The Parque Natural de las Sierras de Cazorla, Segura and Las Villas, which covers some 214,000 hectares and a staggering fifth of the Jaen province in central Andalucia, is actually more difficult to reach than perceived on the map. With the whole of the park being higher than 600 metres you are forced up bumpy, hair-pined roads lined with a monoculture of unremitting olive groves emblematic of this eastern side of Jaen, until you eventually arrive at the town of Quesada.
Sierra de Cazorla
Shortly after Quesada you enter the village of Cazorla the so-called “gateway” to the Natural Park and the terrain becomes significantly more diverse and exciting. The ambiences surrounding the towns within this park are also surprisingly different to the somewhat impoverished and scruffy towns the drive to Cazorla takes you through, which are more typical of rural Andalucia. The town of La Iruela, which despite its precarious position poised on top of a rocky pinnacle, holds an air of prosperity and wealth, which clings to the walls of the many stylish and elegant restaurants and hotels all accompanied by fancy, new sports cars you rarely see hugging the roads of Andalucia.
By discovering a spot of exceptional beauty embraced with unique and unusual wildlife which has remained unbeknown to you for almost five years, makes you realize just how immense, spectacular and extraordinary Spain’s sierras actually are.
Situated where the provinces of Almeria and Granada meet to the east of Andalucia, lies the Sierra de Baza, a truly sublime natural park brimming with the most spectacular of scenery and the most impressive of wildlife. Covering an area of 53,649 hectares, this vast stretch is sparsely populated and sparingly visited, remaining empty and undiscovered making it not only the perfect setting for an autumn’s walk but also the ideal habitat for many different species of fauna and flora.
Set up in 2005 by Darren Cronian, Travel Rants is an enjoyable, light hearted read around Darren’s experiences with the travel industry. If you have a rant that you wish to share then simply email Darren from his site.
OK so I’m cheating by entering this one into the fray and it not being European, but it’s so much fun that I simply couldn’t leave it out! The site is a definitive guide to how to act in certain countries around the world. Did you know for instance that in Japan it’s not the done thing to pass food around, from one chopstick to another (now you do!).
At Vintage Travel, we are in a quandary, balancing client needs with ecological concerns.
Accepting that we cannot avoid transport issues, -being an overseas operator, we have to look to other areas to go green where we can.
Over the past few years, we have been encouraging owners to ‘upgrade’ their properties in line with ever more sophisticated client expectations, -and to install Air Conditioning.
Many of our houses now have this facility, however, we have now taken time out to consider its impact to date, the amount of electricity used, and whether we should continue down this route.
This is the official blog for Vintage Travel, one of the UK's premier villa rental companies offering properties in unspoilt locations across Europe. This blog is here to keep you informed of what's going on around our villa locations. Enjoy!