strait that goes between Tarifa and Punta Paloma and if visibility is good, of the African coast. Its beginning coincides with the trail of La Peña, although it is called Ruta del Buda because on the way the visitor will find a hollow that someone took advantage of to place the figure of a Buddha and over time has ended up being called this way. This trail ascends to the geodesic point of La Peña, passing through a wind farm and descending through a beautiful pine forest from where you can enjoy the magnificent views of the Valley of Ojén and return to the starting point through the Mirador de La Torre de la Peña.
14. Circular walk around the Zahara Reservoir (Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park)
This incredible linear hiking trail is perfect for running, as it runs along the shores of the Zahara Reservoir, in the northern part of the province of Cadiz and at the foot of the always imposing Grazalema and other beautiful mountains such as the Gastor or Lijar. In addition, there is a bathing area with an artificial beach perfect for a dip in spring and summer.
15. Palominos Bridge (Zahara de la Sierra)
This trail connects the town of Zahara de la Sierra with the Roman Bridge of the Palominos, a bridge that spans the stream of Bocaleones, a tributary of the Guadalete River. During the course of the trail, the hiker will be able to observe the Breña, the Peñón de los Toros, Cerro Cambronero, and Sierra Margarita.
HIKING: BASIC TIPS
- PREPARATION OF THE TRAIL: It is very important to know as accurately as possible where the trail begins and where it ends, how many kilometers it is, and how long it takes to finish it. In addition to knowing the level of difficulty to be able to carry the necessary material and to know if we are prepared or not to do it.
- WEATHER INFORMATION: It is advisable to know if the weather will be on our side, as there are weather conditions that prevent or hinder the realization of this practice.
- FOOTWEAR AND CLOTHING FOR HIKING: When it comes to hiking it is essential to carry the right equipment because not just any footwear will do, the ideal is to have something suitable for the mountain. In the same way, it is necessary to wear comfortable clothes that do not impede the natural movement of the body.
- ALIMENTATION AND HYDRATION: During the trail, we must feed and hydrate ourselves constantly to avoid problems such as disorientation, fainting, and, in extreme cases, death.
- CARE OF THE ENVIRONMENT: We must not forget for a moment that the natural environment belongs to everyone, so remember to be very respectful of the natural environment.
If you want to discover these hiking trails and be in contact with nature, do not hesitate to stay at Fuerte Hoteles. The chain has establishments where you can enjoy, in addition to its services, the best of each point of the Andalusian coast. The chain has establishments where you can enjoy, in addition to its services, the best of each point of the Cadiz region, a good example of them is Fuerte Grazalema, nestled in the mountains and with a spectacular pool that makes you forget about everything and enjoy the most natural way of the most relaxing vacations. On the other hand, if you prefer to relax on the beach, Fuerte Conil is located in front of one of the most beautiful beaches in Spain, La Fontanilla beach. It stands out for its exclusive Andalusian style, its 25,000 square meters of gardens, 4 outdoor swimming pools, a Jacuzzi, a tennis court, and a fully equipped Spa.