Aljibe via La Sauceda

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The Alcornocales Natural Park covers a massive area north of Tarifa and the Strait of Gibraltar to Ubrique on the southern boundary of the Grazalema Natural Park. It is the largest remaining cork oak and gall oak forest in Spain and because it is the highest area close to the Strait it is a major migration route for the large soaring birds (eagles, vultures, buzzards and storks) wishing to make the crossing to Africa.

This route takes you up to Aljibe, which at 1091m is the highest point of the Alcornocales Natural park. Soon after the start of the walk you pass through La Sauceda, an abandoned hamlet (reputed to be the last refuge of smugglers from Gibraltar). The stone cottages have now been converted to cabins and can be rented for a modest fee by those adventurers seeking a rustic overnight stop without the luxuries of electricity and running water, but with much charm and (midweek off-season) splendid isolation and tranquillity.

The walk continues from La Sauceda via rhododendron-filled valleys, gall and cork oak forests to emerge on the summit of Aljibe, where on an a clear day you can see as far as North Africa 50km to the south.

Spain - Andalucia - Cadiz - Alcornocales

Features

Birds, Great Views, Mountains, Woodland
23/04/2012 - Charles Miller

The offices in Alcala de los Gazules no longer have responsibility for the area of this walk so cannot issue you with a permit. I was given an e-mail address but didn't try it, as I ran out of time : rafael.orozco.ext@juntadeandalucia.es. My advice would be to check through a tourist office that is now responsible.

28/06/2004 - Walkingworld Administrator

Fantastic walk! Temperatures at this time of year mean that this walk is quite hard work and the view from the top slightly hazy but the forest shade is wonderful. Saw deer, lizards and griffin vultures!