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Torres-Hondacabras-Fuenmayor-Puerto de Torres-Castillejos-Mata Bejid-Natural Park Visitors' Centre

This itinerary crosses the massif, the heart of the natural park, through areas close to the high mountains. The route starts and ends at the limits of the natural park, from south to north, crossing it completely.


From Torres, and passing through the little park of Pila Pellenda, a mountain road begins in the direction of Albanchez de Mágina. After only four kilometres we find a detour to the right, which gives access to the Hondacabras youth campground. These places were a resting place for the cattle of the cattle routes that crossed these mountains. In this place begins a forest track between pine groves that ascends little by little during four kms, something beyond the Fuente Nita. When we arrive at the crossing we will change direction to make the ascent to the Puerto de la Mata. The floor of the track is firm, but we will find some slopes that the less experienced can invite them to get off their bikes. In 3.5 kms. we reach the Port, a pass between mountains -some of them over 2000 m-. The landscape is a gift for the eye: the whole southern slope of the natural park, mountains over 2000 m high (Almadén.- 2036 m., Ponce.- 2006 m. and Cerro Cárceles.- 2061 m.), high pastures of gall oaks, flocks of sheep..., and on the horizon the province of Granada. The rest of the way is downhill. Five and a half kilometres from the port we reach the Castillejo de Mata Bejid, a beautiful spot that housed a garrison, which guarded this pass on the border in the Middle Ages, and which until the first half of the 20th century housed several families of settlers who cultivated the pastures along the way. This castle was donated to the city of Jaén by the Catholic Monarchs in 1494 as a reward for the services rendered in the conquest of Cambil and Alhabar. Two kilometres of olive groves lead to the Cambil-Huelma road. At this point it is worthwhile to look at the Mata Bejid farmhouse, where the spirit of the belle époque is still alive with rural overtones. It is a private property with an interesting chapel, gardens, a house of the lords and even a regionalist style garage. From here we can choose to go down to the town of Cambil, along the course of the River Oviedo (5 kms.), or better still, to the new Visitor's Centre of the Natural Park, only three kilometres away. In addition to information about the whole park, the centre has a shop, picnic areas, children's games, a fountain, services and a walking area for people with reduced mobility.

22 kms. of unpaved roads, except for the first and last kms. on low traffic roads.

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