The drive from the south to Cazorla was stunning. We decided to leave the motorway and take the scenic route, a lovely drive though rolling hills and endless olive groves, the horizon as far as we could see was a patch work wonderland!
Arriving late afternoon to the town of Cazorla, we could already see it was going to be an awesome stop, a pretty looking town with a mountain backdrop, Castle on the cliff side and the lush national park looming beyond. After an extremely steep drive we found the free camp spot and was very impressed indeed with its location and stunning views, well worth the steep climb.
Coordinates to the amazing free camp stop; (37.921398 -2.9987)
We wasted no time the following morning and left on bike to check out the pretty town, a really pleasant little place with a cute main square and amazing views of the Castle perched on the cliff. There is a lovely little river rushing through the town and stunning walks all around the surrounding mountains, we could have stayed there all day. We took a look around the Castle grounds, done a little Cazorla olive oil tasting there and popped into the tourist information to find out about the National Park.
With Amazing views right from the start, the National Park didn’t disappoint with rugged cliffs and twisty roads as we climbed higher and higher. We took a coffee break in the van whist a short storm and heavy down pour surrounded us at the top of the mountain, before continuing on to find the walks recommended to us earlier.
The first walk was short but sweet with a pretty waterfall at the end, we struggled with the overgrown path so we left it at that and continued on through the windy tree canopy roads in search of the main walk.
We arrived at the main walk of the area and as it was late afternoon already we decided to take the bikes instead of walking and was very glad with our decision. The track was perfect for mountain bikes with the beautiful river and cliffs all the way along by our side. After a few km’s steadily up hill, we had to lock the bikes to continue on foot along the pretty boardwalks looking down onto the stunning emerald green water below.
This is a fabulous walk that keeps going for about 20 Km’s to a lake, but with the day running out for us and already a lot of activity for one day, we decided to head back. The Cycle back to the van was a thrilling downhill rush, with more stunning views going on in the opposite direction and great fun!
The Stunning drive continued as we followed the river, which brought us to the huge lakes north of the national park. It looked as though the lakes were never ending as we could only see water on the horizon and half an hour later we were still lakeside. It was a long drive weaving though the trees and mountains but amazing nonetheless. We were ready for a well deserved rest at the end of the day as we parked up for the night in the cute little village of Riopar, north of the national park.