AUTUMN is the perfect time to lose yourself in the forests of Andalucia.
In a world where everything goes too fast, reconnecting with nature can do wonders for the mind and soul and the wide variety of plant species in the region makes the Andalucian forest environment a perfect place for forest immersion.
Andalucia is host to a very rich variety of wildflowers in widely diverse habitats and going out into the heart of the forest and connecting with nature makes the ideal autumn activity.
Here are eight forest trails, one for each province in Andalucia, that will take your breath away:
Sierra Nevada National Park, Granada
The highest peak of the Iberian Peninsula, the Mulhacen, is home to the Sierra Nevada National Park where a diverse variety of ecosystems coexist.
There are numerous trails to follow in the area, including the ‘Enchanted Forest of Lugros’ a botanical jewel of Sierra Nevada National Park, with an intermediate rout of 12 kms, (4 hours) and advanced: 22 kms (7 hours), where you can enjoy the forests, rivers and all the fauna of this fairytale environment.
Filabres Forest, Almeria
Considered ‘the lungs of Almeria’, this area has a large forest mass of almost 44,000 hectares. Aleppo and Aleppo pines make up the vast majority of species in this area. An authentic environment of biodiversity that contrasts with its arid surroundings and is well worth a visit.
Dehesas de Sierra Morena, Huelva
Between Cordoba, Huelva and Seville, lies a majestic landscape made up of numerous plant species.
The area, which includes three natural parks corresponding to the north of Andalucia: Sierra de Hornachuelos, in Cordoba; Sierra Norte, in Sevilla; and Sierra de Aracena y Picos de Aroche, in Huelva, was declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2002 and covers 424,000 hectares.
It is made up of vast forests of holm oaks and cork oaks and is unique in the region.
Sierra de Andujar, Jaen
It is part of the Sierra Morena mountain range and is popularly known as the ‘Mediterranean forest’. It’s hilly landscape is dominated by oak and cork trees.
It is one of the most historic and beautiful places in the province of Jaen, where a multitude of cultural and natural activities take place.
Los Alcornocales Natural Park, Cadiz
Located at the western end of the Betic Cordillera in the province of Cádiz, the Alcornocales Natural Park with an area of 167.767 ha is the third largest protected natural area in Andalucia.
It includes the municipalities of Alcala de los Gazules, Algar, Algeciras, Arcos de la Frontera, Benalup, Benaocaz, Castellar de la Frontera, El Bosque, Jerez de la Frontera, Jimena de la Frontera, Los Barrios, Medina Sidonia, Prado del Rey, San Jose del Valle, Tarifa, Ubrique and Cortes de la Frontera, all of which are must visits after enjoying the idyllic forest surroundings.
Torcal de Antequera Natural Park, Malaga
Known as the ‘forest of stones’, this is a spectacular geological phenomenon of incredible beauty over 90 million years old.
This natural treasure has been declared a nature reserve, a site of national interest and a special protection area for birds.
There are 3 different lengths of hike, from less than an hour up to 6 hours.
Los Baños de Popea, Cordoba
The Baths of Poppea are located in a natural setting in the heart of the Sierra Morena mountains of Cordoba and boasts one of the most highly praised and valued hiking routes in Spain, just 11 kilometres long.
This area, a natural stretch of small waterfalls and waterfalls alternated with small backwaters that follows the course of the Molino stream, was visited by Christopher Columbus.
Mount Gurugu, Puebla del Rio, Sevilla
The highest mountain in Seville is well hidden between exuberant nature and is a must-explore for mountain bike lovers.
Apart from the pine forests, there are species such as holm oak, cork oak and eucalyptus.