Sierra de Hornachuelos

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The Hornachuelos Sierra, a succession of plateaus and rugged gullies, abundantly spills its waters in its search for the Guadalquivir, creating along its transit, orchards full of life.

The protected area of the Hornachuelos Sierra stands upon the Guadalquivir Valley in the northwest corner of the province of Cordoba. Waters precipitate from the north downward, channelled into three river axes - Guadiato, Bembézar, and Retortillo- causing along their path intense erosion, forming the shape of this part of Sierra Morena. Almost in touch with the valley, when you see the limestone as geological substrate, the waters calm down and filter into the subsoil, flowing back into the Guadalquivir.

General information

Extension: 60032 hectares Date of declaration: 28/07/1989 Environmental units:Sierra Morena Atlántica mountain
Quality marks:European Charter for Sustainable TourismISO 14001:2004Reserva de la Biosfera

Fauna and flora

The plateaus and foothills are dominated by a mixed meadow of cork oak, oak, and sporadically, gall oak, Andalusian oak that has its greatest example in the pure forest of Umbría de la Loma de los Jarales. It is a thicket comprising strawberry, kermes, mastic and, in the sun, cistus, gorse and lavender. Here are the game sought by hunters and characteristic of this area, as venison and wild boar, a large colony of black vultures and other valuable populations like the griffon vulture, golden eagle, imperial eagle and Bonelli's eagle, black stork, red kite, stag, weasel, ferrets, wildcat and medium-sized horseshoe bat.

At the bottom of the canyons is a riverbank vegetation in excellent condition: magnificent alder favour an excellent habitat for the otter or the white blackbirds, whose waters that contain a fish with little presence in the Guadalquivir, the jarabugo. Other interesting places along the riverbank are the Rabilarga stream, where an elm grove in excellent condition neighbours with rosemary, thyme and oregano, and the high course of the Bembézar river, where a notable tamarisk prevails. When arriving at the valley, we see the Chamaerops, the only palm tree endemic to Europe, carob and the splendid colour variety of the crops, now under the flight of Bonelli's eagle, Montagu's harrier and common kestrel.

What to do

The bipolarity of the topography is perfect for hiking, both for lovers of nature and for those who like to understand the historical relationship between man and environment. The mountains, rugged and jagged, rich in mining seams, favoured activities like mining -complex of La Plata-, lime kilns -Huerta del Rey-, beekeeping, breeding of Iberian pork, hunting and “mystic retreats”, the best example of which is the Franciscan monastery of Nuestra Sra. de los Ángeles. Additionally, we can appreciate remains of water culture everywhere: mills -La Paloma-, bridges, waterwheels -Escalonías-, fountains -Barranco del Caño de Hierro-, channels and dams. This territorial contrast also causes the rich variety of game of these villages, both small and big game, also being the grounds for other less environmentally aggressive activities, like photo-hunting or watching the mating call of deer.

The plain, with good transport connections and historically desired for its agricultural wealth, was occupied from very early on by human communities, as shown by the dolmens of La Sierrezuela, in Posadas. This dual condition favoured the presence of Roman roads, cattle routes and castles, as Hornachuelos, the magnificent one of La Floresta in Almodóvar del Río or that of Moratalla, transformed during the 19th century into a spectacular castle and hunting grounds.

Meanwhile, the reservoirs offer a well-established range of environmental education, water and adventure sports (as water skiing), to which we must add the rich variety of its gastronomy: game meat, cured Iberian pork meats, honey and pollen, oranges and the homemade desserts which the Barefoot Carmelites religious order of the village of San Calixto, delights the traveller must taste when passing through these lands.

Sports:Climbing, Water skiing, Multi-adventure activities, Kayaking, Mountain biking, Horse riding, Mountaineering, Orienteering, Skydiving, Hiking, Off-road vehicles, Sailing, Hot air ballooning

Interest Points

  • Peña del Fraile
  • Embalse del río Bembézar

Information services

Services and Infrastructures

Rutas 4x4MiradorGuía IntérpreteTourist Office

Contact data

Location

Address: Calle Santo Tomás de Aquino, s/n - Córdoba
Postal code:14071
Province:Córdoba

Trails

  • El sendero del Guadalora discurre por un excelente bosque de ribera. Camina también entre paisajes y ecosistemas muy variados, desde cultivos a bosques, pasando por la singular combinación de ambos que es la dehesa.

    Trayecto: lineal.

    Para descargar folleto, pulse aquí.

