A rewarding gorge walk is one of the best in the region and has ample opportunities to spot the magnificent griffon vultures. Access is however restricted from June to Mid October due to risk of forest fires. The Zahara de la Sierra Loop walk is a great alternative should you be walking in these months.
An exhilarating hike to the bottom of the 400 metres deep Garganta Verde (green throat) canyon. Just 5km in total, this is a short walk with fantastic rewards. As the trail descends steeply to the bottom of the canyon, keep your eye out for a glimpse of griffon vultures, which the gorge is home to. Arrive at the base of the canyon, and feel very small, as you look up the towering vertical walls. Discover expansive caves in the valley walls before returning the same way you came.
**PLEASE NOTE** At 2.3km you reach an area with trees whereby you will need to cross over a dried-out river - only large rocks remain. This short part can be confusing not knowing where the path is. As soon as you cross the rocks, you see a signpost indicating the direction to the Ermita. (a waypoint - is included on the Macs App). Follow this path.
Whilst the star of the show is the wonderful griffon vultures you may also spot some Iberian ibex grazing around the cliffs
the Natural park authorities to warn anyone walking in the gorge that there is potential for occasional rockfall on the trail; thus - although not mandatory - recommend the use of a helmet. Unfortunately, we do not have the means to provide helmets so should you wish to wear one for your own peace of mind then you would be required to bring your own.
A member of the Macs Adventure team went out to check the Garganta Verde Gorge trail in October 2019 and had no out of the ordinary concerns - it falls within our grading of “moderate” and deemed safe to walk – Like any cliff/gorge/mountain-side walking trail it carries the same associated risk/hazards of potential rockfalls - Be extremely vigilant and watch your step.
If bad weather is forecast then we strongly advise against walking the rail.
Some of the path is along rocky steps; be careful as these may be slippery, especially when wet.
There are some exposed and unfenced edges throughout the walk; be careful and remain on the path.
Ensure you use any handrails provided along the walk.
There is some phone signal around the first few kilometres of the walk however as you descend further into the gorge it will be unavailable.
Sturdy hiking boots and a waterproof/wind-break layer are required. Walking poles will be a big advantage on some of the steep ascents and descents.
Ensure your phone is fully charged; if you doubt the battery will last throughout the hike, it might be beneficial to bring a power bank.
Make sure you bring enough water. It is recommended to drink 0.75 litres per 1 hour of hiking in hot weather.
Be sure to bring plenty of sun-cream and a healthy respect for the sun.
Points of Interest
Griffon vulture Nests
Get your camera ready to take some spectacular close up snaps of these majestic birds of prey as they nest within the Garganta Verde gorge (please be respectful of the birds and follow local signage with regards to being quiet in certain areas). Check the pictures to see the stunning shots that Berta from Macs Adventure got on her FAM trip in November 2019.
Food and Drink
After leaving Zahara there is nowhere to buy food or drink, or to refill water bottles today, so be sure to carry sufficient provisions with you.