The Jaen town of Cazorla, located in the Sierras de Cazorla, Segura and Las Villas natural park, has become the Rural Capital 2022, an initiative promoted by the rural accommodation platform Escapada Rural. It has managed to beat the other nine finalists —Chinchón (Madrid), Esterri d’Àneu (Lleida), Tinajo (Lanzarote), Blanca (Murcia), Graus (Huesca), Nieva de Cameros (La Rioja), Tiedra (Valladolid), Sineu (Mallorca) and El Robledo (Ciudad Real)—by obtaining 20.9% of the almost 100,000 total votes cast in the VI edition of the contest.
Cazorla picks up the baton from another Andalusian town, the Cadiz municipality of Olvera, which was the capital in 2021 after obtaining 18% of the votes received. His name is added to the towns of Potes (Cantabria), Santillana del Mar (Cantabria), Aínsa-Sobrarbe (Huesca) and Sigüenza (Guadalajara), awarded in previous years. This award aims to give visibility to municipalities that are committed to the development of rural tourism. The mayor of Cazorla, Antonio José Rodríguez Viñas, thanked them for this award, “in recognition of the work that has been carried out over the years in terms of communication, dissemination and promotion of the tourist destination from the local Administration and the business community of Cazorla ”.
The castle of La Yedra, built during the Andalusian period in front of a sea of olive trees, and the ruins of the Renaissance church of Santa María, attributed to Andrés de Vandelvira, are its main tourist attractions. But above all, it attracts travelers through the natural park of Sierras de Cazorla, Segura and Las Villas, an extensive vegetal mosaic of black and Aleppo pines, holm oaks and cork oaks, olive trees and wild olive trees where it is not difficult to spot large ungulates such as the mountain goat, mouflon, fallow deer, deer or wild boar, especially in spring and autumn, during the bellowing. The natural park, the second largest protected area in Europe, is also the territory of large birds of prey such as black and griffon vultures; royal, Bonelli’s and short-toed eagles; Egyptian vultures, falcons and eagle owls.
Cazorla can serve as the base for numerous hiking and mountain biking routes, such as the GR-247 Bosques del Sur, which runs in a circle in 21 stages through marked paths. One of the most popular sections, due to its scenic beauty, is the one that follows the Borosa River gorge, halfway between the Torre del Vinagre interpretation center and the Aguas Negras area. A forest track starts from the Borosa fish farm going up the river towards the so-called Elías ridge, where the river waters have carved out a narrow gorge. A series of wooden footbridges nailed to the rock allow you to cross the interior of the ravine, until you come out to the source of the river in the fields of Aguas Negras. Before your eyes, the waterfall of Los Órganos, and further up, the Valdeazores lagoons.
For those who come to Cazorla, here are four nearby tracks to continue enjoying the province of Jaén.
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