    Trail Information

    Lenght: 6100 meters Duration: 2.2 hours Difficulty: media

    how to arrive

    Desde Hornachuelos se llega al centro de visitantes Huerta del Rey por la carretera A-3151, en dirección a San Calixto. Se encontrará una desviación a la izquierda a algo más de un kilómetro de la población. Ya en el centro hay que seguir las indicaciones, que llevan por el sendero Las Herrerías durante sus primeros 400 metros.

  • El sendero de la Rabilarga transita por varios ecosistemas representativos del parque natural, especialmente el bosque de ribera y el monte mediterráneo. Es fácil observar un buen número de aves, anfibios y otros animales que viven junto a las riberas.

    Trayecto: lineal.

    Para descargar folleto, pulse aquí.

    Trail Information

    Lenght: 500 meters Duration: 0.1 hours Difficulty: baja

    how to arrive

    Desde Hornachuelos se llega al centro de visitantes Huerta del Rey por la carretera A-3151, en dirección a San Calixto, y se toma una desviación a la izquierda a algo más de un kilómetro de la población. Ya en el centro hay que seguir las indicaciones que dirigen por el primer tramo del sendero Botánico, para abandonarlo en una bifurcación a unos doscientos metros.

  • El sendero Las Herrerías discurre por un trayecto muy accesible y ameno, que concede la oportunidad de conocer los paisajes representativos del parque natural: dehesas y monte mediterráneo. También otros valores patrimoniales, como el propio camino que se transita, una antigua vía pecuaria de origen medieval.

    Trayecto: circular.

    Para descargar folleto, pulse aquí.

    Trail Information

    Lenght: 5100 meters Duration: 1.3 hours Difficulty: media-baja

    how to arrive

    Desde Hornachuelos se llega al centro de visitantes Huerta del Rey por la carretera A-3151, en dirección a San Calixto, y se toma una desviación a la izquierda a algo más de 1 km de la población. Ya en el centro hay que seguir las indicaciones que dirigen hacia el norte, primero remontando el arroyo de la Rabilarga, para tomar después, una vez en el exterior del área recreativa Huerta del Rey, el camino hacia la izquierda, donde a los 100 m se inicia el sendero.

  • El sendero PR-A 348 del Bembézar discurre entre las dos presas del río del mismo nombre, un valle encajado y agreste, deleite de sonido y olores. No es extraño que buitres y otros huidizos animales asienten aquí sus colonias, igual que ha hecho el hombre.

    Trayecto: lineal.

    Para descargar folleto, pulse aquí.

    Trail Information

    Lenght: 13300 meters Duration: 4 hours Difficulty: media-baja

    how to arrive

    El sendero parte del extremo oriental de la presa del embalse de derivación del Bembézar, que se encuentra al sur del casco urbano de Hornachuelos y junto al mismo. Casi encima de la misma presa arranca la carretera CO-5314, por la que se pasará a la otra margen del embalse, si se viene desde Hornachuelos.

  • El sendero del Águila discurre por lugares que lindan con espacios urbanos y agrícolas, en los que se captan contrastes y se pondera la obra humana. Después se adentra en uno de los bosques de ribera mejor conservados de Sierra Morena, el del valle del Guadalora.

    Trayecto: lineal.

    Para descargar folleto, pulse aquí.

    Trail Information

    Lenght: 11300 meters Duration: 4 hours Difficulty: media

    how to arrive

    Desde Hornachuelos se llega al centro de visitantes Huerta del Rey por la carretera A-3151, en dirección a San Calixto, y se toma una desviación a la izquierda a algo más de un kilómetro de la población. Ya en el centro hay que seguir las indicaciones, y tras unos 750 m se hallará el inicio del sendero.

  • El sendero Botánico tiene dos alicientes fundamentales, que son el paisajístico y el botánico. Se podrá observar un alcornocal-encinar y el contraste entre el paisaje de campiña, el bosque de ribera y el bosque mediterráneo, así como observar de cerca una calera.

    Trayecto: circular.

    Para descargar folleto, pulse aquí.

    Trail Information

    Lenght: 1600 meters Duration: 0.5 hours Difficulty: media-baja

    how to arrive

    Desde Hornachuelos se llega al centro de visitantes Huerta del Rey por la carretera A-3151, en dirección a San Calixto, tomando una desviación a la izquierda a algo más de un kilómetro de la población. El sendero parte junto al centro. Las señales nos ayudarán a localizarlo.

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