Sierra de Aracena Natural Park - Northern Castles Itinerary

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Sierra de Aracena y los Picos de Aroche Natural Park

ITINERARIES FROM ARACENA


This route mainly follows the N-433. Starting with the ruined castle in Aracena: follow the signs to the Castillo (castle). You can drive up the hill and park at the top. The church is usually open during the day.

 

Then get onto the N-433 and take the direction west towards Portugal. Sixteen kilometres later you approach Galaroza and you can see the ham factories of Jabugo. The main producer, Cinco Jotas ( was Sanchez Romero Carvajal) , owns the most visible building, which is marked with '5J' denoting the cinco jotas (five J's), or the highest class of jamón (cured ham).

One kilometre after Galaroza there is a junction with the N-435 road towards Badajoz. This junction is the starting point for an optional 50km detour to the impressive castle at Cumbres Mayores, about 25km north on the Badajoz road. The N-435 follows the valley of the Río Múrtigas river, one of the main rivers in the Sierra de Aracena, and a section of the Zafra-Huelva railway line. The landscape becomes increasingly rocky and barren, before opening out to rolling pastureland around the three Cumbres and up to the border with Extremadura.

Continuing west on the N-433, you can see Cortegana castle straight ahead, perched on the hilly ridge on the horizon. You pass through El Repilado, its main street lined with jamón factories and outlets. There is a level crossing for the Huelva-Zafra railway line; in this village is one of two stations that serve the Sierra on this train route. Six kilometres beyond El Repilado, there is a turning right signposted Almonaster la Real.

Take this, and a few kilometres later you pass a left turn to the Sierra de Aracena's second railway station, Cortegana-Almonaster, which is in fact situated between these two places. With only two trains a day serving the Sierra, the station here and at El Repilado have a sleepy, undisturbed air about them.

A kilometre after passing the station turn-off, there is a T-junction. Turn left to Almonaster, where it's easy to see the ruined castle and mosque on the hill overlooking the village. To visit the mosque, which is usually open during the day, park near the main road and walk through the village and up the castle hill. This avoids having to negotiate narrow streets with a car and the village is best enjoyed on foot.

From Almonaster take the same road that brought to the village, but this time continue on to Cortegana. Follow signs for the 'Castillo'. This town has the best restored castle on this route.

After Cortegana, continue on the N-433 towards Portugal. Fourteen kilometres later is the large hilltop village of Aroche, with the last castle before Portugal.

CAR HIRE

Hire a car is best way to get around as public transport is limited. Consult our general Car Hire page for a list of providers.

Driving in Andalucia


Consult the extensve Driving in Andalucia section for advise on driving and the roads.

ITINERARIES IN ANDALUCIA 


Consult our varied Itineraries in Andalucia originating form the Airports and the major cities.

 

ACCOMMODATION

Hotels in the main towns and villages. Bed & Breakfast and casas rurales (country cottages) in beautiful rural locations. More on Sierra de Aracena accommodation page >