Exploring the Sierra Cabrera: Cerro de los Lugares, Spain

A paradise for an adventurer

A paradise for an adventurer

The rambla, or ravine, is nestled between Cerro de los Lugares and Cerro de las Minas, and it’s this ravine and Cerro de los Lugares that hide many interesting secrets from the past. This area is also known by the name of Teresa, one of the oldest settlements of Almería.

Exploring this area reveals ceramic fragments and artifacts from around 1500 B.C., as well as evidence of Neolithic dwellings that date to approximately 2500 B.C. The Moors, who arrived in the early 700s, also left a footprint from the centuries they resided in this southeast region of Spain.

The old church

The hike through the ravine leads to the Iglesia de Teresa. Construction began in 1505, thanks to the funding by Isabel la Católica, and the stone foundation stands upon the site of a former mosque built by the Moors.

Iglesia Teresa

Iglesia Teresa (source: qhm)

Old wells

There are four wells along the ravine, and they’re well worth investigation, as they always have water, even during the hottest, driest summers. When it rains, this ravine, along with many others, can be seen in full flood, often more than 2 meters deep and dangerously fast. During the dry months, the water goes underground, and the Moors knew this as well.

Subterranean passages

Further down the ravine, it’s easy to see where the water has carved its way through the rock, leaving smooth shapes and bright colors. The first large waterfall will almost certainly be dry, but there’s a subterranean passage that ends underneath it. It’s possible to hear the waterfall cascading through an underground chamber at the end of the passage. To venture into this passage isn’t for the faint of heart. On my first exploration, I encountered tens of thousands of spiders, mostly in large nests, numerous bats, a few geckos, a lizard, and a snake, all in a narrow tunnel where you can’t stand straight with a head-torch. Oh yes, it’s full of ice and cold water as well. Nevertheless, it’s well worth the effort. If you decided to back out, what would Indiana Jones think? I say that because quite a few scenes from the film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade were filmed in this area.

Pomegranate trees

The water returns to the surface at the bottom the ravine, where the bamboo is thick. It’s also necessary to be careful here, as wild boar sometimes take advantage of the cool, muddy area. This area is nearly vertical on three sides, so if you inadvertently frighten one the only way out is through you! There are some pomegranate trees further along, offering a very juicy snack when in fruit. This is also the spot of the ruins of Cortijo Teresa, and you’ll come across a number of ruins while continuing through the valley on the way to the top of Cerro de los Lugares. There are a number of interesting caves in this area that are also worthy of some attention.

Human remains near the ruins of Cortijo Bajo de los Abades

The descent

When you’ve finished exploring the features of Cerro de los Lugares, make your descent towards the old church. The pottery shards scattered along the way are abundant in this area. Be careful on the way down too. Unless you’re agile and confident, the path can be a little fraught .

This area is designated as an important archaeological site and removing items is not permitted. There are no physical restrictions anywhere in the Sierra Cabrera, which allows everyone to enjoy the incredible archaeology without restriction. Please respect this privilege so that it may continue for everyone’s enjoyment in the future.

You can be sure of a warm welcome in the nearby village of Cortijo Cabrera. You may decide on a leisurely lunch, or indeed you may wish to spend an evening there while enjoying an incredible sunsets. Whichever you choose, there’s no better setting to plan your next mini-adventure.

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1 CommentLeave a comment

  • I love the parts of Spain which are like this – no crowds or high rise hotels! Just beautiful rugged scenery 🙂

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