Walks in North East Granada
North of the Sierra Nevada is the high plain of the Marquesado and then the Altiplano, olive country running into Jaen, nestling between the Natural Parks of Sierra de Baza [530km²] and Sierra Huétor [120km²]. The few tourists are Spaniards.
There is a wealth of paths and unmetalled roads in these parks and the foothills of the Sierra Nevada offering excellent walking between 1000 and 2000m. There are many interesting castles, spas, villages and towns including the cathedral city of Guadix with its Moorish Alcazaba and the biggest troglodyte population in Europe.
The stunning fortress/palace of La Calahorra was built in 1509 by the tempestuous Rodrigo de Mendoza. The Italian Renaissance courtyard and Carrara marble staircase are reminders of his spell in Italy and unsuccessful wooing of Lucrezia Borgia.
South from here is the mountain pass of La Ragua which, at 2000m, is the only road over the Sierra Nevada to Las Alpujarras, with a popular trekking and cross country ski centre. The Lady of Baza is a 2500 year old sculpture found near the town of that name. Towards Almería there are the remarkable ‘badlands’, a geology that encouraged the filming of many westerns in the sixties.