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Aracena - A travel report by Pedro
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Aracena,  Spain - flag Spain
2237 readers

cortesano's travel reports

Aracena: Gateway to an Andalusian Natural Park

  9 votes
Aracena is a beautiful white-washed town in Western Andalusia and serves as the capital city in the Sierras de Aracena and Picos de Aroche Natural Park area. It serves as the perfect base for exploring the beautiful surroundings.

The general landscape is one of rolling hills dotted with the majestic cork oak tree with the occasional olive grove. The many white-washed villages that dot the area are all charming with their typical orange roof tiles and cobblestoned streets. Zufre is perched on a cliff and stands guard over a sweeping vally, much like the famed city of Ronda does. Almonaster la Real is equally beautiful with its impressive 10th century mosque. There are countless hiking trails in the area for all levels as well as horseback riding trails. If culture is to your liking, you should visit during one of the many festivals in the area including Semana Santa which although smaller in Aracena, outrivals the world famous Seville celebrations. Food lovers should also make a special trek to this area. The culinary star of the area is without a doubt the Cured Iberian Ham which is prized throughout the world and should not be missed here. On a larger scale, the town of Jabugo should not be missed as it is generally considered to produce the best quality ham. This does not mean that one should not visit the smaller villages (such as Corteconcepcion since they too produce equally exceptional jamon. There are many restaurants in the Aracena area and most pay tribute to locally produced products. Some notables are Arrieros in Alajar and Montecruz in Aracena. Unfortunately, until recently quality accommodation has been difficult to come by but there is one wonderful Bed & Breakfast in Aracena called La Casa Noble. it is a grand historic house in Aracena that has recently been restored to its original grandeur with its original wrought iron work, floor tiles, and frescoed walls. The rooms are large and luxurious to say the least. Ask for the Castillo suite which offers beautiful views of the hillside ruins of a 12th century Moorish castle as well as the cathedral. You will no-doubt have the best night's sleep you can imagine.

Favourite spots:
La Casa Noble B&B
Arriero Restaurant
Mueso del Jamon
Almonaster la Real

What's really great:
La Casa Noble. The house is a grand historically protected home which has only recently undergone a massive renovation and restoration. There were frescoes throughout the house and incredible old tile as well but the most impressive thing was the size and quality of the suites. I stayed in Castillo which has a perfect view of the nearby castle and cathedral. I could actually see it perfectly from bed, which by the way, was the most comfortable I have ever slept in (better than Westin Heavenly beds). Truly amazing.

Grutas de la Maravillas
12th Century Moorish Fortress ruins
Museo del Jamon
Hiking trails

La Casa Noble Boutique Bed & Breakfast

Arriero (Alajar)

Published on Tuesday February 5th, 2008

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Wed, Feb 06 2008 - 09:21 AM rating by davidx

Your start seems to indicate 4 or even 5* but you seem to run out of steam.

Tue, Feb 05 2008 - 08:12 PM rating by rangutan

A bit pushy on one particular business but still a good tip!

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