Peñas de Aroche Natural Area
This 718ha area southwest of Aroche is a little-visited protected area due to its relatively remote location and rough forestry tracks leading to it. It can be reached via the dirt road that links Aroche with the sparsely populated hamlet El Mustio, that gives access to the Paraje Natural Sierra Pelada.
It is of geological interest for its spectacular granite batholith, the peñas.
Although reforestation of eucalyptus and pine trees has had a major negative impact on the vegetation, there are still significant remaining areas of Mediterranean scrubland. Thickets of Kermes oak (quercus coccifera), strawberry trees (arbustus unedo), rockroses (cistus ladanifer) and heather are dotted among the holm oaks (quercus ilex) and cork trees (quercus suber).
Like the neighbouring Sierra Pelada, the Peñas boasts a rich wildlife, with otters inhabiting its river banks, particularly the Arroyo de la Lechosa, and wild boar. Birds of prey soar overhead, like the rare black vulture, the golden eagle and the short-toed eagle.