Experience Cádiz’s natural beauty on this private hiking day trip to La Garganta Verde and Zahara de la Sierra, from Jerez. Go on a 2-hour adventure hike through La Garganta Verde, a stunning gorge inside Grazalema Natural Park. The trail crosses a deep river, so swimming know-how, waterproof shoes, and swimsuits are recommended. Then visit the picturesque white village of Zahara de la Sierra, and admire panoramic views from its hilltop castle, overlooking Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park.
See the Garganta Verde, a spectacular canyon carved by the Arroyo del Pinar River, located about 3 miles (5 km) from Zahara de la Sierra village, in Sierra de Grazalema park. It gets its name from the dense vegetation covering vertical walls that reach up to 1,300 feet (400 meters). Do a 2-hour hike on the 1.5-mile (2.5 km) trail running alongside the canyon. Keep an eye out for scrub of broom, wild olive trees, fan palms, mastic trees, goldfinches, stonechats, and warblers, and glimpse the rock faces of La Garganta.
Stop at the El Arroyo de Bocaleones observation balcony to appreciate the gorge’s full size. Here you can see one of Europe’s largest breeding colonies of griffon vultures. Continue to Zahara de la Sierra, a popular white village in Cádiz province. See its castle, built on a rocky peak high above the lake’s turquoise waters, and see the whitewashed houses of this “white village” below. Visit during Andalusia’s hot summers, and you will soon discover the reason for the houses’ light color.
With land covering more than 43 square miles (70 square km), the town is surrounded on all sides by hills ranging between 1,000 to 3,280 feet (310 to 1,000 meters). With about 1,600 inhabitants, it is known as Zahareños, likely coming from the Arab word “sahra,” meaning desert.