- Region: Andalucia
- Province: Cordoba
- Declared a Natural Park: 1989
- Park surface area: 60,031 hectares
Points of interest
Oak woodland in Hornachuelos offers protection to endangered species such as Black vulture, Lynx, Black stork and Bonelli’s eagle.
This parkland covers the eastern end of the Sierra Morena, close to Cordoba. The western part of this range is divided into a further two parks as it is dissected by provincial borders, thus forming an extended belt of protection. Sierra Norte de Sevilla is within the province of Sevilla. Sierra de Aracena y Picos de Aroche is in Huelva province. There are no high peaks, rather a more gentle outline crossed by many rivers, with several large reservoirs.
The river Bembézar and its reservoir cut through the centre of the park.
The area has also become famous as a starlight destination. The Starlight Foundation is a non-profit organization that was founded in 2009 to promote the protection of the night sky and the development of “astrotourism” and there is an ever growing list of starlight destinations in Spain to visit.
Dominated by oaks with Holm, Gall and Cork oaks and a Mediterranean scrub being a mixture of; Lentisc, Myrtle, Strawberry tree, Kermes oak and Rockroses. There is a gentle transition between mountain coverage and farmland with Dehesas. These are farms which combine open planting of mixed oak trees with pasture land beneath.
The plentiful river valleys are lined with Oleander, Hawthorn, Ash, Willow and Poplars. Dwarf fan palms, wild olive and Carob trees are found in areas with limestone rock formations.
Pond weeds that inhabit the water courses are Potamogeton sp, horned pond weed (Zannichellia) and duck weed (Lemna).
Of special note are Black vultures which have far fewer numbers in Spain than the Griffon vultures. They are of a larger size and nest in trees rather than cliffs. The third vulture in the park is the Egyptian vulture. Eagles recorded here are Golden, Short-toed and Bonelli’s. Other birds of prey include Goshawk, Kestrel and Buzzard.
Vultures feeding in the Hornachuelos natural park
This video has excellent footage of griffon vultures feeding on a deer stag. A black vulture also makes an appearance.
Scrub covered slopes are home to Red deer, Wild boar and Mongoose. More secretive fauna of the park includes Wolf (now thought to be not present 28/07/23), Iberian Lynx, Otter and Black stork.
Also in the area
- Farming cattle and Iberian pigs, hunting and cork collection are the area’s main natural resources.
- There is an abandoned monastery set on a hillside above the Bembézar river, Monasterio de Santa María de los Ángeles, built in 1489 by Fray Juan de la Puebla, 10km northeast of Hornachuelos.
Cycling tours in Cordoba city
Get to know Córdoba in 2 hours with this highlights bike tour. You will visit all the city’s important sites and get a good sense of Córdoba, visiting some of the best-kept secrets that don’t appear in guide books.
La Huerta del Rey (1km out of Hornachuelos on the road north to San Calixto)
In the visitor centre there is a good exhibition detailing the wild life of the area concentrating especially mammals and large birds of prey. There is a recreation of a walk through the woods at night and the exhibition also illustrates traditional customs and activities in the Sierra de Hornachuelos such as hunting, beekeeping and cork production.
Towns in the area
Almodovar del Rio, Córdoba, Hornachuelos, Posadas, Villaviciosa de Córdoba
Everything you need to know before you visit Ronda “The city of dreams” in Andalucia. https://www.rondatoday.com/
Planning on visiting Cádiz? Tourist information. Monuments. Hotels. Activities. City guides: https://visitingcadiz.com/
The Caminito del Rey
Find tickets for the Caminito del Rey: https://www.caminodelrey.es/
Wildside Holidays – Spain
Take a trip on the Wildside! Discover the wildlife and nature of Spain, its Natural and National Parks and find the top wildlife, activity and walking holiday companies.
Iberia Nature Forum
Struggling with identifying those bugs and beasties? Why not check out the Iberia nature Forum! https://iberianatureforum.com/