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Parque Natural "Los Alcornocales"

The Acorns The Natural Park with an area of ​​167.767 ha and the third largest protected natural areas in Andalusia, is located at the western end of the Betic Cordillera in the province of Cádiz, except for the northeastern part of the province that Malaga. The municipalities belonging to the park and the province of Cádiz are: Alcalá de los Azules, Algar, Algeciras, Arcos de la Frontera, Benalup, Benaocaz, Castellar de la Frontera, El Bosque, Jerez de la Frontera, Jimena de la Frontera, Los Barrios, Medina Sidonia, Prado del Rey, San José del Valle, rate and Ubrique. And the town Cortes de la Frontera belonging to Malaga.

Parque Natural Los Alcornocales  Mapa Parque Natural Los Alcornocales 


To the north is the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park; the countryside west Cadiz; Depression southwest of Sierra de Janda and Fates; south borders the Strait of Gibraltar and the Campo de Gibraltar; southeast and east the valley of the River Guadiaro.

Its highest peak is the Pico of the cistern (1092 m.) And vegetation that characterizes it is the internodes, a forest of distinctive bank of these mountains, which is represented by the narrow valleys of the headwaters of mountain streams with vegetation that colonizes. Given its geographical location and diversity of ecosystems exist where we can find many migratory birds and animals such as the fox, badger, weasel, etc.

The natural attraction of this park does not end here, as it hosts a forest exceptional, capable of transporting a subtropical regions absent today from the European continent, to be formed by species typical of these environments found this place adequate shelter galleries to develop. Narrow "canutos" excavated by deep valleys and rivers are located in so-called.



Río Hozgarganta cerca de
San Martín del Tesorillo

Given the geographical position of the Acorns, the dominant climate in the area is logically Mediterranean, but a number of factors contribute to singling. First, the proximity to the sea causes a dampening effect of temperature variation, keeping them soft and very consistent throughout the year. To this we must add annual rainfall exceeding almost 800 L / m², reaching in some areas over 1,400 thanks to the sweeping ocean fronts from west to east during the autumn, winter and spring. In the southern highlands, it should also be noted the presence of summer fog whiskers known as lift, which provide valuable horizontal humidity and rainfall in the long dry season characteristic of the Mediterranean climate. All these factors contribute to a special microclimate very similar to that in subtropical and Macaronesian regions, which favors the growth of a lush jungle vegetation, which has been the origin of the epithet given to the Acorns: the last Mediterranean forest.

Wind is also a factor to be taken into account in the Park. The proximity of the Straits of Gibraltar and layout north-south of the coastal mountain ranges, affects their frequency and intensity, reaching reaching the highest values ​​in the Iberian peninsula, proof of which is the existence of higher production field wind power in Spain.




Tronco de alcornoque

The park is characterized by forest oak largest in Spain and one of the largest in the world in an excellent state of preservation while maintaining the human use of cork. Unlike other cork oak forests latitudes where the thickness is low, the trees in this area are real forests accompanied by a rich and varied shrub and herbaceous vegetation in close connection, which ensures the natural regeneration of the forest, a good mix of ages and a floristic and faunal biodiversity very high.

But besides cork, the Park has represented other both qualitatively and quantitatively important forests. We should highlight the Andalusian forests oaks or oaks, remnants of the past that make forests of indescribable beauty, where environmental and soil moisture is the main character, with the trunks and branches colonized by lichens, mosses, ferns and epiphytes some higher plants that climb looking for the necessary light is scarce at ground level because of the high density of the cover and the size reached this tree leaves. It is also normal for the presence of other species typical of Mediterranean forests, as wild olive trees, and Pyrenean oak.

The terrain is relatively gentle mountains up to 1,000 meters above sea level, with some deep valleys called canutos in running small mountain streams, favoring the other main feature of the park and the most important plant community from a scientific point of view, some gallery forests or subtropical laurel forests which are unique in continental Europe, with presence of laurel, rhododendron, buckthorn, durum, alder, holly and fern accompanied by extremely rare in these latitudes, although this vegetation type occupied most central and southern Europe during the Tertiary. The Acorns has the honor of having several of its type canutos oldest vascular plant that lives on the earth, a fern that can only be found in various tropical areas of the world in remote areal several thousand kilometers of its European location.



The rich fauna of the park is also largely determined by its geographical position. The position on the southernmost tip of Europe makes it required periodic passage to and from Africa, millions of migratory birds converge in this area on a seasonal foraging and a more benign climate for development. Therefore, the Acorns is a real paradise for birdwatchers who come year after year to watch the passing mainly of soaring birds: storks, kites, honey buzzard, booted eagle and short-toed, vultures, Egyptian vultures and endless many other birds that recover energy in the park or hope that the weather conditions are favorable for the always problematic passage of the Strait of Gibraltar.

Also important mammal populations for its variety and abundance. With any luck, in the Acorns can be observed-in the Park meloncillos the largest European populations of this Mongoose, genets, otters, polecats, weasels, wildcats and between carnivores and deer, ibex and roe deer are conserved among herbivores. These saws have the privilege of hosting the last population of deer Andalusian Moorish race called in the southwestern limit of the global distribution of the species. As for the Lynx, the current data are contradictory, but there may be some individuals in the most remote forests, away from human presence.


Pintura rupestre de un ciervo
(Cueva de Bacinete, Los Barrios)

The Acorns is located in a strategic location, beside him join the Atlantic with the Mediterranean and, almost, Europe and Africa. The geographical position is one of the aspects that have marked the vicissitudes of his heritage, both natural, and cultural. Your settlement begins tens of thousands of years, as evidenced nearby archaeological sites belonging to Neanderthals, or the remains of engravings and paintings dating back to the Paleolithic and Neolithic. But are definitely wraps Bronze Age that attracted the most attention of the visitor. Of more than fifty existing caves, known for their artistic value and its unique themed Cave Tajo de las Figuras, considered the Sistine Chapel of the schematic rock art; Cueva de la Laja Alta, which houses a small catalog of the first ships that sailed the Mediterranean from the east; and Bacinete Cave, with over a hundred pictographs in excellent state of preservation.

After the first settlers, many settled in this space, overlapping cultures and civilizations, which have contributed a peculiar ethnological hue and a legacy of great wealth: megalithic monuments, Iberian remains, Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs strengths, etc. Many of the people who now make up the Natural Park peaked during the Moorish reign, when formed the western border of the Kingdom of Granada. Andalusíes still retain many features in its historical, helmets serrano typical white village. Jimena de la Frontera, Castellar de la Frontera and Medina Sidonia are great examples.



Vista Noroeste desde El Picacho


Among the most notable areas for their scenic interest may include:

-Pico Of The Cistern

It is the highest peak in the park, with 1,092 m.

-Pico El Picacho

It is the second peak of the park. Its top has a small flat terrain.




la Montera del Torero


The highest point of the natural park is located in the Pico del cistern, with 1,092 meters (just over Picacho). Both are located in the highlands of the cistern, between the town of Alcalá de los Azules and rural tourism complex of La Sauceda. [2]

Inside the park, near the town of Los Barrios is Montera Torero, a unique eroded sandstone rock formation with an uncanny resemblance to the typical hat of the bullfighters.




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