Grazalema, Sierra del Piñar
Situated at the foot of the Sierra del Piñar at 825 metres above sea level, the white village of Grazalema is the highest village in the province of Cádiz.
In the heart of the Sierra Grazalema Natural Park in an extraordinary natural environment, the village of Grazalema is one of the obligatory passages of tourism in the province.
Although the Romans first occupied the area, it was the Muslims who founded this small village in the Middle Ages, with its narrow alleys and narrow squares dotted with small squares adorned with fountains and bordered by Andalusian houses with whitewashed walls, tightly packed together on the mountainside.
Grazalema, with its old centre, classified as a place of cultural interest, has retained its traditions of pastoralism and craftsmanship, in particular with the manufacture of blankets made of pure virgin wool. The village has developed rural tourism which has become the economic engine of the village.
Among the monuments of the village are the churches Nuestra Señora de la Aurora in the 18th century Baroque style and the parish church La Encarnación dating from the 13th century. We also discover a small museum dedicated to the past of local textile craftsmanship.
Below the village, the site of “Lacibula”, a Roman city founded in the 2nd century where remains of the Roman presence, pavement, walls and towers remain.
Goat cheese, honey sweet potatoes, sausages, lamb, game or morels and asparagus soup are the bases of a local gastronomy much sought after by visitors.
On the outskirts of the village is the Sierra Grazalema nature park with an area of 51,700 hectares, classified as a biosphere reserve in 1977, the first natural park to have been created in Andalusia.
Plaza de los Asomedaros.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10:30 am to 2 pm and 5 pm to 7 pm.
From Arcos de la Frontera 48 km to the east, you can reach Grazalema by the A-372, by the A-374 from Ubrique located to the southwest or Ronda to the east.
There are two daily buses serving Grazalema on the Ronda-Ubrique line.
Sierra Grazalema Natural Park
Classified as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1977, the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park covers 51,600 hectares. It is located in the north-east of the province of Cádiz while partially following that of Málaga.
A mountainous massif at an altitude of between 600 and 1654 metres above sea level with El Torreón, the highest peak in the province of Cádiz, the park is characterized by deep gorges, narrow valleys, gorges and “Garganta Verde”, whose walls reach 400 m in height, as well as by a vast network of watercourses and underground galleries and several reservoirs.
Among these underground galleries, the “Cueva de la Pileta” is renowned for its prehistoric remains, while the Hundidero-Gato complex, considered to be the largest cave in Andalusia, houses one of the largest bat colonies in Europe.
The Grazalema massif, with an annual rainfall of 2 metres, is one of the wettest regions of the Iberian Peninsula. Its heights are dominated by the magnificent pines of Andalusia, which are mingled with the oaks of Portugal, “quejigo”. At low altitude it is cork oaks that dominate in the middle of holm oaks, carob trees, arbutus trees…
Several “pueblos blancos”, villages with whitewashed houses, typical of Moorish architecture in this part of Andalusia, populate the park of Grazalema.
To the north of the park, Zahara de la Sierra, classified as a “national monument” and founded in the 7th century by the Muslims, overlooks beautifully the lake formed by a water reservoir.
Although El Bosque is famous for its trout fishing sites, Ubrique is famous for its leather craft. At the beginning of August, the Benamahoma village traditionally celebrates both Christian and Muslim festivals.
If the park is a real paradise for mountain activities, climbing, speleology… or for horseback riding and hiking, mountain biking, it is nevertheless compulsory to have a permit to walk some of these preserved places.
Visitor Centre of El Bosque.
This is the centre that issues permits and reservations for hiking trails. Attention, places are limited.
Calle Federico García Lorca. Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 10 am to 2 pm and 4 pm to 6 pm.
Zahara de la Sierra Visitor Centre
Plaza del Rey, 3.
Ubrique Tourist Office
Calle Moreno de Mora, 19Z. Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm and 4 pm to 7 pm. Sundays from 11 am to 2 pm.
Ubrique bus station.
Avenida Fernando Quiñones.
Several daily connections to Jerez de la Frontera, Cádiz, Arcos de la Frontera, Ronda.