A superb road cycling route skirting the edge of the Sierra de Cazorla. This route can be started in a number of places, as the full distance from Cortijo Sierra castril is only really for those that like long hilly days in the saddle. Even starting at Pozo Alcon it is hilly and strenuous
From Cortijo Sierra Castril gain the main road and head down the winding descent past castril (watch out for the sleeping Police men. Bandas sonaras) Great views towards the sierra Nevada in the distance. Pass over the Dam at the head of Embalse Portilla and take the first road to the right. Enjoy the cycle friendly gradient as the road gains height and offers great views of the Natural Park Sierra de Castril. Watch out for the birds of prey which are usually abundant overhead.
As the road flattens out it is possible to see the only industry of the area, the large marble quarries of Campo Cebus. The marble from here is highly prized and exported all over the world. A right at the next junction takes the route along an undulating section of tarmac into the province of Jaen and the lovely cool pine trees common to the Cazorla. swooping down past Embalse Bolera (a great place to stop off for a swim) the route passes over the impressive gorge below and on towards Pozo Alcon, the main market town for this area. Leaving town heading west the road is fast and well surfaced. A few kilometres out of town a sign for Quesada points the way on. Here the road climbs through numerous swithbacks in impressive red canyon scenery towards the superbly situated village of Tiscar. Nestled at the head of the valley, this village has an important hermitage where thousands of people make a yearly pilgrimmage by foot from all over Spain. Leaving Tiscar steady climbing on great roads lead up to the Puerta de Tiscar with the remnants of a moorish watch tower guarding it. A long fast descent wings down through the silver green olive groves to Quesada. From here undulating cycling skirts the edge of the high mountains past the impressive vulture colonised pinnacles above Huesa. The road now cuts back left for some exquisite riding, with a few steep sections before dropping down to the small village of Belerda, impressively set below a huge cliff face. After the distance and climbing covered so far, the hill out of Belerda back up to the Tiscar road can be a little daunting, though the gradient eases after the first bend. Once back on the Tiscar road the route reverses the first section, which gives superb views into the Sierra de Pozo and the very white Sierra de Cabria. On the way back it will be tempting to stop off a one of the lakes for a cooling swim.
Profile of Route