Sierra de Aracena Natural Park - Rivers

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Sierra de Aracena y los Picos de Aroche Natural Park - Rivers

Partly due to its high rainfall, the Sierra has abundant water. This can be seen in the numerous springs dotted around the area, particularly in villages like Galaroza and Fuenteheridos and at the Peña de Arias Montano, and the plentiful streams (arroyos and barrancos). The rivers are rich in wildlife and the Rivera de Cala, Río Múrtigas and its tributary El Sillo have been recognised by the EU for their importance in this area.

Three main rivers drain the Sierra. The longest, the Río Múrtigas, starts just outside Galaroza and heads northwest before crossing into Portugal. The Rivera de Huelva, which starts north of Cortelazor and runs southeast, is the main river feeding the reservoirs of Aracena and Zufre, both of which provide water for Seville. The Rivera Chanza, starting in Cortegana, runs west past Aroche and into Portugal.

The Múrtigas and the Chanza rivers feed into the major Guadiana river in Portugal, while the Rivera de Huelva flows into the Guadalquivir river in Seville province. Just south of the park the Odiel begins, one of the most important rivers in Huelva province, which is fed by rivers and streams in the Sierra: the riveras de Santa Eulalia, Alájar and Linares.

On the flat land at the sides of the rivers and streams, often on the fringes of a village, it's common to see huertas (allotments). These are watered during the virtually rainless summer months by a centuries-old irrigation system of channels (lieves) that divert water from streams and rivers to the huertas.


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 >