Cave House Country - exploring the Altiplano de Granada

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Jabalcón - Summit and Circuit

Exploring the Area

Summit and Circuit
Granada, Andalucía, Spain

This is a 30 km drive up to the summit of Cerro de Jabalcón (1492m) and right round its flanks, offering wonderful views at every turn. Although suitable for ordinary vehicles and also mountain bikes, parts of the drive may not appeal to the faint-hearted!

From the A92 motorway, approach Zújar (see Map) and go straight ahead at the traffic island at Bar Cruz. About ½km along this road look for the "Jabalcón" turnoff on the right, opposite Bar Torres. Follow this tarmac road, winding up in the direction of the mountain and enjoy looking down over almond trees and olive groves.

Pass the signpost pointing to "Jabalcón Vuelto de Cerro 360°" and continue along the fairly narrow track with a steep drop to one side. You will reach another signpost with "Vuelto de Cerro 360°" to the right and "Jabalcón Ermita de la Virgen de la Cabeza" to the left. To begin the ascent of the mountain, turn to the left. (If you don't wish to go to the summit, continue along the circular route - see rejoining point later).

On the Ascent
Transition Masts and Sierra Nevada

On the Ascent of Jabalcón

Transmission Masts and Sierra Nevada

After climbing steeply and at about 8km from Zújar, you will reach an information board for paragliding enthusiasts. Continue on up to the transmission masts where there is another info board. Go up to the left to the Despegue de Poniente Alto, one of the take-off points for paragliders. The views in all directions, particularly of the Sierra Nevada and Lake Negratín, are truly breathtaking.

Negratín from Despegue de Poniente Alto
Sierra Nevada from Poniente Alto

Lake Negratín from Poniente Alto

Sierra Nevada from Poniente Alto

Return to the road and continue on along the steep and narrow track to reach the Hermitage, the Ermita de la Virgen de la Cabeza. It is this route that the people of Zujar take, carrying with them the statue of the "Virgen de la Cabeza", during their fiestas on the last Sunday of April. You are now about 10km from the village of Zújar, which can be seen far below. (When we made the trip in May the weather was perfect, there were clumps of mountain flowers in abundance and a variety of large birds of prey were soaring above us.)

Ermita de la Virgen de la Cabeza
View to Zújar from the Hermitage

Ermita de la Virgen de la Cabeza

View to Zújar from the Hermitage

Head back down to the info board with the sign next to it for Despegue de Sur. There are four take-off points for paragliding, hang-gliding and paramotors on Jabalcón and this is another of them. At this point there is a barbecue area set amongst the many thyme and other mountain plants. Looking up, the Ermita can clearly be seen.

BBQ area at Despegue de Sur


BBQ area at Despegue de Sur

Continue on down the track to reach once more the sign for "Vuelto de Cerro 360°". From here continue along the circular route, passing by almond fields and through beautiful pine woods until once more views of the lake appear.

[You will see a sign for
"Baños de Zújar" to the right. The track down to the thermal baths and restaurant is long, steep, narrow and so heavily gritted (new) that passing another vehicle would be difficult and ordinary vehicles could very easily lose traction on the journey back up, so not recommended, sadly.]

Ojo de la Heredad
Negratín frm Mirador

Ojo de la Heredad

Lake Negratín from Mirador

Carry on along the circular route and you will come to a spectacular, large, natural "eye" in the rock, known as "El Ojo de la Heredad". Shortly after, you will reach a Mirador or viewpoint over Negratín and a public picnic spot with wooden tables and benches.

Continue along the cypress-lined road, ignoring tracks to the left and right until you once again join the road you started along. Turn sharp right onto this tarmac road and back down to

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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