Sierra de Hornachuelos route

Sierra de Hornachuelos route
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Lonely roads through the Sierra Morena

If there is a route in which solitude plays a special role, this is certainly it. Silence, isolation, encountering oneself. When you encounter more wildlife than people on your route, you become aware of how little the natural environment you are riding through has been altered; it is an almost untouched Mediterranean forest, a short distance from the big city. An enormous, and pleasant, contrast, which you will enjoy as you ride along magnificent roads: winding, lonely, with asphalt in perfect condition. Every motorcyclist’s dream.

On route

You will depart from the city of Cordoba along the old Seville road, which was the Camino de Postas del Correo Real created in the 15th century by the Catholic Monarchs. Take care with the traffic, which is very heavy and there are some speed cameras! You will be riding just a stone’s throw from the Umayyad city of Madinat al-Zahra, which was built in the 10th century and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is worth a detour to see it. After crossing Villarrubia, the outline of the castle of Almodóvar del Río looms on the horizon, dominating the Guadalquivir valley (stop 1). The ascent to the fortress affords an impressive view of the village and the fertile plain, though there are other interesting vantage points such as Las Parejas and El Ribazo. A little further on, you will permanently leave the plain and head towards the borough of Hornachuelos (stop 2), the gateway to Sierra Morena in your itinerary. It is recommended that you fill up before entering the sierra, since there are very few petrol stations on the route.

After crossing the village and enjoying its picturesque streets, but not before stopping at one of its vantage points and discovering the beauty of the sheer drop overlooking the River Bembézar, you will enter the Sierra de Hornachuelos Natural Park. You will now ride along the A-3151, a magnificent mountain road that will lead you to the hamlet of San Calixto. The route is winding, very motorbike-friendly, with corners of all radii, many of them interlinked. The asphalt is rugged and in perfect condition, with hardly a pothole in sight. Although there is barely any traffic, you should not let your guard down since vehicles may appear there are many deer and other animal species along the road. As you leave the San Calixto monastery behind, the feeling of solitude increases with every turn of the wheels. It is a really impressive experience to not encounter anyone for so many kilometres. It is no wonder that this mountain range has been recognised as a Starlight Destination and Reserve, thanks to its isolation and low light pollution, which are magnificent qualities for observing the night sky.

The road is still fantastic, narrow, but with lots of grip, offering scenery that is worth photographing. The vegetation is very lush, made up of the typical species of a very closed Mediterranean forest, which sometimes invades the road: holm oak, cork oak and gall oak, and a thicket of strawberry trees, kermes oaks, mastic trees and, on the sunny side, rockrose and lavender.

After passing through La Cardenchosa, the road stretches out and traffic increases slightly. You will pass Ojuelos Altos, Los Panchez and Doña Rama (stop 3), villages that spread placidly between the municipalities of Fuente Obejuna and Belmez, another Starlight Destination, and head towards Villanueva del Rey (stop 4). You will now ride on straight road, which pass through holm oak and cork oak meadows, an extensive enclosure for young livestock. The route then heads south on the CO-5401, where the road becomes narrow and winding. You ride through a beautiful pine forest, growing at an altitude of over 800 metres, which will lead you to Villaviciosa de Córdoba (Stop 5). It is the ideal place to stop and enjoy the area’s excellent cuisine, with traditional dishes such as venison and rabbit stew, as well as imperial soups and saffron milk caps. In homemade sweets, fritters and biscuits (known as borrachuelos) stand out. Particular mention must be made of its magnificent broths, the wines of the Guadiato.

The last section on the A-3475 and the CO-3402 again takes you through utterly solitary roads, with dozens of bends. We recommend travelling through them unhurriedly, enjoying its striking landscapes. Beware of pine needles on the asphalt. The descent to the River Guadiato is a festival of bends: it affords spectacular views of the valley floor. From Santa María de Trassierra on, the intense traffic resumes, the road widens and allows you to ride with an excellent panoramic view of Cordoba (stop 6), the end point of the route.

#castilloalmodovar selfie spot

Also known as La Floresta Castle, it is an Andalusian fortress built very early, around 740 AD. It is open to visitors, it offers numerous activities and it has been used as the setting to film several television series, such as Game of Thrones and Warrior Nun.
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Sierra de Hornachuelos - Circular
  • Length: 207.0km
  • Duration: 5.0h
A Córdoba
B Almodóvar del Río
C Posadas
D Hornachuelos
E Villanueva del Rey
F Villaviciosa de Córdoba
G Córdoba
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