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This artificial waterfall at the entrance to the village is a reminder of the importance of water for this area. J. A.
El Bosque: The village in the Sierra de Grazalema that nature lovers flock to
Discover Andalucía

El Bosque: The village in the Sierra de Grazalema that nature lovers flock to

From this quiet part of the province of Cadiz you can go on thrilling hiking trails, such as climbing to the summit of Albarracín or following the river path along the Majaceite

Javier Almellones

Málaga

Friday, 20 October 2023, 16:39

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Nature lovers are in their element when they escape to El Bosque, one of the white villages of Cadiz province that sprawl across the rugged Sierra de Grazalema mountain range. Located between Benamahoma (Grazalema), Benaocaz and Prado del Rey, this small town can boast of being a symbol of one of the most important natural parks in Andalucía.

Located just over two hours from the city of Malaga, with a final stretch of road dominated by bends, El Bosque is considered one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in the country for those looking for a break in the mountains.

Lovers of hiking and mountaineering often take on the challenge of climbing to the summit of the Albarracín on a circular trail that starts from the village centre itself and passes through beautiful mountain enclaves. It is a trail with important uphill sections and is approximately fourteen kilometres long.

The Majaceite river route offers a thrilling river tour.
The Majaceite river route offers a thrilling river tour. J. A.

The mountains that surround the village centre are undoubtedly a good excuse to go there, but no less so is the Majaceite river, which flows through the village centre. In fact, this river path is what most attracts visitors to El Bosque.

From the village itself you can take a pleasant walk along the river until you reach the aforementioned village of Benamahoma. Just over four kilometres of footpath, where you can see small waterfalls, walk along narrow paths next to the river and cross small bridges. All this makes it a real adventure to be enjoyed practically at any time of the year, as there is usually no shortage of water in the main aquifers of the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park.

The cheese museum and the Molino de Abajo are two interesting visits that revolve around traditional gastronomy

Just next to the Majaceite is another of El Bosque's great natural attractions, El Castillejo botanical garden. Here you can take a tour of the native flora of this part of the province of Cadiz, from the cork oaks and gall oaks of the meadows to the Spanish 'pinsapo' firs of the highest peaks, without forgetting other botanical species of interest that the Sierra de Grazalema natural park can boast, such as the different orchids that can be found in this area.

In addition to what nature has to offer, we must not forget the importance of traditional gastronomy for this village, which has just over two thousand inhabitants. You can buy high-quality artisan cheeses made from two local breeds, the Payoya goat and the Grazalemeña sheep.

In the centre itself is the headquarters of El Bosqueño cheese factory, where, as well as being able to buy some of its many cheeses (some of which have won prizes in various national competitions), you can visit a real museum on the subject.

In addition to this, there is an interesting ethnographic collection that can be visited, with prior reservation, in the Molino de Abajo museum, where you can also have unique experiences such as making bread in a traditional oven.

In El Castillejo garden you can find the native flora of the area.
In El Castillejo garden you can find the native flora of the area. Junta de Andalucía

Nor should you miss a stroll through the streets of the village to enjoy its traditional architecture and some of its most notable historic buildings, such as the church of Nuestra Señora del Rosario, a baroque building with an impressive bell tower.

This is also the opportunity to sample traditional cuisine, which is usually available in its bars and restaurants. Serrano stew, tomato soup, migas (fried breadcrumbs), venison stew and oxtail are some of the most traditional dishes in this village.

Autumn is an ideal time to visit El Bosque. As well as the change of season being noticeable on its hillsides and in some other enclaves where there are deciduous trees, there is another important attraction. This is the historical reenactment of the confrontation that the residents of El Bosque had with the Napoleonic troops in 1811. This episode will be staged between 17 and 19 November in the village centre itself.

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