Grazalema, Alcornocales & Ronda

Grazalema, Alcornocales & Ronda

This vast park covers 167,767ha from Tarifa in the south to the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park in the north. It is named after its handsome and beautifully kept cork tree grove, the largest in the Iberian Peninsula and one of the most important ones in the world.

Designated a Unesco Biosphere reserve in 1977, the Sierra de Grazalema was declared the first natural park in Andalucia in 1984 and is one of Spain's most ecologically outstanding areas. The 51,695 ha park is famous for its spectacularly rugged limestone landscape of cliffs, gullies, caves and gorges.

Jimena de la Frontera is a historic village located about 35 kilometers inland from San Roque on the road and railway to Ronda. Surrounded by the Los Alcornocales Natural Park and at around 200 meters above sea level, Jimena is a surprising contrast to the coastal affluence of the nearby golf and polo belt in the exclusive area of Sotogrande below. Many British people have chosen to settle there.

The old village of Castellar de la Frontera is perched high on a hilltop in the province of Cadiz, with commanding views over the Guadarranque reservoir. The village is easiest reached from the A-405 road that leaves the coast at San Roque, branching off to Castellar on the (CA-P-5131) after just 10 kilometers.

Located in a high valley over 800m in the Sierra del Endrinal and dominated by the magnificent rocky outcrop known as Peñon Grande, the pretty mountain village of Grazalema is most popular base for visitors to the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park. The park is a vast protected area of rugged limestone mountains, which are famous for being the rainiest place in Spain.

Ubrique is a picturesque pueblo blanco (white town) in the Serrania de Ronda Mountains of Cadiz province. Spectacularly situated in front of the crag of the Cruz de Tajo, the town follows the valley of the Rio Ubrique. This beautiful and tranquil town has a long, interesting history which stretches back over many epochs and empires.

Alcalá de los Gazules is a spectacularly located historic hilltop pueblo blanco (white town) with stunning architecture. The town is situated in the middle of Cadiz province on the A-381 road from Los Barrios to Jerez. This road is often called "La Ruta del Toro" (Route of the Bull) for the bull-breeding ranches in the vicinity. With a population of about 6,000, Alcala is worth the short detour for a visit.