Natural Park of Sierra de Alacena
Located in the west extreme of Sierra Morena and to the North of the province of Huelva, the Sierra de Aracena y Picos de Aroche Natural Park is characterized by a large forest mass, a high rainfall, a mild climate and a natural and cultural heritage which arouses the curiosity and interest of visitors.
The spacious meadows that dominate this mountain environment have favoured the Iberian pig rearing, around which an industry that underpins the economy of towns like Cumbres Mayores and Jabugo ham has been risen. You should not leave the place without trying its delicious sausages and, of course, its denomination of origin Huelva ham. In the Museum of the Aracena ham you can learn more about the tradition cold cuts in the area.
The landscape varies according to altitude and rainfall. The pastureland with holm oaks are replaced by cork forest in some areas, while in the highest areas there are Pyrenean oak woods, as in Solana de los Bonales. Meanwhile, in villages such as Fuenteheridos, Galaroza and Castaño del Robledo, the predominant tree is the chestnut. Along rivers like the Múrtigas there are riverine forests with an abundance of large trees like black poplar, ash, willow and alder, along with brambles and creepers. These riverbank locations are ideal to rest and relax.
This variety of forest environments is home to an interesting array of wildlife. Inside the Park you can see mammals such as the Egyptian mongoose, genet and the evasive otter. There is also a wide variety of bird life: you can see birds including vultures, kites and black storks in flight above the park. A good way to discover all these natural attractions is walking on the signposted trails or going on a peaceful horse riding route.
Not to be missed either are the local villages and their interesting heritage. You can visit the monuments of Almonaster la Real, with its castle, church and mosque, Cortegana Castle, one of the best conserved in the region, and the fortress of Sancho IV in Cumbres Mayores. Another option is to visit Las Maravillas Cave in Aracena or Peña de Arias Montano Peak in Alájar, two highly interesting natural attractions.