Which are the best hikes in Los Alcornocales natural park in Cadiz?
Do you want to get to know the best hikes in Los Alcornocales natural park? If you are interested in getting to know which areas to visit and what types of habitats you will find, keep reading. From a subtropical forest, laurisilva, to cork oak, Andalusian oak, olive forest, heath and more.
Cadiz province has more than a third of its surface protected, the highest percentage of the provinces in Andalusia. Los Alcornocales is one of the largest natural parks in Spain with 174000 hectares. The cork oak forest in Los Alcornocales natural park is the largest cork oak forest in Spain and one of the largest in the world. In this natural park you will find the only place in continental Europe with a subtropical forest, laurisilva. It has been recognized as a natural park since 1989 and it is part of the Mediterranean intercontinental biosphere reserve, which goes from Malaga to Morocco.
Laurisilva is a forest found in wet or cloudy areas, usually in valleys or surrounding creeks where temperatures do not drop below 8-9ºC . The species that compose this subtropical forest in Europe are rhododendron, bay laurel, holly, ferns, alder, laurustine and more.
Below are just a few of the views that you will see during the hikes in los Alcornocales natural park.
Below you will find a description of each hike and a map of the walking routes, all within Los Alcornocales natural park. All these hikes take around 3-5 hours depending on your rhythm.
Hikes near Alcala de los Gazules or a daytrip from Malaga
Hiking route to Aljibe and Picacho in Los alcornocales natural park
The walk can be a circular or linear 4-5 hour walk. In this hike you are able to see the laurisilva subtropical forest. However, if you do the full hiking route you will see beach, pine forest and Mediterranean shrub habitats as well.
The surrounding habitats in the linear hike (yellow) from La Sauceda to “el area recreativa El Picacho” are gorgeous, (medium-high difficulty) 11km. You will find heath, laurisilva, cork oak forest and some of the best views in Cadiz province. In this hike you will go up to the highest peak in Los Alcornocales natural park, el Aljibe, with 1091m. This hike in Los Alcornocales natural park starts in Malaga and crosses to Cadiz.
There are two circular routes, but I recommend the circular route from Sauceda (blue and yellow). You will go up to El Aljibe and back to La Sauceda, 12km (medium-high difficulty).
To do this hike between 15th September to 15th February, call in advance to ensure that that day there is no hunting. Call 856587508, or send an email to los alcornocales natural park (email@example.com) to ask for a permit when you hike here.
Hike in Finca Murta – Circular hike route in the middle of Los Alcornocales natural park
To enter this land you must ask for permission and call in advance to ensure that that day there is no hunting. Call 856587508, or send an email to this natural park to ask for a permit when you hike here.
There is a shorter hike (yellow hike) with medium difficulty of 15km length. The longer hike is 22km length (blue hike), also medium difficulty. The yellow hike also includes a subtropical forest of laurisilva when walking along the creek.
Hikes near Tarifa and Algeciras or a daytrip from Malaga
Hiking route from Facinas to Puertollano – linear hike in Facinas.
The linear walk in Los Alcornocales natural park (yellow) that will take you 4:00h. It is best if you have a taxi who can pick you up at the end. If not you will have to follow an animal trail near the gastronomical association of Puertollano.
In this hike you will appreciate pine and cork oak forests, views of the Strait of Gibraltar and dolmens near Facinas. You will start from the top of Facinas and hike from over 150m to over 600m.
Below you will find the map and can follow the yellow route to do this hike in los alcornocales natural park in Cadiz province. The route is a medium-high difficulty of around 11.5km long. Please take enough water with you and wear long trousers. On the way down to Puertollano you will have to follow an animal trail and there are many spikes.
The circular route (red) has great views of Tarifa and the Strait of Gibraltar. It is a medium difficulty hike near Tarifa of 8.3km.
Hike El Valle de Ojen – Canuto de Risco Blanco – Arroyo de San Carlos del Tiradero.
To enter this land I recommend to ask for permission and call in advance to ensure that that day there is no hunting. Moreover, if you do the Canuto de Risco Blanco hike in Los Alcornocales natural park you must have a permit. Call 856587508, or send an email to this natural park to ask for a permit when you hike here.
The parking spot would be the blue icon. The full Hike from the parking and back is around 10-11km with medium difficulty.
Rio de la Miel and Guadalmesí-Llanos de Juncal hikes.
To enter this land I recommend to ask for permission and call in advance to ensure that that day there is no hunting. Moreover, if you do the Llanos de Juncal hike in Los Alcornocales natural park you must have a permit. Llanos de juncal hike is in the north part of the yellow hike. Call 856587508, or send an email to this natural park to ask for a permit when you hike here.
The Rio de la Miel hike is a circular medium hike (red hike) 14km length. It gets very busy so it will be better if you avoid going during a bank holiday or weekend. The yellow hike has the llanos de juncal walk as well as the Guadalmesi hike. You can find lausilva subtropical forest in these hikes. The yellow hike is a circular 17km hike with high difficulty.
If you are interested in doing a guided hiking tour surrounded by nature and learn about local plants and culture then keep reading. Furthermore, this natural park has the largest cork oak forest in Spain. If you are interested in learning more about cork, please click here.
Full day tours in Los Alcornocales natural park and Cadiz province
If you are enjoyed this blog with the hikes in Los Alcornocales natural park and are looking for hiking tours surrounded by nature in Cadiz province, then keep reading. I offer tours in the natural park of “Los Alcornocales”, “La Breña” and “El Estrecho”. I also focus on agrotourism and cultural tours including: Visits to the almadraba in a private boat; private sherry and Andalusian wine tastings; olive mill tours; Iberian ham tours; and white town tours in Cadiz province.
Guided hiking tours in Cadiz province
Cadiz province is one of the most biodiverse provinces in mainland Spain. Habitats range from dense forest reminiscent of cloud forest to Mediterranean forest, dune systems, and more. Moreover, you will be seduced with views of magical landscapes in Cadiz and the Strait of Gibraltar. Cadiz has over a third of its surface protected, while its climate and sunlight hours are similar to Canary Islands.
Join my new hiking tour in los alcornocales natural park, where we will head to the heart of the natural park, to places where you cannot access without the permit of landowners. These places are very pristine areas with beautiful landscapes and with possibility to see roe deer, wildcats, common genet, Griffon vultures, Egyptian vultures and more.
On the other hand in our guided nature tours you will discover more about coastal Cadiz and learn about why our gastronomy is so rich. It is related to our climate, our location, our history, and to the many culinary, medicinal and traditional use of Mediterranean plants found within Cadiz province. You will find many of these plants in your supermarket in lotions, herbal teas, and to flavour your food or even eat them as part of your main plate.
I will lead you in these hiking trails to get the most out of these hiking tours in Cadiz province. Furthermore, I will also explain the habitats that we find and some the landmarks of the hikes. I will help you identify Mediterranean plants and explain the traditional, culinary or medicinal use that it had in the region. Did you know that these uses have been passed down from generation to generation for centuries?