The Balcony of the Mountains


In a great Natural Park like this, with so many places whose names have shone in the collective memory for a long time, it seems that the Sierra de Las Villas would like to keep its secrets with jealous discretion. But the truth is that, whoever does not visit it, does not know the Park at all. Broken, lonely, wild, almost unpopulated, this mountain range looks, to the east, to its sisters Segura and Cazorla, and to the west, to the olive-growing countryside of Jaén. An authentic balcony towards two universes.

A narrow and winding road crosses Las Villas from one end to the other. Go through it, savouring its landscapes. When you feel like it, park the car and walk, the road is so little used that it almost offers you the peace of an old road. But don't make the mistake of believing that this route is everything. No, that route is nothing more than a wonderful corridor to which many doors open, and each one leads to surprising places.

Take advantage of the various forest tracks that start from the Las Villas road to go into the mountains, as well as the Recreational Areas, viewpoints and signposted paths. You will find unexpected waterfalls, summits with fabulous views, spectacular cliffs and rocky outcrops, boxwoods, junipers, old laricio pine forests clinging to unlikely escarpments... and vultures, many vultures. And mountain goats, of course. And... in short, discover everything else for yourself.

Don't miss Iznatoraf, or Torafe as the locals call it, a charming balcony overlooking the Guadalquivir Valley and the massive mountain walls of the entire western side of the Park. It is in Las Villas, precisely, where the great river of Andalusia leaves the mountains that saw its birth and turns abruptly towards the Atlantic. The villages of this region also have an interesting Renaissance legacy and a traditional culture in which everything related to the cultivation of olive trees and the production of excellent oils stands out.

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