An easy going loop walk to Cortecepción passing remote fincas, olive groves, cork tree plantations and the famed Iberico Pig farms.
A short transfer is included to Aracena this morning (10min) where you may like to visit the Grutas de las Maravillas with its wonderful stalactites and underground lakes, before starting an easy walk to the nearby village of Corteconcepcion.
Leaving Aracena, follow cobbled paths and mule tracks above an idyllic valley lined with cork trees, passing by several farms to the tiny village of Corteconcepcion. Have a look at the 16th century Our Lady of Concepcion Church and a great example of traditional Spanish rural life, the plaza de toros (bullring). A fairly steep climb will bring you out of the village where you walk through farmland filled with grazing Iberian black pigs, cattle and the occasional donkey!
Arriving back in Aracena, take your time to soak up the atmosphere of this authentic little town before taking a taxi back to Finca Buenvino (payable and bookable locally, approx 10 Euros).
Keep an eye out for fallen Figs if you're here later in the season, a tasty trail treat.
Although they are by no means busy, when you're on the gravel roads or vehicle tracks be sure to walk on the left so you're facing any traffic coming towards you. Also be aware that mountain bikers use the same trails here so if you see any coming do your best to give way to them.
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.
Food & Drink
There are few supermarkets and big selection of tapas bars/delis in Aracena, there are also a couple of tapas bars once you reach Corteconsepciòn so you have plenty of choice for your walk today.
Points of interest
La Gruta de la Maravillas (The Cave of Wonders)
This natural underground monument is situated in the old centre of Aracena, under the hill crowned by the medieval castle and Priory Church of la Señora del Mayor Dolor, and has been open since 1914.
The guided tour of Las Maravillas Cave follows a circular route of around 1km, and takes around 45 minutes. The scenery of these caves has formed over many thousands of years through a process known as “karstification” - the slow erosion of limestone, gradually dissolved by carbonic acid, producing fissures, sinkholes, underground streams, and caverns.
Because of its spectacular scenery, Las Maravillas Cave has been used as a location for many movies, both Spanish and foreign, most famously ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth’ (1959), the Hollywood blockbuster directed by Henry Levin.
Entry fee : €8.50
Opening times: 10:00 to 13:30 hrs then 15:00 to 18:00 hrs, daily.
The entrance is limited to 1,000 visitors day for conservation reasons. The visit is undertaken in guided groups (only in Spanish), visitors simply join the next departing group at the ticket office. The walk is about one km and takes 45 mins. There are audioguides available in different languages.
Cork Tree Plantations
It's hard not to notice the bright red underlayer of a freshly harvested Cork tree. There are many plantations around this area and the rest of Andalucia as Spain is the world's number one producer in this two billion dollar industry. If you're here in the short harvest period from June 15th to August 15th you may be lucky enough to see gangs of men cutting the cork from the trees, loading their burros (mules) then sending them on their way, unaccompanied, to the cork factory. Once harvested the trees aren't touched again for almost 9 years whilst the cork regenerates.