Cazorla Natural Park, Andalucía
Transport options to arrive: Probably only by Car
My personal experience is with staying in Pantano del Tranco and there are no public buses to get you there. You can find buses from nearby cities like Jaen and Granada but be careful as these take you to the city of Cazorla, not the natural park or smaller villages surrounding it. You may be able to find local buses that run on a very limited schedule or find other options with some further digging.
Recommended time of year to visit and length of visit: Year-round, although you may want to avoid the coldest and hottest months if you want to enjoy the outdoor beauty of this area all day long. You could do a one-day hiking trip but I recommend 2-3 nights for optimal relaxation in nature.
Fun Fact: The Cazorla Parque Natural de las Sierras de Cazorla, Segura y Las Villas was declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 1983 and is a protected area for migratory birds, among other native flora and fauna. Long story short, if you’re in need of a little green and the prospect of catching sight of some wildlife, this destination is for you!
Top three must-sees:
Cazorla is simple. This is a beautiful place to escape to when you need some time to disconnect from your day-to-day, as well as the sightseeing and ‘obligations’ of typical travels. Instead, focus on what nature has to offer.
1. The trails: The natural park is covered in trails of varying lengths. It would be impossible to recommend just one as choosing should come down to exactly where you plan to stay, any specifics you’d like to see, and your personal level of fitness and experience. There are routes to do on foot, on bike, or on horseback. The options are nearly endless.
Pro-Tip: As you’re planning what option is best for you, keep in mind that (assuming you want to get back to where you started) you will most likely need to double the time/distance noted in the route info as these are generally not loop routes.
2. The water: I don’t know about you, but when I need to center myself I simply need to be near the water! Not a problem if you’re visiting Cazorla- there is water galore, from rivers to reservoirs to waterfalls! Where we stayed in El Tranco (which is where the beautiful blue reservoir in the photos is) there were boat tours as well as kayaks to rent. Get out there!
3. The views: Where ever you go around here, you’re sure to catch some beautiful views. We especially enjoyed the one from the lookout point in Hornos de Segura, but I believe the most memorable views are the ones that catch us by surprise, so keep your eyes and hearts open as you amble around Cazorla.
One thing to drink: water
Although you’re sure to happen upon local products like honey, olive oil, and sweets these are probably better suited for a souvenir to be enjoyed when you get home. While you’re on your Cazorla adventure be sure to stock up on water, especially because refill stations are limited along the paths.