Georuta Desierto de Gorafe
In the area around Gorafe and in the centre of the Guadix-Baza Depression lies the Gorafe Desert, a spectacular amalgam of shapes, colours and sensations.
The Guadix-Baza Depression is an inland sedimentary basin, surrounded by mountains and relatively high above sea level and fluvial in nature. In the centre there was once a lake teeming with life. Some 100,000 years ago, its waters spilled into the Guadalquivir River Valley by way of the River Guadiana Menor, leaving evidence of millions of years of activity etched on the rocks and ground.
The edges of the Depression, associated with sedimentation, offer palaeontological sites of extraordinary value that contain remains of the oldest hominids in Europe, such as Venta Micena, in Orce, as well as abundant and varied wildlife represented by large mammals from the Pliocene period in Fonelas.
Erosion is one of the main features of the landscape in this region, which has created spectacular badlands, so named because of their dry, ravine-like nature. These shapes give the region its unique character, and they are especially varied and extraordinary in the central part of the basin.
The town of Gorafe is one of the most picturesque in all of Granada province due to its attractive location, the numerous cave houses of which it is comprised and its 240+ dolmens in the Megalithic Park. As the starting point of this route, it lets you explore and immerse yourself in one of the most remarkable landscapes in Europe: its large gullies and colourful sandstone formations are like spectacular settings from films and documentaries.
In the words of Professor Eduardo Martínez Sáez: “The desert offers an impressive panorama, a myriad of colours that change throughout day: shades of ochre, red, yellow… and a total silence that reveals the mystery of life”.
It is advisable to leave the car in the car park at the Megalithic Park, due to the poor condition of the tracks, and do the route on foot or by bike, or you can hire a guide to do it on foot or in an off-road vehicle. Reaching the start of the route: From Malaga/Seville/Granada: along the A-92, towards Guadix and then Baza-Murcia, taking turnoff 16 Cenascuras-Gorafe. From Baza/Alicante: along the A-92, once past Baza take exit 16 of the Cenascuras-Gorafe motorway. From Almeria: along the A-92, towards Baza-Murcia, taking exit 16 of the Cenascuras-Gorafe motorway.
Services and infrastructure
- Tourist Office