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Start Touren Zahara de la Sierra to Grazalema
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Zahara de la Sierra to Grazalema

Wanderung · Zahara
Verantwortlich für diesen Inhalt
Macs Adventure Verifizierter Partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Leaving Zahara Behind
    / Leaving Zahara Behind
    Foto: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
  • / View to the Zahara-El Gastor Reservoir
    Foto: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
  • / Climbing Away from the Reservoir
    Foto: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
  • / Descending into the Mountains
    Foto: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
  • / Church of San Juan, Grazalema
    Foto: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
  • / Grazalema
    Foto: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
m 1000 800 600 400 200 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km Zahara-El Gastor Reservoir

The trail between Zahara de la Sierra and Grazalema traverses a stunning section of the national park, meandering beside the shores of the sprawling Zahara-El Gastor Reservoir before climbing into the mountains surrounded by craggy mountain peaks.

18,2 km
5:30 h
692 hm
317 hm

Over the first 10 kilometres of your retreat from Zahara de la Sierra, you seldom escape the watchful gaze of the castle that crowns the nearby rocky outcrop – ‘a Moorish Eagle Nest’ as novelist Richard Ford once described it. From afar it somehow begins to appear ever-more prominent and imposing, so be sure to look behind to enjoy the views!

The first section of the walk meanders along the shores of the Zahara-El Gastor Reservoir, which was constructed in 1992 and sprawls across the valley surrounded by an amphitheatre of mountains. After this gentle warm-up, the path begins to climb for a closer look at the mountains. You’ll pass the occasional isolated farmhouse, invariably accompanied by a cacophony of yapping dogs and jangling goat-bells, but for the most part, you’ll walk through a silent, wild and rugged landscape.

The grey shark fin of Peñon Grande rears up dramatically behind Grazalema, but this is just one of a number of limestone peaks which surround and dwarf the village. The mountain backdrop ensures Grazalema is consistently voted one of Spain’s most beautiful villages, but the mountains also create a microclimate that makes it the wettest village in Spain too! The centre of the action is the Plaza de España, an elegant square sandwiched between the church, the town hall and a host of bars ready to bring you drinks and tapas.


Don’t leave Zahara de la Sierra without climbing to the top of the castle! The views are truly extraordinary, especially at sunrise and sunset.

Profilbild von Macs Adventure
Macs Adventure
Aktualisierung: 05.03.2020

Höchster Punkt
943 m
Tiefster Punkt
352 m


la Maroma


There are some exposed and unfenced edges throughout the walk; be careful and remain on the path.

There are several stretches where you must walk on the road as there is no pavement. Walk on the left side facing the oncoming traffic unless there is a sharp left bend, in which case you should cross to the outside edge to allow drivers the maximum time to see you.

Some of the paths are along rocky steps; be careful as these may be slippery, especially when wet.

You will pass a few farm areas where there may be dogs; they may bark but are often curious rather than aggressive. Larger dogs have generally tied up or behind a fence.

Weitere Infos und Links

Points of Interest

Castle of Zahara de la Sierra

Throughout the 15th century, Zahara de la Sierra was on the northern frontier of the Muslim Kingdom. A network of outposts and fortresses helped defend this border with Zahara occupying a key strategic location. You can climb up to the 14th century Torre del Homenaje to enjoy both the superb and far-reaching views, and also connect with this historical relic. It has been recognised as a ‘Bien de Interés Cultural’ – Spain’s recognition of important cultural assets.


Zahara-El Gastor Reservoir

The villages of Zahara and El Gastor were separated when the valley between them was flooded in 1992. The reservoir that was formed has brought gorgeous panoramic views and water sports opportunities to the area.


La Playita

La Playita is a man-made oasis at the foot of Monte Prieto. This large lagoon is surrounded by shady trees and grassy banks making it perfect for relaxing, picnicking and cooling off with a swim. There may be a bar-restaurant open during peak times. It is open during summer and early autumn, so be sure to check it is open in advance.

More information and prices available here: https://arearecreativaarroyomolinos.blogspot.com/p/precios.html (though the website doesn’t appear to be updated regularly.)


Parroquia de la Encarnación Church, Grazalema

This church was built in 1614 but was partially destroyed during the Independence War from France, and then again in the Civil War. It was originally dedicated to San Atanasio but after a cholera epidemic he was ditched and it was rededicated to the ‘Virgin of the Incarnation’. Until about 30 years ago women and men entered through separate doors; now only the left door is used.


Food and Drink

After leaving Zahara there is nowhere to buy food or drink or to refill water bottles until arriving in Grazalema so be sure to carry sufficient provisions with you.


Outdoor Gym/Play Park, Zahara de la Sierra (452 m)
36.841793, -5.388992
36°50'30.5"N 5°23'20.4"W
30S 286979 4079986


Plaza de España, Grazalema


0.00km – Start at the outdoor gym/play park beside the main road, just below Zahara. Facing the lake, TURN LEFT and walk beside the main road, ignoring all side-roads heading into the village.

0.42km – As the roads bend sharply right beside a rocky outcrop with steps that lead up to a viewpoint, BEAR LEFT to pass the outcrop on your right and continue downhill. BEAR RIGHT as the road forks after 50 metres.

0.76km – CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON to pass the floodlit football pitch on your left. After 70 metres, CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON ignoring the downhill path on your left.

1.00km – BEAR LEFT as you emerge onto the main tarmac road, immediately ignoring the left turn signposted to Prado del Rey. After reaching the ‘Stop’ junction after 40 metres, TURN RIGHT following the sign to Grazalema.

