Sierra de Aracena y Picos de Aroche nature park
The Sierra de Aracena y Picos de Aroche Natural Park has a surface area of 184,000 hectares shared between 28 municipal areas. It is divided by a fluvial network which form three hydrographic basins. Its particular layout creates a barrier to the masses of air which penetrate from the Atlantic which means a high rainfall. The climate is ideal for the development of leafy species such as the chestnut, introduced in Roman times and which occupy more than 4,000 hectares between Aracena and Cortegana.
Its most famous economic reference is the breeding and processing of the Iberian pig within which the name ‚ÄúJabugo‚ÄĚ stands out for its hams. The cork industry is also important and today it is a very important resort for rural tourism due to the beauty of its natural surroundings and its historic roots and cultural manifestations. It is considered to be one of the cradles of ‚ÄúMagic Spain‚ÄĚ. Part of the original autochthonous wood of holm oaks remains along with cork and gall oaks.
There are also thickets of kermes oaks, wild fig trees and sarsaparillas, substituted in part by poplar groves, woods of dwarf pines, stone pines and eucalyptus. In only a few places like Casta√Īo hill, in Casta√Īo del Robledo, there are some dispersed groups of Pyrenean oak, a very diminished species due to its use as a source of firewood in the last few decades. In the bottom of the gullies the streams and brooks are colonized by species that have adapted to wet swampy ground such as willows, alders, and ashes which sometimes constitute woods with galleries of trees, as in the case of Murtigas, downriver from Galaroza.
It is possible to find the Iberian lynx here, the most threatened carnivore in Europe and the otter, in times past an abundant species which now can only be found in streams which have clean water. The bear disappeared some time ago and the wolf, decades ago. Among the species of birds of prey which regularly nest in the Park is the black stork, the royal eagle and the kestrel.
The meadows of holm oaks and cork oaks provide the habitat for species such as the wildcat, ferret, fox, stone marten and others of great hunting value such as the wild boar or the deer, reintroduced during the last few years. The buzzard, black and common European kites and the black vulture nest here.
Visitas recomendadas en la Sierra de Aracena y picos de Aroche
- La Gruta de las Maravillas en Aracena
De enorme inter√©s ge√≥logico y paisaj√≠stico y de gran dimensi√≥n y belleza, es una de las cuevas de mayor tama√Īo de la Pen√≠nsula Ib√©rica con sus 1.200 m de longitud y lagos subterr√°neos.
- Pe√Īa de Arias Montano (Al√°jar)
Pe√Īa con actividad magn√©tica y fama de m√°gica. En ella se encuentra un monumento dedicado a Arias Montano, uno de los intelectuales m√°s destacados del siglo XVI en Espa√Īa (Romer√≠a 8 Septiembre).
- Castillos de la zona
la m√°s famosa en Cortegana (donde se realizan las famosas Jornadas Medievales de Agosto), Santa Olalla de Cala, Cumbres Mayores y Aroche.
- Mezquita de Almonaster
es del siglo X y levantada sobre restos visigodos y romanos.