by Michael Madsen, your guide to the authentic
The Sierras Subbéticas Natural Park, part of UNESCO, is located in the southern part of the province of Cordoba. The abrupt limestone mountains with some exceptional geological formations rise from 500m to the 1568 m peak of La Tiñosa, which is the highest in the Cordoba province.
The area offers the traveller perfect photography shots of jagged, rocky peaks and gall oaks that grow on the north-facing slopes. You might even spot the Peregrine Falcon that is the park´s symbol or other birds of prey like the Bonelli’s eagles and the occasional Golden eagle. There is also one of the largest Griffon vulture colonies in Spain located at the Albuchite peak, close to the road that links Carcabuey with Luque. Apart from its fauna and wildlife there are many great hiking routes to take in the beauty of this stunningly beautiful and rugged park.
While hiking on the numerous trails or having a picnic you seldom come across foreigners. Only at weekends do you meet some locals who come from the cities to enjoy nature. It is a very quiet area to be during the week.
Among some of the interesting sights to see in the area, the local ‘Ermita’ (chapel), on top of a mountain in the Sierras Subbéticas, is a good place to start. The Ermita is used for the local ‘Romería’ (religious festival), where all residents from the surrounding villages flock here to celebrate a tribute to their patron saint, the Virgin Mary of the Mountains ‘Virgen de la Sierra’. Apart from this occasion, you´ll have the place all to yourselves. Why not have a picnic on the benches with a wonderful view of the natural park?
There are nine marked hiking trails, e.g. from the ‘Santa Rita’ visitor center on the main street from the village of Cabra, up to the ‘Mirador de la Cabrera’ viewpoint, easily accessible on foot. The hike is beautiful and recommended for all ages – don’t forget to lubricate yourself with bug spray first, as there are many annoying little flies in the forest.
If walking isn´t your passion, why not rent a bike and take a ride on the small paths throughout the natural park?
The Vía Verde of the Sierras Subbéticas is a former railway line converted into a walking and cycling track, which snakes around the northern and western borders of the park, from where you can enjoy many awesome views of the rugged Sierras Subbéticas, go through tunnels and cross viaducts along the route.
On your way home towards the south, you can head down the road to the whitewashed town of Iznajar. Located on a mesmerising lake, the village boasts breathtaking views of the lake and the surrounding countryside with its endless olive groves as well as the “Castillo de Iznájar”. Make sure not to miss the “Patio de las Comedias” a colourful square surrounded by pretty flowers in blue pots. This patio derives its name from a place where plays were performed and has won on many occasions the Balconies and Corners´ Competition for its beauty.
Two comfortable accommodation options near the Sierras Subbéticas:
|El Cortijillo (Luque/Zuheros). Remember you found it on Autentical. Book it on
|Sierra de Araceli (Lucena). Remember you found it on Autentical. Book it on
Ever since childhood, I have experienced artificial tourist areas. But when I tried to create holidays with authentic experiences myself, I ran into big problems… It was deeply frustrating, I couldn’t make a living from it and I was afraid of losing everything.
I was weak and vulnerable – it was a painful time. But I succeeded in the end – and it is a fantastic feeling to know the secret to having authentic holidays. You can also ensure holidays without tourist crowds – fortunately, there is still hope!Read my full story