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5 Andalusian destinations to get back to nature

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If you are on holiday in Andalusia, you live here or are planning to settle for a while to work from one of the cities, you are probably also thinking of enjoying the natural treasures that this region has to offer.

This is a great idea, because Andalusia has an amazing range of spots to get away from work and get back to nature. To whet your appetite, we have picked 5 destinations so you can choose from beaches, mountains, trails, waterfalls, deserts, cliffs and forests. You probably won't know where to start...

  1. El Torcal de Antequera (Malaga)

When you get to Torcal de Antequera you will find a place that is different to anything you've ever seen. A site that was under the sea 200 million years ago and that the force of tectonic plates raised to the surface, so that the erosive action of the wind and water transformed it into this unique natural setting.

Bring comfortable shoes, water, fruit and a sandwich and choose one of the three hiking routes to discover El Torcal de Antequera. You are allowed to choose all three! The routes are waymarked and the difficulty levels are low and medium. Explore the paths and get your camera out, because you'll definitely want to document your journey.

If you prefer to listen to a guide and visit other parts of this nature area designated a World Heritage Site, you can also choose one of the guided tours suggested on El Torcal official website.

Torcal de Antequera

  1. Tabernas Desert (Almería)

Did you know that in Andalusia we can find what is considered to be the only desert in Europe? It lies 30 km from the city of Almería! This desert is also special because it was chosen as the setting for several so-called spaghetti western films or "chorizo western" (referring to western films made with a low budget in Italy and Spain) and other films such as "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade".

If you like desert landscapes and you are a film buff, the Tabernas Desert is the ideal place for you. The routes can be explored in a private car or by booking an outing. On the way you'll see yellowish rock formations, arid landscapes, a prehistoric town (Terra Ventura), Tabernas Castle and the town of Sorbas (where you can visit the caves).

It is also worth visiting one of the film locations, such as Fort Bravo (the oldest). There are western shows with horses and cancan dancing included. You can also go on a carriage ride and have a beer in an original Saloon Bar. Ready to feel like you're in a film about the Wild West?

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  1. Bolonia Beach (Cadiz)

Although you could relax on the sand, cool off in the sea and feel the breeze on any Andalusian beach (there are many to suit all tastes!), there's something about Bolonia Beach that makes it extra special.

It is a vast beach, almost unspoilt, where the fine sand mixes with the junipers and the dune creates a vantage point to enjoy the landscape. The fresh, crystal-clear water is the ideal place to do sports such as windsurfing and kitesurfing. And if you don't feel like doing any of them, you can watch the kite show in the sky instead, while sipping on a drink and breathing in the cool sea breeze. It is also a good idea to visit the nearby Valdevaqueros Beach, where it is worth watching the sunset from the dunes.. It will be a natural spectacle that you won't forget in a hurry.

What's more, in the heart of the cove of Bolonia Beach you can find the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Baelo Claudia, a 2nd-century BC maritime city that thrived thanks to the salting industry and the production of garum. And very close to Bolonia you can visit Tarifa, and enjoy the picturesque old town. 


4. Sierra Nevada (Granada) 

We already talked about deserts, karst formations, unspoilt beaches and dunes, but Andalusia also has several mountain ranges, and one of these is Sierra Nevada

Why do we mention it specifically? 

Because it is an ideal destination for a weekend getaway, any time of year. In the winter you can enjoy the snow and all the winter sports on offer at the Sierra Nevada Ski Resort. However, when the ski season ends it is the ideal time to go hiking in forests, lakes and waterfalls and learn about the flora and fauna. One of the most famous routes is Los Cahorros de Monachil, which crosses a narrow gorge, suspension bridges, caves, waterfalls, along the River Monachil. If you are a more experienced hiker, you can climb the Mulhacen, but always remember to do it responsibly and, if possible, with a guide who knows the area.

In Sierra Nevada you'll also find other attractions such as the small towns dotted around the Alpujarra of Granada. One of the towns you shouldn't miss is Soportújar, the town of witches. You'll find a lot of references to witches and you'll want to take many photos as possible as a souvenir!

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  1. Sierra de Cazorla, Segura y Las Villas Nature Reserve (Jaén)

Andalusia also has one of the largest protected nature areas in Europe. We're talking about Sierra de Cazorla, Segura and Las Villas Nature Reserve, where you'll be amazed by abrupt mountains, wide valleys, watercourses, pine forests, villages, routes and trails to do a wide range of outdoor activities.

In this area you can find the GR 247 trail - Bosques del Sur, which you can explore on foot or by bike. Hiking and cycling enthusiasts will love the chance to get back to nature easily. This route covers a total of 21 stages, with different lengths and degrees of difficulty, but with amazing scenery every step of the way.

But if you prefer to go on short outings, you can choose to visit, for example, the source of the River Cerezuelo, with crystal-clear water and small waterfalls that you are sure to love; the source of the River Guadalquivir or a walk along the stream and the waterfall of Guazalamanco, surrounded by pine forests and undergrowth.

It is impossible to list here all routes, trails, viewpoints, watercourses and spots that you can find in this nature reserve, but all them are worth discovering so just take your pick. You can read all the details about visiting this place on the official website of Jaén.

Whichever natural destination you choose for relaxing, enjoy responsibly the beautiful nature that Andalusia has to offer. Have a good trip!

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5 Andalusian destinations to get back to nature
Antequera, Monachil, Sierra Nevada (Almería, Cádiz, Granada, Jaén, Málaga)