Water Fountain Faces
I really loved the water fountain found in Plaza España to the right of the Town hall.
With it's four little faces and water spouts it really tempts you to try the drinkable mountain mineral water that pours out from them.
They just aren't hre for decoration, you will see many of the locals using them!
I'm not sure how to turn them on though...
Grazalema: White Mountian Village
"She'll be coming round the mountain when she comes"
Situated inland in the province of Cadiz, Andalucia, Spain, this little white village is a prime example of a traditional Andaluz village. It is quaint, very well kept and not at all pandering to tourists although it attracts visitors from everywhere.
It really is beautiful place well worth visit especially is you like hiking and other outdoor sports as it is situated in national park and sierra (mountains).
The only downside to visiting Grazalema is the fact that the road leading to the village is long, and arduous as you twist up and down and around mountains on a small one lane road. The road itself is in very good condition and even buses can use it, just make sure you are not hungover and if you are prone to car sickness, go to the chemist first!
A Little Village
have been wanting to visit Grazalema for a while, it is one of the most known white villages in the region. Grazalema is 812m above sea level and it is known to be the village where it mosts rain! Luckily for me it was'nt raining but it was very cold (March) compared to where I was staying which was only 40km away.
The roads to Grazalema are quite winding but not dangerous. Most of the tourists who visit Grazalema only stay for the day, and do not actually stay the night, but there where a good range of rural apartments.
Have a look at my pages for El Bosque, which is a town thirty minutes away from Grazalema.
"A New Green Spain"
We discovered this area en route to Ronda and Gibraltar and if I hadn't already bought a house in Spain I would have given this area serious cosideration.
The scenery is just gorgeous and the many small villages that dot the area have lots of character.
The Sierra de Grazalema
"Grazalema and the surrounding area"
The village of Grazalema is to be found in the north east part of Cadiz province, at a height of 800m, in the mountain range bearing the same name Sierra de Grazalema. In 1977 this area was declared a ?Reserve of the Biosphere? by UNESCO due to the exceptional variety and wealth of its fauna and flora. In 1984 it was made the first Nature Park of Andalucia by the Junta de Andalucia.
The park status envelopes several other towns and villages even including a part of Malaga province along the border with Cadiz. El Bosque, Ubrique, Zahara de la Sierra, Benaocaz, Prado del Rey, El Gastor and Villaluenga del Rosario are within the Cadiz side of the park, Benaojan, Cortes de la Frontera, Jimera de Libar, Montejaque, Ronda and Algodonales are within Malaga.
The parkland consists of 51,695 hectares of which the highest point is El Torreon at 1,654m. Imposing views of the park and beyond can be enjoyed from this bare limestone summit (only accessible on foot). These limestone mountains form the western tip of the Cordillera Betica range and there is only low lying land from here to the Atlantic coast. It is because of this geographical situation that for many years Grazalema has been known to receive the most rainfall in Spain. In fact this high rainfall has created the cliffs, crags, caves, sink holes, river valleys and gorges that make the area so varied.
The most outstanding vegetation is the 420 hectares of Spanish Fir Abies Pinsapo which is a relic that has survived since the last glaciation. These are mostly on the Northern slopes of El Pinar (accessible by footpath) but some smaller groups and younger examples can be seen on the road between Zahara de la Sierra and Puerto de las Palomas (this is a tarmac mountain pass). The Spanish Fir, Grazalema poppy (Papaver rupifragum) and an endemic fern (Asplenium petrarchae subsp bivalens) each are in the Red List of Endangered Species. Phlomis x margaritae, Erodium recoderi and Echinospartum algibicum among others are unique to the area. Holm oak and pine forests clothe the slopes, there are also Cork oak woods (Quercus suber), Carob (Ceratonia siliqua), Junipers, Strawberry trees (Arbutus unedo) and a tapestry of Mediterranean scrub. The range of wild flowers defies description with the spring time becoming a riot of colour.
Griffon vultures soar over the whole park and several of the cliffs have resident groups. The massif being home to one of the largest colonies in Europe. There is a viewing platform within Garganta Verde (which has several hundred nesting birds) where they can pass quite close by as they fly in to the ledges. A telescope will allow you to watch the young birds. From February to August they are busy nest building, incubating and then feeding the young. Golden, Bonelli?s, Short-toed and Booted eagles are all within the park as are Peregrine, Sparrow hawk, Eagle owl, Osprey and Egyptian vulture. Red billed chough, Blue rock thrush, Rock thrush, Black wheatear and numerous warblers enjoy the mountains and scrub while Red legged partridge, Hoopoe, Bee-eater, Hawfinch, great spotted woodpecker and Golden orioles are found in the lower areas.
The Wild Mountain Goat (Capra pyrenaica) hispanica populates all of the higher areas and can also frequently be seen near to the road between El Bosque and Grazalema. Most of the mammals in the park are nocturnal, so therefore are difficult to see such as Wild boar, Fox, Badger, Genet, European Mongoose, Wild cat and Beech martin. The Red deer and Roe deer have been introduced for game hunting and the Fallow deer is moving in from the Cork Oak forest to the South.
The main centre is in El Bosque as this is the gateway into the park from the west. From here permission can be obtained to enter restricted areas of the park; Garganta Verde, Llano de Ravel, El Torreon, El Pinsapar (the latter two closed July and August for fire risk).
El Castillo botanical garden gives easy viewing to the plant life of the sierras that may otherwise be difficult to find and identify.
Also in the town a water powered flour mill has recently been renovated.
Grazalema and Zahara both have interesting tourist information centers from where permissions can be booked. (They confirm with El Bosque on your behalf.)
Grazalema is well known for its loom woven wool products.
An old style olive press is situated at Zahara and here they sell their organic oil.
Man has lived in this lush area from prehistoric times. (Cave paintings can be seen in Cueva de la Pileta.)
The Romans inhabited Iptuci (Prado del Rey) and Ocuri (Ubrique). They also had an important town and mint at Acinipo just outside the park area.
The famous White washed villages (Pueblos Blancos) with their steep, narrow streets are based on Arab designs. During the 13th and 14th century it was a border zone between the Arab Kingdom of Granada and the Christian Kingdom of Castilla.
The traditional work includes raising livestock, making goats? cheese, farming trout, growing and pressing olives and crafts are weaving woolen blankets, basketry from esparto grass and leather work. More recent employment is park / forest management and tourism.