Cave House Country - exploring the Altiplano de Granada


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Huéscar - La Sagra

Exploring the Area

Huéscar - La Sagra
A Circular Drive
Granada, Andalucía, Spain


A wonderful scenic drive from Huéscar, around the peak of La Sagra and returning to Huéscar, taking in sights of great natural beauty and of historical interest.
This trip takes around 3 hours, longer if you stop for lunch.

Approach Huéscar from the Cullar/Galera road (see Map). When you arrive at the town, follow the road around it in the direction of Puebla de Don Fadrique. At the "Carpintería Martínez" building on the left, turn into the town. This road is called Cuesta Mena. At the T-junction (narrow roads), turn right (one-way) and continue to the end of the road (Calle Santiago). You are now on the edge of town where you will see a display of millstones and signs to "Las Santas (19)" and "Piedra del Letrero (13)".

Ctra de Las Santas
Piedra del Letrero

Ctra. de Las Santas

Piedra del Letrero

Drive along in the direction of Las Santas (La Carretera de Las Santas). This beautiful long, straight, cypress-lined road (ideal for cyclists) passes though rolling agricultural land between hills. After a while, the road starts to wind into the pine-clad mountains of the Sierra de La Sagra and alongside the Rio Bravatas.

Soon you will arrive at a sign for the
Piedra del Letrero and see a large iron cage surrounding a rocky outcrop. This is a rock shelter (abrigo) containing late Neolithic rock paintings (pinturas rupestres). Unfortunately, damage done by visitors (some allegedly used Coca Cola to make the images more visible!) has meant that access has had to be barred to the public.

Las Tablas
Hermitage Santas Martíires del Monte

Las Tablas

Hermitage at Las Santas

Continue along the road and, at the signs, carry on in the direction of Ermita de Las Santas. A little down the road is the area recreativa of Las Tablas. This is a beautiful wooded (pines, poplars,evergreen oaks) picnic area complete with stone tables and benches and a river meandering through. It is normally deliciously peaceful with only the sounds of the river and birds to be heard. These areas recreativas are normally only used at weekends and fiestas.

Further along the road you will come to where the road turns right to cross a bridge. At this point we recommend a short detour. Instead of crossing the bridge continue on to the a
rea recreativa of Las Santas. From here the spectacular peak of La Sagra (2,381m) can be seen and can be reached from a signed unmetalled road (3 hours) (see La Sagra Summit walk). Here also is to be found the hermitage of Santas Martíres del Monte (Holy Martyrs of the Mountain).

La Sagra approaching los Collados
Los Collados

La Sagra approaching Los Collados

Los Collados complex

Return to the bridge, cross it and continue to wind along for about 5 km. until you reach a T-junction. Turn left in the direction of Collados de La Sagra. You will now be driving around the magnificent mountain with its pine-covered slopes and its often snow-covered peak (winter and spring only).

At Collados de La Sagra there is an attractive hotel, bar and restaurant complex which is set in well-kept gardens and enjoys prime views of the mountain peak. The restaurant enjoys a very good reputation but may be a little expensive for those on a budget.

Almost next door is the entrance to the
Observatorio La Sagra. In 2007 a new asteroid was discovered from this observatory. A little further along is the hamlet of Cortijos Nuevos, seen as a small collection of white buildings. From this whole area there are several starting points for those wishing to climb the mountain.

La Sagra from Los Collados
Sequoias at La Losa

La Sagra from Los Collados

Sequoias at La Losa

Continue along the road and at the junction (4.5 km from the hotel), turn left towards La Losa and Huéscar. 1km down the road is Cortijo de La Losa. This area is famous for its stands of huge sequoia trees, which can be seen on both sides of the road. These giant redwoods, which were originally imported into Europe from America by the Duke of Wellington, are also known as "Mariantonias".

Continue this scenic drive along the lovely quiet road past arable land, almond trees and pine forests. At the sign for
Canal de San Clemente, it is worth making another 15 minute detour.

Puente de Las Animas
San Clemente

Puente de Las Animas

San Clemente

Turn right here and wind down the road to the Puente de Las Ánimas (Bridge of the Souls). This interesting and ancient double bridge over the Rio Raigadas is said to be of Roman origin. It can only be appreciated by walking down the embankment on either side of the road. Turn round here or continue on to the nearby tiny village, where there are a number of cave houses, many of which are being restored. The road peters out at the end of the village. Return to the turn-off.

Rio Guardal Gorge
Atalaya Campo Valentin

Rio Guardal Gorge

Atalaya Campo Valentín

Continue down the road towards Huéscar. Turn right at the Presa San Clemente turn-off. Drive the 7 km to the San Clemente dam, cross it and continue along the road. At the T-junction, turn left for Huéscar (now 15 km away). A little way down the road a spectacular river gorge can be seen to your right. Further along, also on the right and on a hill, can be seen a Moorish watchtower, the Atalaya de Campo Valentín.

Continue along this partially tree-lined road, passing the
Sierra Seca on the left with La Sagra a little beyond, until you once more reach Huéscar.

Please note that, whereas all our recommended drives are normally perfectly safe for standard cars, special care should be taken after a period of bad weather. You are always advised to have plenty of drinking water with you as well as plenty of fuel in your tank. You may well find your mobile (cell) phone is out of network coverage.



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