Zuheros is a little white village located in Andalucia, the south region of Spain that holds a great fascination for visitors. It had a flamboyant past, deeply influenced by Islamic civilization, and then by centuries of Christian governance. Visitors from the all the world flock to prestigious cities like Seville, Cordoba and Granada which have kept a remarkable historical heritage, witness of these golden ages. But Andalucia is also a secret, wild, and off the beaten path destination to visit. Here is how to discover its the secret nature.
Visit Zuheros, the white village of Andalucia
A visit of Andalucia should not be limited to these romantic cities. It is also the opportunity to discover the white little villages perched on the mountainside. Likewise, on the road from Cordoba to Malaga, watchtowers, fortresses, and various fortifications can be admired. They are witnesses of a tumultuous past during which the population and lords in the days of yore were concerned by protecting themselves against invaders.
We leave Cordoba by bus and after one hour drive, we arrive at Zuheros, one of the most beautiful and charming white villages of Andalucia, nested in the foothills of the Sierra Subbetica Natural Park. It seems like ” hooked ” on the vertical wall of the rough hill.
Zuheros is no exception to the traditional Muslim architecture found in Andalusia: houses are covered with lime, streets are narrowed and winding, patios and windows are decorated with pretty and colored flower pots.
Each street of this village looks like a postcard!
First we settle in the hotel and then we leave for a walking tour of the village. We discover the ruins of an ancient Moorish castle and its ramparts ( XVI century) beneath which extends a sea of olive trees. The area is renowned for the quality of its olive oil.
The atmosphere is totally magical, due to the beauty and serenity of the place.
Spain- castle of Zuheros
Hiking in the Sierras Subbeticas Natural Park
But Zuheros has even more to offer to the visitors: the village is the gateway to Sierras Subbeticas Natural Park, World Heritage of Unesco.
This mountain range offers many “outdoor” activities for hiking or mountain biking enthusiasts. Also potholing lovers will enjoy the various natural caves created by the erosion of limestone. Some are home to cave paintings, evidence of human presence in this region during the Neolithic period. This is the case of the Murcielagos caves located a few miles from Zuheros.
We leave for the day to explore the Rio Bailon Canyon, impressive canyon carved thousands years ago by the river. This circuit lasts a few hours, makes a loop from Zuheros, and gives the opportunity to admire a landscape of great beauty.
Walk on the Bailón River Canyon trail
The zigzag trail climbs along the side of the karst and arid mountains. After a few minutes, it offers a spectacular view of the village and the surrounding peaks.
Point of view on Zuheros
Then, the path follows the banks of the Rio Bailon which was relatively dry during our visit. We pass at the foot of limestone cliffs, home to numerous caves, such as Cave Fraile, a rock with the curious shape of a stalagmite.
The arid and rocky canyon scenery is beautiful and offer exceptional views.
Canyon de Bailon
As we move away from the river, we find a green valley in which fruit trees (walnut, pear, etc …) have grown. The presence of farms ruins is also an evidence of early human activity in the region.
Then, we continue our ascent in a beautiful oak forest that seems to struggle against the rock formations of the Sierra Subbetica. We reach the valley of Nava Polje, closed sedimentary plain surrounded by mountains. The people here grow olive trees, which produce the most renown oil in the country.
Valley of Nava Polje – Sierras Subbeticas
Zuheros – Valley of olive trees
The lanscape is magical.
Some birds of prey are flying in a circle above our heads.
On return, we take a path that overlooks the river, allowing us to admire the cliffs around.
This hike, truly off the beaten paths of Andalucia, make it possible to enjoy the profound nature of the Sierras Subbeticas Naturel Park.
The next day, invigorated by this break in the heart of the wild Andalusia, we went to Cordoba.
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Last updated: 10 November 2017