WHY THE SIERRA ARACENA IS A GREAT PLACE FOR A WALKING TRIP IN SPAIN

WHY THE SIERRA ARACENA IS A GREAT PLACE FOR A WALKING TRIP IN SPAIN

If the main reasons why you go on walking holidays is to escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life, soak up spectacular landscapes and give yourself a bit of a challenge, then Spain’s Sierra Aracena Nature Reserve is the ideal destination for you.

With plenty of open spaces, rolling hills and traditional villages dotted around it, you’ll be hard pushed to find a better location for a trekking break in Europe.
WHY THE SIERRA ARACENA IS A GREAT PLACE FOR A WALKING TRIP IN SPAIN
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Sierra Aracena: the basics

Spanning 186,827 hectares, the nature reserve is very large, which means there are lots of trails for hikers to follow. The area is characterised by its vast swathes of woodland, which comprises typical Mediterranean trees, such as cork oaks, gall oaks and chestnut trees.

The landscape of Sierra Aracena is largely made up of hills, mountains and valleys, so walkers will find gentle routes on offer, as well as those designed to be a bit more challenging.

As the nature reserve is so big, you may want to travel on a tour, rather than going it alone to ensure you don’t miss the best bits. Explore Worldwide offers a walking trip in Sierra Aracena for £335 without flights.

Highlights of walking in the region

Over the course of a week, you’ll undertake various beautiful treks, allowing you to explore the valleys, forests and hilltops of Sierra Aracena. One of the highlights will be the day you climb Cerro San Cristobal, the second-highest peak in the area.

The route you’ll follow will see you leave your base, Castano, to set out for the village of Almonaster La Real, walking via the top of Cerro San Cristobal. The summit sits 907 m above sea level and from here you’ll have glorious views across the valley you’ve just walked through.

Another reason why walking in Sierra Aracena is popular is the number of small, traditional villages you’ll explore as you hike. You’ll stop in a settlement on most days, giving you a chance to really get under the skin of the rural culture in this region of Spain.

Jabugo is one of the best villages to visit if you are a foodie, as it is at the heart of the area’s cured ham industry and is renowned for producing the best Jamon Serrano in the Sierra.

Sights to see in Sierra Aracena

Of course, walking breaks are about more than just striding out – you want interesting things to see along the way as well. Sierra Aracena is blessed with several sites of interest, some of which you can visit as part of a hiking tour in the area.

One of the most famous is the Rio Tinto mines, which are opencast pits that have been expanded over centuries. They are believed to be one of the oldest mining sites in the world, as the area is rich in copper, iron ore, silver and other metal deposits.

The Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians and Romans all mined in the area, with large-scale operations starting to take hold in the 18th century. All this activity has made the landscape highly unusual, with the walls of the vast crater streaked by the colours of the various mineral ores present in the soil.

Another historical site you can visit is the mosque in Almonaster, which dates from the 9th century and is the oldest religious building of its kind in Spain. Other monuments worth looking out for in the village include its 16th century castle and the hermitage of Santa Eulalia de Merida. The latter was built on top of a Roman temple in the 15th century and houses some stunning frescoes.

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WHY THE SIERRA ARACENA IS A GREAT PLACE FOR A WALKING TRIP IN SPAIN WHY THE SIERRA ARACENA IS A GREAT PLACE FOR A WALKING TRIP IN SPAIN Reviewed by Zahir Style on July 30, 2019 Rating: 5

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