Belmez

Belmez

The rugged Sierra Mágina Natural Park covers 19,900ha of rocky, steep limestone terrain, with precipitous cliffs and high summits that are often snow-capped in winter. Evocatively named by the Moors as the mountain of the spirits, the Sierra has a fascinating history glimpsed in its prehistoric cave paintings and defensive architecture built by warring Christians and Muslims. In the 10th century it harboured Moorish rebel leaders and much later, bandits. Its remote corners also provided a refuge for bears, wolves and the pardel lynx.

Belmez is a small whitewashed village with around 3000 inhabitants. Its mountaintop castle is the village's centrepiece, and affords spectacular views of the surrounding Sierra Morena.