Where the Guadalquivir is born


You are about to travel to one of the last paradises of the natural world in southern Spain. An immense refuge for hundreds of plant and animal species of enormous importance - many of them only exist in this area. You will hardly forget the groups of fallow deer in the Cañada de las Fuentes, or the griffon vultures on the Peña de los Halcones. You will enjoy waterfalls, streams and lakes that have the privilege of feeding the most important river in Andalusia: the Guadalquivir.

The "Rio Grande", as the Arabs called it, marks the life of this territory and favours the most important explosion of biodiversity in the Park. Here, next to the Gilillo hill, the Cazorla violet (Viola cazorlensis) was described to science; in this territory alone we can find around thirty endemic mountain plants, that is, plants that can be found practically nowhere else in the world.

But perhaps the most characteristic of this area are the large mammals: discovering a group of mountain goats in the Poyos de la Mesa, or a couple of mouflons in the Strait of Los Perales are unique moments. Deer, roe deer and wild boar will pass by us, a little used to the human presence.

The sky is also full of life, because more than 150 species of birds populate it: eagles, kites and hawks await the return of the lammergeier, the mythical vulture that disappeared from these mountains 20 years ago. Now an ambitious conservation project is trying to recover this peaceful and majestic bird of prey.

In Cazorla beautiful buildings are waiting for you, surrounded by legend, culture and gastronomy. La Iruela will amaze you with its spectacular Templar castle. In Quesada you will visit the Zabaleta Museum and in Peal de Becerro you can visit the burial chamber of Toya, one of the most fascinating Iberian monuments in Spain.

Travelling along these paths you will be able to recall the journeys of Félix Rodríguez de la Fuente, who is still alive in the Nava de San Pedro and in the Collado de la Zarca, where a solemn specimen of the laricio pine bears his name and reminds every visitor of his respect and passion for nature.

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