1.20km – Just before reaching a sign saying ‘Área Recreativa Arroyomolinos’, TURN LEFT onto the grassy track that heads downhill towards the reservoir. After 100 meters, TURN RIGHT to walk along the wide gravel footpath with the reservoir on your left.

2.50km – Shortly after crossing a wooden bridge, TURN LEFT to head downhill towards the reservoir. After 100 metres, TURN RIGHT to pass between the boulders and continue along the gravel track.

4.50km – TURN LEFT as the gravel tracks splits to walk towards the reservoir. Remain on this gravel track ignoring all side paths.

6.50km – As you emerge at the crossroads after passing a boulder, TURN RIGHT to walk towards a wooden bridge.

6.70km – After crossing a second wooden bridge, BEAR RIGHT as the road forks. At the main paved road after 20 metres, TURN LEFT. Walk on the left side facing the oncoming traffic. You can cross the main paved road follow the signposts to visit La Playita (see points of interest section).

7.30km – TURN RIGHT onto the uphill road signposted to Las Mezas. Remain on this road for 1.2 kilometres, ignoring all side paths.

8.50km – After passing under overhead lines and just as a paved section of the road begins, there are two left turns several metres apart; TURN LEFT onto the second gravel road, which heads slowly uphill. Remain on this road for 4.4 kilometres.

12.90km – As you reach the junction with a paved road, TURN LEFT to head downhill. After 100 metres, CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON as the road becomes gravel and ignore two sharp left turns.

13.30km – As you reach the switchback bend of a tarmac road, CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON to cross over and find a grassy footpath on the far side. There is a fading green arrow on a rock to guide you. After 100 metres you will pass through a gate and then BEAR RIGHT onto the gravel vehicle tracks. Remain on this track ignoring all side roads.

14.00km – After crossing a stone bridge you will immediately pass through a gate. After the gate ignore the first right turn after 5 metres which immediately leads to a gate. After another 5 metres, TURN RIGHT onto the uphill grassy path. There is a rock with a fading green arrow, another rock with a dot of red paint, and also a small cairn (pile of rocks) to guide you. After 50 metres, BEAR RIGHT to keep heading uphill with the dry-stone wall on your left.

14.40km – CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON along the paved uphill track.

14.70km – After passing several farmhouses, CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON through the gate and then continue heading uphill on the gravel road ignoring all side roads.

15.00km – As you reach a crossroads with a stone bridge on your right, TURN LEFT onto the paved lane heading uphill. This road passes a couple of farm buildings and then becomes a grassy track. There are still occasional dots of red paint to guide you.

15.40km – TURN LEFT as you emerge onto the paved tarmac road. After 30 metres, just after passing the ‘KM 2’ signpost, TURN RIGHT sharply onto the uphill muddy footpath. This path continues uphill, walking roughly parallel to sections of fence and the dry-stone wall on your right, and craggy cliffs on your left. The path occasionally fractures though all paths soon rejoin.

16.70km – At a vague crossroads under the overhead lines and with a dry-stone wall ahead, TURN LEFT onto the footpath that crosses over the culvert and walks underneath the overhead lines.

16.80km – As you emerge onto a gravel road beside the reservoir, BEAR LEFT to walk with the reservoir on your right. As the main road bends right to cross the dam wall after 200 metres, BEAR LEFT to pass the electricity substation and to descend on the metal steps that head below the dam.

17.00km – As the path forks either side of a wire fence you can choose either path as they soon rejoin. The next section has some exposed edges so walk carefully and stick to the path.

17.40km – At a wooden post with fading green and white markings, TURN LEFT sharply to head away from the wire fence and onto the gravel path that winds downhill towards the village. Ignore the grassy path that continues ahead. After 200 metres, CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON to cross the stone bridge and then immediately BEAR RIGHT as the road forks.

17.60km – TURN LEFT at the T-junction, and then continue walking along this road.

17.70km – As you enter a square with car parking, TURN RIGHT onto the second right turn beside house number 24. This cobbled road heads downhill and passes through a school signpost.

17.80km – As the road forks, BEAR RIGHT along the flatter cobbled road. Ignore the downhill left turn which is signposted to car parking.

17.90km – After passing a café on your right, CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON at the crossroads, following the sign to Ayuntamiento and Policia Local. After 20 metres you will see the colourful church tower of San Juan ahead.

18.10km – CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON after passing the colourful church tower to arrive at a second, larger church (Parroquia de la Encarnación). Facing the second church, TURN RIGHT to finish in the Plaza de España.


alle Hinweise zu Schutzgebieten


36.841793, -5.388992
36°50'30.5"N 5°23'20.4"W
30S 286979 4079986
Anreise mit der Bahn, dem Auto, zu Fuß oder mit dem Rad

Buchtipps für die Region

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Sturdy hiking boots and a waterproof/wind-break layer are required. Walking poles will be a big advantage on some of the steep ascents and descents.

The path is overgrown in places today, sometimes with brambles and gorse, so you might prefer to wear trousers rather than shorts.

Ensure your phone is fully charged; if you doubt the battery will last throughout the hike, it might be beneficial to bring a power bank.

Make sure you bring enough water. It is recommended to drink 0.75 litres per 1 hour of hiking in hot weather.

Be sure to bring plenty of sun-cream and a healthy respect for the sun.

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18,2 km
692 hm
317 hm


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