Sierras de Cazorla, Segura, Cabrilla, Castril, Pozo and other ranges

The largest protected area in Spain, the second largest in Europe, was declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO. Being my favourite place in Andalucia, I consider it to be one of the treasures of Europe. It is a vast area lost in rural Andalucia. We never saw many foreigners there, if any at all, only the Spanish hikers. It’s a place where exactly 20 years ago we saw for the first time both European vultures on our Cazorla, Grazalema, Ebro Estuary (Andalucia) and Camargue (Southern France) journey.

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It was a long-planned trip to return here with digital equipment to spend some time in the tranquillity of pristine Nature with the Golden Oriole spring calls in the mountain canopy above our heads. I am glad we found vultures thriving there and we can still consider them, along with the golden eagles, fairly ordinary sight in the area. This time, we added lammergeyers to them, you don’t get to see these often. But all Nature Park fauna is exceptionally rich, as is the flora. Geology is part of the Prebaetic orogenic system and although the Alpine cycle was a driving force in shaping the area, man can often climb easily along 2000 m high tops without the use of paths. Vegetation reaches high altitudes in contrast with other European ranges. That is in line with the seasonal plant cycles and comparably very mild temperatures throughout the year. The pine forest is the main feature here since the Ice Age, later combined with Mediterranean woodland. In Sierra Cazorla alone, there are nearly 100 Corsican Pines that were estimated to be over 1300 years old. The Flora is diverse and rich, tied to various microclimates and varied environments. Temperatures reach high and summer storms can be very intense. The valleys, gorges, cliffs, hillsides and streams, which are running through them, compose a unique space for a man to stop and open senses. They tend to open slowly, one by one, in a few days. Sets of images were added here and here.

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