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Natural Parks in Andalusia

Sierra Norte of Sevilla Natural Park

Natural Parks in Andalusia

Sierra Norte of Sevilla Natural Park

The Sierra Norte of Sevilla Natural Park occupies the central western of Sierra Morena, flanked to the left and the right by the Natural Park of Sierra de Aracena in the province of Huelva and Natural Park of Hornachuelos in Córdoba, respectively.

It acts as natural barrier against the humid Atlantic winds that are introduced by the depression of the Guadalquivir, and enjoys a high rainfall regime that maintains large oak and cork forests, that shelter a varied fauna.

Among the rivers that flow through this mountain range we can emphasize the Rivera de Huesna, home to otters and where in some of its sections are developed spectacular forests galleries. It is also the only trout river in the province.

The existence of mineral deposits has encouraged the settlement of people from prehistoric times. Roman and Arab towns have also left many traces in the villages of the region.

The Parque Natural Sierra Norte de Sevilla has an area of 177,484 hectares and it includes, in whole or in part, the municipalities of AlanísAlmadén de la PlataCazalla de la SierraConstantinaGuadalcanalLas Navas de la ConcepciónEl PedrosoLa Puebla de los InfantesEl Real de la Jara and San Nicolás del Puerto.

The orography of the mountains is gentle and hilly, typical of ancient massifs subject for a long time to erosion. Rivers Viar, Retortillo and Rivera de Huesna, all affluent of the Guadalquivir river in the network that drains the Park.

The vegetation in Sierra Norte is adapted to the Mediterranean climate with hot dry summers and mild winters, being the oak and the cork oak the most characteristic species. These ones, as we turn to the higher areas of the Park (Constantina, San Nicolás and Cazalla), gives way to other more demanding species in moisture as the gall and the Pyrenean and Pyrenean oak. The latter, finds here its unique location in the province.

On the banks of rivers, and especially in the Rivera del Huesna, it is developed spectacular gallery forests very well preserved, consisting of plant species of high ecological value such as alder, ash, elm, poplar, various species of willows, hackberry, hazelnut, etc … In this river there are three fishing preserves, where you can catch the trout (preserves Hueznar I and Hueznar II) and rainbow trout (intensive reserve Molino del Corcho, located downstream of the above). It is also practiced the sport in the Reservoirs of the Park where, thanks to the good state of conservation of rivers bream and catfish can be found as the most common fish species.

In terms of fauna, deers are the most typical representatives in the area of large herbivorous mammals. These, along with wild boar, form the most popular hunting trophies in the Park.

Among carnivorous mammals, there is evidence of the presence of the lynx, although its population must be very small. Other abundant species while elusive and difficult to see are the fox, civet cat, polecat, badger, mongoose, wild cat and otter.

However, birds are the most abundant group of vertebrates in the park. Species find refuge here as interesting as the imperial eagle, black vulture, the dipper and the Black Stork.

Among the geological and landscape values of the Park we can emphasize “Las Cascadas de la Rivera de Huesna” and Cerro del Hierro, both declared Natural Monuments. In the latter, the extraction of iron since Roman times has created a peculiar landscape to remove the mineral accumulated in the gaps in the limestone of the “Karst.” In the stunning waterfalls we can observe travertine formations and magnificent forests of galleries.

The Sierra Norte is also rich in archaeological sites and there were found burials in dolmens, and many settlements and necropolis of the Roman era. There are also caves with remains of prehistoric civilizations as the Cuevas de Santiago, in Sierra Cazalla, forming a complex with different entrances and where inhabit several species of bats, or the Cueva de los Covachos in Almadén de la Plata. In the latter, there are rooms where appear carbonate formations of great beauty.

The abundant big game (deers and wild boars) and lower (especially rabbit and partridge) influence the cuisine of the area where you can taste dishes such as beans with partridge in San Nicolás del Puerto, the “salmonejo” of birds and rabbit Constantina, the rabbit “cencerrilla” of El Pedroso, crumbs of El Real de la Jara, … hams, sausages and Iberian pork. In La Puebla de los Infantes are made oil cakes, fritters and cakes with traditional recipes.

The Park has two visitor centres. In Constantina there is the Centro de Visitantes El Robledo, where the public can learn more about how they are, how they work and what are the main uses of the ecosystems that make up the park. In its facilities also included an interesting botanical garden which represents the most characteristic vegetation communities of Sierra Morena.

In Almadén de la Plata, located on public mount “Grupo Ordenado de Montes Las Navas y otros”, we can find the Centro de Visitantes ”Cortijo El Berrocal” that has a recreational area with three paths that run through different scenarios of high scenic and educational interest.

Sierra Norte of Sevilla Natural Park / How to get there

By car

From Sevilla:

Through the A-431 by Alcalá del Río, Villaverde, Cantillana, Lora del Río and Peñaflor.

From Cantillana the A-432 to El Pedroso, Cazalla de la Sierra, Alanís and Guadalcanal.

From Lora del Río, the A-455 to Constantina.

From Peñaflor the SE-140 to La Puebla de los Infantes.

By the N-630 Sevilla-Mérida, take the A-465 to El Real de la Jara and Almadén de la Plata.

From Córdoba:Sierra Norte of Sevilla Natural Park

By the A-431 through Almodóvar del Río, Posadas, Peñaflor, Lora del Río and Cantillana.

From Lora del Río the SE-140 to La Puebla de los Infantes.

From Lora del Río, the A-455 to Constantina.

From Cantillana the A-432 to El Pedroso, Cazalla de la Sierra, Alanís and Guadalcanal.

To get to Almadén de la Plata and El Real de la Jara follow the A-431 to Villaverde del Río, where you have to go towards Burguillos and Castilblanco de los Arroyos.

From Mérida: The N-630 road towards Sevilla, take the A-463 to El Real de la Jara and Almadén de la Plata.

To enter the Parque Natural Sierra Norte through Guadalcanal, take the road N-630, then the N-432 to Llerena and Guadalcanal.

By train: The train that connects Sevilla with Mérida has stops in Sierra Norte de Sevilla: El Pedroso, the station Cazalla / Constantina and Guadalcanal. It is the Cercanía C-3.

Check the Renfe website, from Sevilla there are several daily services to Cazalla / Constantina, schedules at: Cercanías.

By bus Linesur connects the capital Sevilla – from the bus station Plaza de Armas – with the various towns of the Sierra Norte de Sevilla.

Damas connects Sevilla with Real de la Jara.

From the airport: The Amarillos have service between Sevilla and San Pablo Airport. By plain the travellers can choose Sevilla like their destination and then take the train or bus or rent a car.

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