We love the outdoors, and are fortunate enough to have a home in the ‘Altiplano de Granada’ region of Andalucia, which is an area of real contrasts. There is a huge and mainly deserted plain in its central part, surrounded by the mountain ranges of Sagra, Castril, Baza and Orce, with some peaks surpassing 2300 meters. There are also 3 large reservoirs, El Portillo, El San Clemente and El Negratín as well as 2 Natural Parks, the Sierra de Baza and the Sierra de Castril.
Basically, this means that we are spoiled for options when it comes to enjoying one of our real passions – walking 🙂
And not being greedy people, we thought we would start to share some of our favourite walks with you !
One of our favourite walks has to be the Castril River Walk, it really does have it all and makes for a perfect day out for all the family.
It is a quintessential Andalucian village, with narrow cobbled roads, colourful plazas and a beautiful church.
We always park up in the village (before the main Plaza) and then walk down the ‘Calle Rio’ road to the river, as this allows us to enjoy the full 2.2 km circuit, arriving back into Castril.
The hardest part of the walk is the last leg back up to the village (although my 70-year-old mother made it fine with a few stops along the way). However if you want to avoid it then there is parking down at the start of the walk, which means you can retrace your steps.
Whatever your preference, upon arriving at the river, you are greeted with a beautiful little weir in a picture perfect setting.
The walk starts at a shady tree-lined avenue …
… which takes you along the river until you reach a dramatic gorge. Here a wooden walkway hugs the narrow gorge, through which the river Castril flows.
Take time to look on the opposite side of the gorge, as there are ancient water channeling systems (acequía’s) still in place and working their magic through the power of gravity.
All too soon you find yourselves down at river level; its shaded here with easy access to a number of small natural pools – a perfect setting to picnic and paddle in the refreshingly cool waters. Once refreshed, you continue over a small suspension bridge and enter a tunnel carved through the mountainside (just enough natural daylight to see your way), there is a viewpoint halfway through the tunnel giving another view of the river. There are also further acequía’s running either side of the tunnel entrance.
Exiting the tunnel you cross a bridge and continue to the “El Molino de la Cerrada” restaurant and another picnic area. We haven’t eaten at the restaurant but it gets good reviews on Trip Advisor.
It is worth mentioning here, that there is an option to continue along the trail instead of crossing the bridge. We have looked wistfully at this a couple of times, but have always had older relatives accompanying us. We plan of following this ‘mystery trail’ one day and would love to hear from anyone who can tell us where is leads !
Now you can either choose to retrace your steps or continue up, up, up and back into Castril.
The trail takes you up through a narrow track, passing groves of olives along the way.
Depending on the time of year, there will be either an abundance of wildflowers (Spring) or fruits and vegetables in the small holdings you will pass by.
Reaching a final set of steepish steps you find yourself back in the outskirts of the village.
If you still have some energy then follow the signs for ‘Pena del Sagrado Corazon’ (Rock of the Sacred Heart). This natural rock monument raises above Castril and offers amazing panoramic views.
We always seem to time our walk wrong (or right depending on your point of view), as access to the monument is always closed when we arrive. Now I know we could wait until it reopens, but by that time we have had a cerveza or two and a couple of tapas dishes, whereby our motivation is suddenly lacking. I think that next time we visit Castril, we will be sensible and head to the monument first 🙂
Whatever you decide, the eventual walk back through the village is beautiful and probably worth a write-up on its own. I’ll just whet your appetite with a gallery of pictures – simply click on them to enlarge 🙂
We always end our visit with a refreshing beer and a tapas dish or two at one of the local bars.
Our favourite is “Cafe-bar Emilio”; it has plenty of outdoor seating, friendly service and a great view across the village. They also happen to serve the most amazing bacaloa rebozado.
So, now that we’ve shared one of our favourite walks, it seems only fair that you let us know where we should explore next !
So … Who are one foot in the cave ?
We (Danny and Josie) have spent the last 10 years living and working in the Caribbean. In 2015 we decided we wanted to move closer to family and friends so bought a cave house in the Granada region of Andalucia, Spain. We moved there full time in January 2017. Now we write about our experiences of cave living and how we are adapting to life in Spain.
We also have a Facebook page full of pictures, experiences and information that we have found useful along the way. If its your thing, you can also follow us on Instagram 🙂
5 words related to this blog entry …
To Walk – Caminar
Favourite – Favorito
River – El Río
Trail – El Camino
Battered Cod – Bacaloa Rebozado