- Region: Andalucia
- Province: Jaén
- Declared a Natural Park: 1989
- Park surface area: 73.976 hectares
Points of interest
The Sierra de Andujar natural park is located in the central part of the Sierra Morena and is a semi-mountainous area with peaks ranging between 500 to 1290m, the highest peak being Burcio del Pino.
The densely wooded areas maintain their natural Mediterranean vegetation. The northern edge borders with Ciudad Real, a province of Castilla la Mancha. To the west is the Cardeña y Montoro natural park, the two parks only being separated by the river Yeguas. There are two reservoirs in the eastern side of the park, Embalse del Jándula and Embalse El Encinarejo.
There are also two game hunting reserves that connect with the parks borders.
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.
Holm (Quercus ilex) Gall (Q. faginea) and Cork oaks (Q. suber) with a natural thicket of Strawberry trees (Arbutus unedo), Lentisc (Pistacia lentiscus), Myrtle (Myrtus communis), Wild olives (Olea europaea subsp. oleaster), Kermes oak (Quercus coccifera), Thyme, Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) and Calamint (Calamintha nepeta) form the native undisturbed Mediterranean tapestry. The Sierra Quintana has an excellent area of Atlantic oak woodland (Quercus atlantica).
Willows, Poplars, Oleanders and Alder trees are part of the selection seen on the rivers banks. Stone pines (Pinus pinea) also form important woodlands here and edible pine kernels are still harvested in this area.
There are several unusual plants in the park to note, such as Frangula alnus subsp. baetica, Digitalis purpurea subsp. heywoodii, Coincya longirostra and Jasione crispa subsp. Mariana.
Finda a place to stay in the Sierra de AndujarBooking.com
If you are really interested in seeing Iberian lynx then get in touch with Mick Richardson from Granada Wildlife.
Important species for game hunting in the area are the Wild boar, Mouflon, Red, Fallow and Roe deer. Mongoose, Remember that hunting is strictly controlled in this area and is a part of the conservation strategy for the natural park
Wild cat and Fox are amongst the nocturnal mammals with elusive Otters on the river banks.
At the high rocky crags to the north of the park are Griffon and Egyptian vultures, Golden and Imperial eagle plus Red-billed chough. There are Azure-winged magpies and near to the water are Golden orioles, Nightingale, Purple and Grey herons.
Also in the area
- The town of Andújar, south of the park, has a Roman bridge of 15 arches spanning the Guadalquivir river.
- There are wonderful views from the 13thC sanctuary built on a towering crag, La Virgen de la Cabeza. There is a pilgrimage which makes its way to the sanctuary from Andújar on the last Sunday of April each year. “La Romería de la Virgen de la Cabeza” is the largest festival of Andújar with around half a million participants.
The land of olives
Jaen is, of course, the land of olives so a trip to an olive oil farm for a tasting session is highly recommended
Discover the benefits of olive oil for the body and mind on this walking tour of the Aires de Jaén olive grove in Jabalquinto, followed by a visit to the thermal spa at the Hotel Palacio de Mengíbar.
The Viñas de Peñallana visitor centre is at the entrance to the Nature Park is on the J5010 Andújar-Santuario Virgen de la Cabeza road.
- It offers visitors an introduction to the different types of landscape to be found in the area and to the numerous animal species they support.
- The Iberian lynx is perhaps the Park’s most emblematic species. Visitors can follow its tracks to discover its habitat and learn about its behaviour and about the problems which have made it the most threatened species of feline on Earth.
- The centre also provides information about the lifestyles and history of the Park’s human inhabitants, explaining how their respectful exploitation of the area’s natural resources has contributed towards the conservation of important environments in places like the Sierras de Andújar.
Everything you need to know before you visit Ronda “The city of dreams” in Andalucia. https://www.rondatoday.com/
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Iberia Nature Forum
Struggling with identifying those bugs and beasties? Why not check out the Iberia nature Forum! https://iberianatureforum.com/