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 typical of the little white villages that can be found in andalucia

Zuheros

zuheros located near the naturel park of the sierras subbeticas

Zuheros

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.

Moorish castle of zuheros which reminds of the muslim past

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.

hike in the naturel park of the sierras subbeticas, near zuheros

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.

the naturel park of subbeticas is located near zuheros in andalusia spain

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.

hike on the bailon river canyon off the beaten path

Valley of Nava Polje – Sierras Subbeticas

on the way we can see olive trees

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.

Conclusion

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.

Useful information

Where is it ? In the South of Spain. Zuheros is located 40 miles from Cordoba.

Map od Andalucia

When to go ? Travel in fall or spring because summer temperatures can be scorching and reach 104 F degrees.
How to go to Zuheros?

  • By car, on the route from Cordoba to Granada, take the N432 and then the A318
  • By bus (Spain has a large network of routes, with several departures per day. The buses are very comfortable and the journeys are much affordable. No worries to park the car in the tiny twisted streets of these ancient villages or in the crowded cities) :
    • From Cordoba to Zuheros: at Cordoba station, buy the tickets to Zuheros ( 6€)
    • From Zuheros to Granada, buy in advance your tickets from Baeña to Granada online (12€), and take a taxi from Zuheros to Baena (15 minutes, 12€).

Where to sleep ? Hotel Zuhayra, very comfortable for the price compared to the lodging existing in the cities around. This is a benefit of the off beaten paths !
Hiking information?

Map of the trail Canyon of Bailon near zuheros

Map of the trail Canyon of Bailon

  • Duration and type: 4h, circular. Sometimes, the traces are faintly visible. It is therefore important to follow the bank of the Rio Bailon
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Distance: 8 miles
  • Elevation : 525 yards
  • Beginning of the walk: the car park behind the bridge over the Rio Bailon, at the exit of Zuheros.

Several routes exist to explore the Canyon Bailon. The one we describe is the Circuit of Bramadero, proposed among other circuits, by the Hotel Zuhayra.

If you like this article, you will like this one too:

Patios de Cordoba: Spain’s best off the beaten path attraction

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If you have liked this article, please give it 5 stars. It is not a professional work, it is a work of heart.

Last updated: 10 November 2017

3 Comments
  1. Wa are glad that it was inspiring !

  2. Excellent write up. We have visited this area, it’s absolutely beautiful, locals so friendly, incredible views everywhere you look. The little restaurant at Zuheros is fabulous, sit outside eating local produce watching the world go by. Bliss.

  3. Very informative – thank you

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