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Chestnut trees and cured ham

Green forests and beautiful villages!
In the western part of Sierra Morena and near the Portuguese border, there is the Natural Park Sierra de Aracena y Picos de Aroche. Celts, Arabs, Portuguese and the Knights Templar, soldier monks of an esoteric order, dominated the region and appreciated its soft climate during the summer and for hunting. Today the region is famous for the production of " Iberian pork ", the finest cured jamon of Jabugo.

 

Highlights

- Aracena and
   its cave
- Jabugo
- Minas de
   Riotinto

 

 

Essentials

 

Description
A shorter route takes the traveller west of the Sierra Morena mountains and to the thickly wooded Natural Park of Sierra de Aracena y Picos de Aroche. Here is the heart of production of the famous Jabugo, Cumbres Mayores and Cortegana. Castles, churches, hermitages and even a mosque are witnesses of the religious tradition of this region and its people. In Aracena there is the "Cave of Marvel", a stalactite cave and in Minas de Riotinto a copper-ore mine.

 

Itinerary
From Seville on Highways N 630 and N 433 to the Natural Park Sierra de Aracena. The route continues on the N 455 towards Valverde del Camino, with an excursion to Minas de Riotinto and ends in the capital of the province, Huelva.

 

Time needed
2 days. Longer stays recommended for hikers.

 

Distance
approx. 300 kilometers/185 miles

 

Best travel season
Spring to Autumn

 

Landscape and protected areas
The tour passes through holm- and corkoak forests into the green zone of the Natural Park Sierra de Aracena, which is located in the western range of the "Sierra Morena", which owes its name to its stone structure (slate, schist) and to numerous holmtrees. The most ancient European copper mines are located south of the village of Minas de Riotinto mines.

Natural Park Sierra de Aracena y Picos de Aroche
In this Natural Park of great size (184,000 hectares) there are 28 villages. The rainfall from the Atlantic Ocean creates an ideal climate for the dense forests. Among other species it is possible to find all kinds of oaks and the chestnut tree. The fauna is very varied, with species in danger of extinction, as the golden eagle, the wildcat or the hawk.

 

Tourist infrastructure


Tourist information

Aracena
Plaza de San Pedro
Cortegana
Cervantes 19
Huelva
Avenida de Alemania 12
Nerva
Avenida López Real
Sevilla
Av. de Constitución 21
Airport San Pablo
Railway station Santa Justa (Avenida Kansas City)

 

Accommodation

Many hotels and hostels in Seville and Huelva. In the Sierra many country houses ("casas rurales") and 5 campsites can also be found.

 

Activities

Sierra de Aracena
Hiking, Cycling
Aracena
Horseriding
Minas de Riotinto
Golf

 

Feasts/Festivals

Patron Saint Feasts / Ferias

almost each town celebrates its own patron saint, a procession and/or its "feria" (fair).


Pilgrimages - "Romerías"

Aracena, Alájar & Fuenteheridos
Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles (Sept. 7-9)
Almonaster la Real
Santa Eulalia (3rd Saturday. in May)
Aroche
San Marnés (Whitsun)
Cortegana
San Antonio (Mid of June)

 

Others

Almonaster la Real
May Crosses (Beginning of May)
Cortegana
Fiestas Medievales (August)
Huelva
Fiestas Colombinas (July/August)
Sevilla
Holy Week, Feria de Abril

 

Itinerary

 

Seville (Miles 0, 696,676 Inhabitants)
The capital of Andalusia with its famous Cathedral and the Fortress (Alcázar) in the historic part of the city.

Higueras de la Sierra (Miles 47,
1,352 Inhabitants)
Picturesque village, famous for the cavalcade of the Three Kings of Orient (January 5).

Aracena
(Miles 53, 7,859 Inhabitants)
Center of the region.
Ruins of a former fortress; churches of Nuestra Señora del Mayor Dolor and Nuestra Señora de la Asunción on the Plaza Alta. Principal attraction: the Cave of Marvels with stalactites and stalacmites.

Funteheridos (Miles 58, 623 Inhabitants)
Picturesque mountain village with the church Espíritu Santo.

Alájar (Miles 62, 798 Inhabitants)
village of Arab origin, placed in a charming landscape. Baroque church of San Marcos. Good views from the Peña de Arias Montano, refuge of the humanist philosopher A. Montano.
Closely: Sanctuary Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles.

Santa Ana la Real (Miles 67,
534 Inhabitants)
Small population with narrow streets, the hermitage of San Bartolomé and - in the suburbs - the cataract of "El Chorro".

Almonaster la Real (Miles 72,
1,863 Inhabitants)
Also of Arabic origin with the remains of a mosque inside the ruins of the castle. Parochial Gothic church St Martin.

Cortegana (Miles 76, 5,025 Inhabitants)
Center of the regional handicraft. Castle of the 13th century and churches Salvador and San Sebastian.
 
Aroche (Miles 84, 3,205 Inhabitants)
Former Roman stronghold. Arabic castle with bullring and archaeological museum. Many good preserved noble houses (mansions), church Nuestra Señora de la Asunción.


Jabugo (Miles 99, 2,315 Inhabitants)
Small village, today the most famous village of the region for its production of the Iberian pork (" Pata Negra"). It is possible to visit Sanchez Romero's cured ham factory.
Church San Miguel Archangel

Castaño del Robledo (Miles 103,
211 Inhabitants)
Good starting point for hikers.

Minas de Riotinto (Miles 132,
4,070 Inhabitants)
Copper-mimig town. It is possible to visit the former mine and a museum.
Roman necropolis de la Dehesa; Quarter Bella Vista in Victorian style.

Nerva (Miles 135, 5,547 Inhabitants)
Birth place of the painter Vázquez Díaz. Local museum in the town hall.


Zalamea la Real (Miles 141,
3,232 Inhabitants)
Dólmenes de El Pozuelo (3.000 b.C.)
"Cultura dolménica" Interpretation Centre. Church Nuestra señora de la Asunción 

Valverde del Camino (Miles 155,
12,740 Inhabitants)
Small town famous for its leatherware (boots, shoes). Located on the principal highway towards:

Huelva (Miles 186, 147,312 Inhabitants)
The capital of the province, situated on the mouth of the river Odiel. Columbus started his journey to the New World in the nearby village Palos de la Frontera (8 Miles).
 

Note: the population dates are from 2014

To combine with...

 

What may be visited after or before these plans:

- Córdoba
- National Park
Doñana
- Route Bética-Romana
- Jerez and Jerez region
Cádiz
- White Villages

 


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