Parque Natural de Despeñaperros (en)

Extraordinary geological, natural and historical heritage

Although Despeñaperros is one of the smallest natural parks in Andalucia, it concentrates an extraordinary geological, natural and historical heritage. Its slopes have been the scene of various epic episodes such as the battle of Las Navas de Tolosa. The erosion of the Despeñaperros River created this natural pass that connects the Castilian plateau with Andalusia. The action of this water course, which flows from north to south eroding the rocks, has originated spectacular landscapes such as Los Órganos, formed by quartzites of great hardness and appearance of gigantic vertical tubes. El Salto del Fraile and Las Correderas are other examples of these interesting formations.

In this rugged environment of almost vertical walls there are deep canyons and faults. In the shady areas of these cliffs, there are interesting plant species. The hiker can enjoy these plants through itineraries such as the one that runs through the Barranco de Valdeazores, where the Mediterranean scrub predominates with wild pear trees, strawberry trees and durillos that give this space different colors throughout the autumn. Another option is to visit the shady area of Collado de la Estrella, where the different chromatic tones come from an oak grove of
gall oaks and melojos.

The sunniest areas, on the other hand, are the kingdom of the holm oak that intermingles with the pine, the kermes oak or the rockrose. In this dense vegetation, deer and wild boar find refuge, species that are exploited for hunting and share the habitat with majestic birds of prey, such as the Iberian imperial eagle or the griffon vulture.

Due to its strategic location, these lands have been populated by numerous cultures since prehistoric times that have left interesting signs of their passage. One of them, the Iberians, made offerings in the form of bronze statuettes, known as dolls by the locals. These religious offerings were carried out in places considered sacred, such as the Sanctuary of the Collado de los Jardines, where the Cueva de los Muñecos (Cave of the Dolls) is located. In addition, in
some of them, previous and atypical samples of rock art can be found, which confirm the mystical perception that ancient man had of these places. Other examples of these paintings can be found in caves such as the Santo or Vacas de Retamoso.

The old Roman paved road, which runs along a lush natural vegetation, is also part of the legacy of the past in Despeñaperros. The visitor can walk along it thanks to the Empedraíllo trail, which will whet your appetite to enjoy the rich gastronomy of this place, based on the typical products of the mountain range such as big and small game meats, mushrooms, especially chanterelles, and asparagus.



Upon inquiry.


Approximately 8 hours


Monday to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm.

Activity program

  • Introductory talk at the Visitor Center.
  • Guided tour of different parts of the park (Castillo de Castro Ferral, Collado de la Aviación, Calzada Romana, Cortijo del Hornillo, Aldea Magaña, etc.).
  • Fauna and Fora Sighting (griffon vulture, partridges, deer, etc.).