What a Gem! We had no idea this place existed until just last week, when I happened to find its pamphlet in a binder that has useful information for guests at this house.
We decided it would be our last hike in Andalusia.
El Torcal's Geological Aspect
El Torcal consists of 3 different types of limestones: oolitic, breccialike, and clastic. Limestones fracture and erode easily under different climactic conditions, giving El Torcal its unique appearance.
There are 2 tracks to choose from. Both are loops so you never have to walk back the way you came to get to your car, unless you want to of course:
- Green Track - 1.5 km - low difficulty
- Yellow Track - 3 km - medium difficulty
We chose the yellow track and completely ignored the "medium" difficulty. We had gone to hike, not just take a stroll :) We even packed our lunch and had a nice picnic on the rocks.
The hike starts off fairly nice and easy, but there is no "paved" path. You are in nature and you are surrounded by lots and lots of rocks, in the path as well as around the path.
What we really loved was that the scenery and temperature kept changing. We went from chilly and windy weather with amazing rock formation views down to valleys with higher temperatures and whimsical plant life views (really, there were a few section I bet we could have found a few fairies in :)) and then back up again and back down.....
There was also a fun and entertaining aspect to this hike, in that there are about a dozen formations that have been given names to match their appearence. You can see them on the map, and then as you hike on the path you can start looking for them. We were able to find most of them, and had a great time looking around and spotting them. But honestly, even without the guide or official names, by just looking at most of the formations you can pick out a face or an animal or object...it's almost like reading the clouds except in a much more solid form.
We had a great time on the hike, though due to its difficult terrain it took us quite a while to complete the 3 km course. We did stop a lot to look at around and take pictures, of course. The kids hiked the entire time on their own feet, and it was hysterical when at parts they would break out into songs by Queen or the Beatles =P
"We are the champions my friends, and we'll keep on fighting to the end, we are the champions, we are the champions, no time for losers 'cause we are the champions ...OF THE WORLD"
And finally, in the spirit of Halloween, we enjoyed spotting some spooky things while the dark clouds and fog gave the hike an eerie feel at times.
So glad I randomly came across the pamphlet for this place. Look at what we would have missed out on!