Cortegana is located in the heart of the Sierra de Huelva, in the central zone of the Parque Natural Sierra de Aracena y Picos de Aroche (Aracena and Aroche Peaks Natural Park). Because of its privileged situation, Cortegana possesses an extraordinary network of walking and hiking trails, which run among a great variety of lanes surrounded by leafy woods, cut through by many streams and rivers, woods with holm oaks, quejigo oaks, and cork oaks, chestnuts and riverine trees among which poplars and aspens are common, and where nature accompanies us in all her beauty.
These are some of the trails and form the network of trails around Cortegana:
- Ruta Esencia Serrana→ Circular trail. Difficulty: easy. → Distance: short option 3,4 Km. long option 7,4 Km → Cortegana-Los Ojalvos-Los Andrinos-La Matea-Corteganilla-Chanza.
The trail runs through Los Andrinos and the plains of the Chanza, areas which have been used agriculturally at least since Roman times. The rural character remains up to today, proved by the vegetable gardens which are present in the areas closest to Cortegana. Full use is made of the acorns, the cork and the chestnuts produced in these woods. There is no shortage of arable land and the remains of threshing pans show that wheat was grown in the past. Along this trail you can see the remains of an old oil mill, known as the Saddlers’ Mill. Water is abundant in the many springs, such as the Ojalvos spring. Here there are also other elements of water architecture, like the laundry area and drinking trough for animals next to the spring. The trail ends at another spring, the source of the Chanza river, situated at the edge of the town.
- Ruta de La Molienda → Circular trail. Difficulty moderate → Distance 7,5 Km →Cortegana-El Reventón-Los Molinos-La Posada-La Alameda-Cabezo de la Horca- Cortegana.
Flour milling has always been essential in this area, to produce the basis for past society’s food. Cortegana had a dozen flour mills which were distributed along the Molinos (Mill) stream and supplied the local population and also exported to neighbouring villages. The muleteers and their mules transported the surplus throughout the province of Huelva and they stayed in two muleteer inns, one of which has today been converted into a tourist hotel.
Along this trail you will see the remains of seven mills, more or less equidistant from each other and blending perfectly into the leafy countryside. The return trip along the Alameda lane corresponds with the ancient road between Ayamonte and Badjoz.
Ruta de las Aldeas → Circular trail. Difficulty moderate – hard→ Distance: short option 8,2 Km. long option 12,2 Km → Cortegana-Cincho-Acebuches-Arroyo-San Cristóbal-Almonaster-Las Veredas- Cortegana
Between Cortegana and Almonaster la Real the landscape is open and varied, as the population is distributed among small farms and hamlets like El Cincho, Los Acebuches, Las Veredas and El Arroyo, so that this trail used to be the main communication route between the villages and hamlets.. It was also used by the farmers to access their properties.
Along this trail, surrounded by beautiful cork oaks, you will find old cobbled roads, streams and even the level crossing of the Huelva-Zafra railway. Farms and chestnut groves accompany the walker to our neighbouring village of Almonaster la Real, where you must visit its “mezquita” a tiny ancient mosque built in the Middle Ages and one of the oldest in Spain.
Each of these trails and a detailed description is available in our downloadable map of trails and walks in the following link: Tríptico senderos Cortegana