The landscapes of the GR 247 Bosques del Sur trail

The GR 247 Bosques del Sur Trail runs through an overwhelming extension of mountainous and wild territories where the scarce human footprint is integrated into the landscape, and where you can also enjoy the familiar and welcoming atmosphere of its white villages, the transparency of its rivers and streams and its gentle olive groves. In the Sierras crossed by the Path, the bright blue of the Mediterranean skies, the white of the snow on the peaks and the green of the largest forest mass in Spain merge. This wonderful combination of light, high mountains, large forests and small villages is not found anywhere else in Spain.

An abrupt and powerful relief

Through the GR 247 Bosques del Sur Trail you will discover one of the most important mountain ranges in the Iberian Peninsula. Most of the villages are situated between 700 and 1000 metres above sea level. More than half of the Park's surface area is between 1000 and 1500 metres, but there are peaks that rise above 2000 metres, such as Cabañas peak (2028 metres), Alto de la Cabrilla (2039 metres) and Empanadas peak (2107 metres), which is the highest point in the Park. On average, more than fifty peaks exceed 1600 metres.

This complex is arranged in abrupt alignments in a north-east- south-west direction, which sometimes intersect and are usually separated by deep valleys carved by the rivers, flanked by steep rocky escarpments.

The eastern part of the Natural Park is the most mountainous part. In the northeast area you can find many calares, which are elongated mountains that rise up on all four sides and ...


Natural architectures

Walking along the GR 247, you will be surprised by the suggestive forms that many of the rocky formations of these Sierras show. The rocks, being limestone, do not react uniformly to the action of water, but their different parts offer unequal resistance, forming capricious profiles and natural architectures typical of the karst landscape. The picones, which are large needle-shaped or tower-shaped rocks, the molas and castellones, vertical rocks with flat summits, and the poyos, colossal stone blocks with horizontal contours that crown some mountains, are all impressive.

Other very characteristic formations are the tufas, beautiful lime plates that sediment under water in waterfalls and oozing walls. The rocky soils are sometimes densely carved by water, forming labyrinthine networks of cracks, crevices and depressions. These are the lapiaces, known in these mountains as lanchares. Sometimes the stone slabs are very steep ...


The vegetal landscape

Above all, this Natural Park is an immense pine forest. But, as can be seen along the Bosques del Sur path, it is a varied, diverse pine forest, where pines of different species and sizes blend harmoniously with many other trees and shrubs. Here you can hardly find those monotonous pine plantations that seem to be cloned, like columns over bare soils.

The three pine forests...

As you ascend the path, you will see Aleppo, Black and Corsican pines. Of the latter, the Natural Park is proud to have the best forests in Spain. With their straight trunks of whitish bark, these large pines are the masters of the landscape in the higher areas. Even higher up, the peaks are the space of the rock and the great panoramas.

Below the wide strip of pine forest, the landscape has been harmoniously humanised by the establishment of olive groves with an intense mountain personality, as they climb to the limit where this cul ...


The human footprint

If there is one thing that characterises the largest protected natural area in Spain, it is the discreet imprint that man has left on its landscape over the centuries. But that trace is there, almost always for the better.

The olive grove

Most of the human footprint inside the Natural Park can be seen in the northern area, that is, in the region of Segura. In the lower parts the GR 247 crosses olive groves that climb the slopes, with numerous patches of forest and bushes interspersed. The olive grove is the basis of the economy of the Park and its extensive area of influence, and a key element of its landscape, its culture and the daily life of its people. In reality, it is a cleared forest which, although artificial and lacking the structure and diversity of natural forests, constitutes an agrosystem complex where many species of plants and animals are present

The mountain pastures

In a large part o ...