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Fitness
Hiking trail

Loop Walk from Cortelazor

Hiking trail
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Macs Adventure Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • The streets of Valdelarco and Divino Salvador Church.
    / The streets of Valdelarco and Divino Salvador Church.
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • Following the Camino de Valdelarco.
    / Following the Camino de Valdelarco.
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • Approaching Valdelarco.
    / Approaching Valdelarco.
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • Heading back to Cortelazor.
    / Heading back to Cortelazor.
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • Views of Cortelazor.
    / Views of Cortelazor.
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • The old wash house on the edge of the village.
    / The old wash house on the edge of the village.
    Photo: Macs Adventure
300 450 600 750 900 m km 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16

Enjoy a sense of remoteness as you follow this looped trail up and over the Sierras and along narrow forest tracks.

moderate
16.5 km
4:30 h
596 m
590 m

A delightful loop walk today goes high above Cortelazor for wonderful views across the whitewashed village. Cross ravines and mountain streams to arrive at Valdelarco and then Navahermosa. Continue on paths lined by orchards and olive groves in a fertile river valley to arrive back at Cortelazor.

Enjoy another night in the cosy La Flamenca Inn where the owner Lola makes you feel right at home. Dinner can be taken at one of the local restaurants serving typical regional dishes such as the mouthwatering Aracena goats cheese and desserts steeped in honey.

Author’s recommendation

Once back in Cortelazor enjoy a well earned drink at Bar El Maño whilst overlooking Plaza de Andalucia.

Difficulty
moderate
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
748 m
Lowest point
543 m

Safety information

The route is very isolated and even though you're walking through woodland for the majority of the time it can still be extremely hot. It's advisable to set out early to avoid the hottest part of the day. Take plenty of water, suncream and watch your step on the rocky sections.

There is a fountain in both Valdelarco and Navahermosa if you need to refill your water bottle en route.

Equipment

A pair of sturdy walking trainers will be enough for this route if you dont want to wear full hiking boots. Along with the rest of your usual gear for a day outdoors remember to pack a sunscreen and insect repellant. A waterproof is always a good idea to keep handy, although you'd be unlucky to get wet in this region.

Tips, hints and links

Food & Drink

There are a couple of bars around Plaza de Andalucia in Cotelazor and a small store which opens at 9am if you want to buy supplies for your walk today. Once you reach Valdelarco there is a small bar and a restaurant but remember, as with all these small villages, if you're there during siesta time nowhere will be open.

 

Points of interest

The Sierra de Aracena and Picos de Aroche Natural Park

Spanning an area of 184,000 hectares, around 90% of the natural park is covered by woodland of mainly Mediterranean oak. Consisting of gently rolling hills and wooded valleys gradually giving way to dramatic rocky outcrops on high peaks. There is a abundant and varied wildlife with plenty of chances to spot birds, lizards, snakes, butterflies, wild boar, goats and many more. The area is famous for its rearing of black Iberian pigs and these can be seen everywhere as they hunt for the acorns that give their ham its unique taste.

 

Start

Cortelazor (616 m)
Coordinates:
Geographic
37.936014, -6.625277
UTM
29S 708690 4201375

Destination

Cortelazor

Turn-by-turn directions

0.00 km – Starting with your back to the front door of La Flamenca Inn, TURN RIGHT and walk down Calle Espana. After 40m TURN LEFT onto Calle Maestra and continue following this as it BEARS LEFT.

0.13 km – TURN RIGHT at the junction next to the cultural centre.

0.14 km – TURN LEFT to follow the pathway past the ‘Ruta Circular’ maps.

0.23 km – Cross a small stream then continue following the lane as it ascends along the hillside.

1.60 km – TURN LEFT at the green gate as the trail now heads down hill.

1.90 km – BEAR LEFT at the split in the track.

2.00 km – The trail becomes narrow and a little overgrown in places along this section.

2.20 km – Cross the shallow river then TURN RIGHT to pick up the trail again. White arrows point the way.

2.30 km – BEAR RIGHT at the split then join a steep climb.

2.40 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON at the split. ‘Sendero Cortelazor Valdelarco’ signs point the way.

2.70 km – TURN RIGHT as you join a wider trail and continue uphill.

2.90 km – BEAR RIGHT at the split in the track.

3.20 km – BEAR RIGHT to join a dusty vehicle track.

3.30 km – Go through the large metal gate then continue STRAIGHT ON through an old Cork tree plantation, staying alongside the fence.

4.00 km – STRAIGHT OVER the crossroads, soon BEARING RIGHT downhill.

4.40 km – If you look to your left t this point you will see Valderlarco in the distance.

4.60 km – BEAR LEFT around a derelict building as you merge with another trail from your right.

6.40 km – Cross the bridge then TURN LEFT.

7.00 km – TURN LEFT at the T-Junction.

7.30 km – Now entering Valderlarco.

7.60 km – TURN LEFT here at Calle Escobas or continue STRAIGHT ON if you would like to visit the Divino Salvador Church and the rest of the village.

After 20m BEAR LEFT past a ruined building then take the fenced path on your LEFT and continue on the narrow walkway between houses.

7.80 km – TURN RIGHT, back onto the cobbled road you arrived on.

8.30 km – TURN RIGHT at the split in the road. After 50m TURN RIGHT again alongside a low mud wall.

8.50 km – The trail now becomes rocky as it heads uphill.

8.70 km – At the split in the track BEAR RIGHT.

9.50 km – At the next split TURN LEFT to cross a small stone bridge.

9.90 km – BEAR RIGHT at the split.

10.60 km – Cross a wooden bridge next to a white building as you now join a dirt vehicle track.

10.90 km – TURN LEFT onto the tarmac road.

11.30 km – BEAR RIGHT through the tiny village of Navahermosa, there is a water point here if you need to fill up your bottle.

11.50 km – TURN LEFT at the split in the road and continue STRAIGHT ON past a yellow house as you join a dirt vehicle track.

12.10 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON at the split in the trail.

12.60 km – STRAIGHT ON at the next split.

13.10 km – Pass a secluded farmhouse on your right. There is a large, loud dog here but he’s chained up so no need to worry.

13.20 km – Cross a small stream then follow the faint, rough track through the trees.

13.90 km – After weaving your way downhill, on a narrow track, BEAR RIGHT across the creek and follow the path directly up the hillside. Narrow in places.

14.60 km – TURN LEFT at the split.

14.90 km – TURN RIGHT to follow vehicle track between stone walls.

15.60 km – Now descending a steep, stone path with views of Cortelazor on your left.

15.80 km – Pass the old washhouse and BEAR LEFT uphill back into town.

15.90 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON at the junction, passing Museo di Pintura.

16.00 km – Follow the sign for ‘Centro Población’ then BEAR LEFT after 20m.

16.10 km – Finish your walk here at the front door of La Flamenca Inn.

Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


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Difficulty
moderate
Distance
16.5 km
Duration
4:30 h
Ascent
596 m
Descent
590 m

Statistics

: h
 km
 m
 m
Highest point
 m
Lowest point
 m
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