Section 25 - Andalusia

El Real de la Jara - Puerto Moral - 44Km

The route enters Andalusia by crossing the border with Extremadura through the province of Badajoz, between Mediterranean pastures, facing the nearby town of El Real de la Jara, already in the province of Seville. Here, the route enters the confines of the old “Banda Gallega” (Galician Front), a defensive line that the Kingdom of Castile raised on the border with Portugal and that resulting in the construction of castles and fortifications, such as the one that stands over this small mountain town which is famous for its game meats, cheeses and for being a crossing point of the Vía de la Plata (Silver Route).

We leave the town via the SE–177. This road has little traffic, and goes down to the Rivera del Cala river, marking the division between the provinces of Seville and Huelva. It also marks the divide between the Sierra Norte of Seville Natural Park, from which the route comes, and the Sierra de Aracena and Picos de Aroche Natural Park, through which it passes for many kilometres. These two Natural Protected Spaces, together with the Sierra de Hornachuelos Natural Park (Córdoba), make up the so-called Dehesas de Sierra Morena Biosphere Reserve, which has the GR–48 long-distance footpath as its backbone.

After a few kilometres, we enter Santa Olalla del Cala, presided over by another of the castles in the area and surrounded by extensive grasslands where the famous Iberian ham P.D.O. Jamón de Jabugo is produced. Not far from this town, on the N-630, towards El Ronquillo, we find the Natural Monument Encina de San Francisco, in the grasslands of the same name.

From Santa Olalla we enter into mining territory and we do so using, precisely, part of the old railroad line that connected the Mines of Teuler and Cala with the port of Seville. The slagheap of the Teuler Mine is one of the landmarks to contemplate on the way to the town of Cala, from where we continue along the old HV–126 to Minas de Cala and Puerto Moral after leaving behind the Aracena Reservoir.

Points of Interest

Heritage: 7
  • Located in a strategic point in the confluence of the current provinces of Badajoz, Huelva and Seville, a few meters from the Vía de la Plata (Silver Route), this castle stands at the highest part of the town, surrounded by green Mediterranean grasslands.
    Of Christian origin (14c), many canvases of the walls are conserved  as well as several towers.

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  • The King Sancho IV el Bravo ordered the construction of  the Castle of Santa Olalla del Cala in 1293. This work carried out at the same time as the castle of Cumbres Mayores, meant the consolidation of a defensive border in the western foothills of Sierra Morena, known as the Banda Gallega (Galician front).
    On the Vía de la Plata (Silver Route) – a historical route of north-south communication and of transfer of minerals, merchandise and livestock – the site of Santa Olalla del Cala has represented a millennial landmark of settlement, of dominion and defence of the territory.

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  • After a slight climb from Santa Olalla, EuroVelo 1 takes us to what was the old slag heap of the Minas del Teuler, a living testimony of the mining past of these lands. Close to it, we can see the ruins of an old English colonial style mansion built in its time by the Germans, the Casa del Teuler, destined to lodge the engineers who worked in that mine.

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  • At the entrance of Cala, EuroVelo 1 passes through the door of this small chapel, built on the remains of a Roman site. An inscription on a tombstone found in this chapel bears the name "Seguída Restituta Iulia", which indicates the existence of a Roman settlement. It contains the image of the Virgin of Cala and the Patron Saint of the village, San Roque.

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  • In the high part of the village of Cala, we find this fortress of Gothic–Mudejar style and military construction of the 12th, 13th and 14th centuries. The Castle of Cala was the third line of defence of the Banda Gallega (Galician front), established against the Portuguese expansionist interests.

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  • With a small detour, on the A–434 road, towards Santa Olalla del Cala, we find the Recreational Area of the Tres Encinas, where the old mines of La Sultana and the chapel of San Roque are located. This place is catalogued as Starlight Reserve, an exceptional astronomical observatory in the middle of nature.
    Come to this point and marvel at the majesty of its purity and darkness.

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  • At the end of the stage we arrive at Puerto Moral, a small town founded at the time of the repopulation of these lands with people from the Kingdom of León, around the 13th century, when this small church was built. It has been declared a Cultural Interest Property (BIC) and deserving of a stop on the way.

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Nature: 7
  • The Sierra Norte of Seville, a range elevated above the Guadalquivir, flows a succession of soft slate hills, broken by the presence of other rocks that make these mountains one of the most diverse landscapes in Andalusia, which is the reason for their inclusion in the European Geoparks Network.
    On our way, we will find the Rivera del Cala path, which leads us by one of its rivers alongside a landscape of green Mediterranean pastures.

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  • With a detour of about fifteen kilometres, through the beautiful A–5301, we arrived at the town of Almadén de la Plata and later, by a track of another five kilometres to the Cortijo del Berrocal, within the  Sierra Norte Natural Park. Here a colony of red deer lives and we will be able to see or hear them during the season of the bawling, between September and October.
    There, also resides the Singular Cork Oak Tree of El Berrocal, which is 500 years old.

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  • A little more than four kilometres from our route, we find the Natural Monument Encina de la Dehesa de San Francisco, located in the southeastern area of the Sierra de Aracena y Picos de Aroche Natural Park, at the entrance of the Dehesa of the same name (property of the Monte Mediterráneo Foundation), which includes about 700 hectares of oaks, cork oaks and gall oaks. It is also home to native flora and fauna, small biotopes (streams) and traditional livestock, agriculture and forestry.

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  • On our way and near the Teuler Mine, we find this magnificent tree, catalogued as the Singular Tree of Andalusia, with a trunk perimeter of 4.40 meters, a shade area of about 225 m² and being easily identifiable by its numerous irregularities and warts.

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  • During the first two stages, the route passes through the Dehesas de Sierra Morena Biosphere Reserve, which is formed by the Natural Parks of Hornachuelos (Córdoba), Sierra Norte de Sevilla and Sierra de Aracena y Picos de Aroche (Huelva).
    This Reserve incorporates into the World Network the specific agrosilvopastoral system of the Iberian Peninsula, such as its pastureland.

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  • The viewing point of the Aracena Reservoir, allows us to contemplate the eastern sector of the Sierra de Aracena y Picos de Aroche Natural Park, with great panoramic views of our passage through Sierra Morena.
    During the first two stages, EuroVelo 1 will take us to pedal through the interior of the second largest Protected Natural Area in Andalusia as well as one of the most forested areas in the whole of the Peninsula.

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  • Our route overlaps in this first phase and for some moments, with the route of the Sendero de Sierra Morena – GR 48, which begins in the municipality of Barrancos in Portugal and runs along public roads in the provinces of Huelva, Seville, Cordoba and Jaen, with 571 km in 28 stages and a variant.
    A territory where species as scarce as the Iberian lynx, the wolf, the black vulture and the imperial eagle still live together. Towns with history where people have known how to integrate natural values in our own way of life.

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Gastronomy and wine: 1
  • Jabugo is the name registered by the European Union that designates, protects and certifies the quality and origin of hams and shoulders, produced in natural cellars in the villages surrounding the Sierra de Aracena and Picos de Aroche Natural Park, from 100% Iberian pigs reared and fattened in the open range.

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Comments: Section 25

Section 25

El Real de la Jara - Puerto Moral - 44Km: 48

  • Elevation
  • Heritage
  • Nature
  • Gastronomy and wine