The mountain villages in the Cortegana area are La Corte and Puerto Lucía. Here hilly oak countryside wraps their streets. Out of the way corners and alleys preserve their picturesque highland essence, where springs, old stone laundries and horse troughs remind us of the importance of the water supply for domestic and agricultural use.
The village of La Corte, situated some 6 km from Cortegana, is possibly its oldest district. Its origin is due to the presence of springs around which rose a settlement used for the rest and watering of animals passing through along las veredas de carne the drovers’ road linking Encinasola, Jabugo and La Nava.
In La Corte, water is a vital element present in three springs: El Puente (The Bridge), Los Cortes ( The Cuttings) and El Corcho (The Cork), which as well as providing drinking troughs for the animals, also flow into tanks to be used for irrigating the vegetable gardens and orchards.
It is a pleasure to walk through the cobbled streets and enjoy the typical elements of a hill village: whitewashed houses, stone walls, vegetable gardens and all surrounded by beautiful dense woods of holm oak, cork, Portuguese oak and chestnut….
At the entrance to La Corte we find a chapel honouring Our Lady of the Rosary, to which there is a pilgrimage in June, when the people of Cortegana celebrate one of their most popular festivals: the Romería de San Antonio.
Very close to La Corte is La Pica, the smallest of Cortegana’s hamlets, which has only 8 inhabitants and whose biggest treasure is a huge cork oak which is included in the Andalusian Government Catalogue of Major Trees in Andalusia. This extraordinary quercussuberhas a perimeter of almost 6 metres at 1.3 metres height, and reaches 10.7 metres at its pedestal. Its height is also exceptional, rising to 21 metres.
The natural environment is fundamental for the expansion of the agricultural activities which form the major part of traditional life in our hill villages. Its sustainability facilitates the raising of Iberian pigs, cork production and a wide range of activities linked to our customs, such as the tradition of pig butchering and the collection of the many varieties of wild mushrooms.