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The Area | Food | Activities

 

The Area

Cortelazor crest The village of Cortelazor has a population of a little over 300 and its entry in the Rough Guide to Andalucia is terse, stating only that the village is famous for its honey.



 


 

The area is largely un-explored by visitors either from abroad or other areas of Spain, something which we, obviously, hope is about to change. As mentioned it is in a National Park which is famous for its tiny populations of Iberian Lynx, Iberian Ibex and Spanish Imperial Eagles, which inhabit the many local cork oak and chestnut forests. It is also the epicentre of the Spanish cured ham industry, which is based around the nearby town of Jabugo. The pigs themselves are very personable chaps generally being quite small and varying in colour from aubergine through to sandy blond and are totally free-range spending the year gorging themselves on the acorns and chestnuts and sun-bathing.
   
 

For history lovers the area has a rich heritage as in the 11/12 and 13th centuries it formed the border territory between the Christian kingdoms of Leon/Castile and the territories of the Moorish Taifa/Almoravid/Almohad kingdoms, and as such is peppered with impressive castles. Just to the south are the mines of the Rio Tinto which have been worked consistently since the Carthaginians started about 1000 BC.

The National Park is criss-crossed by numerous walking/mountain-biking paths which are maintained and sign-posted by the local authorities to a very high standard and suit every level of ability.

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Food

For the peckish amongst you we can safely state that the local gastronomy is very rich and varied. There is ample local game, which the locals are enthusiastic about using and we are close enough to the coast at Huelva for there to be plenty of fresh seafood. However, the great local food passion is definitely wild mushrooms, which abound in the hills around the villages of the Sierra. They are harvested secretly by an army of knowledgeable local men and women, who bring their treasure to the local bars, where they are sold either to be taken home with you or to be prepared by the chef in the manner you require.

The Bars and Restaurants of the Sierra de Aracena are justly renowned, throughout Spain, for the high quality of food which they consistently provide. The area, in and around Aracena itself, is very well served in this regard. However, we are very aware that our guests may not wish to go out every night and might relish the opportunity to dine in Cortelazor and spend a relaxing evening within the town itself.

There are 3 bars in the village, Bar Plaza, Bar Boomerang and Bar Bambiche ( next to the village swimmingpool) all of which provide good local food additionally we have the newly opened Meson Los Madronos , which has great food and fabulous views.
 
 

Activities

The area around our village offers you wonderful opportunities for indulging any passions which you may have for walking, mountain-biking, birdwatching and horse riding. Additionally, as you will be based in the heart of a small village community, you will have the chance to immerse yourself, as far as you may want to, in the annual cycle of the community's life. The people of the Sierra de Aracena work long and hard all day, every day, to earn their living from what is a very demanding agricultural environment. This means that they are determined to extract every last drop of fun and entertainment from the restricted leisure hours which remain available to them. As a result their fiestas, ferias and romerias are all gatherings of great joy and communal celebration, where the innate Andalucian urge to sing and dance is given full unbounded rein.

There is also a brand new 25metre swimmingpool which is open to the public in the months of July and August.

Here, initially, is a short outline of how a year passes in the Sierra, and, particularly, in Cortelazor. You can click on the months for a fuller description of the months' events should anything in particular tickle your fancy. This is a quick summary of a year in Cortelazor and its environs and as you might reasonably imagine is a rather biased view. For a more detailed overview we would recommend that you check out the monthly bi-lingual (English and Spanish) magazine published in Aracena for the Sierra. It is called Entorno Natural and we have an entry for it in our Links section.

January – Los Reyes Magos and Matanzas

February – Carnaval and Andalucia Day

March - Semana Santa

April - Semana Santa Chica and Festival of Flowers

May - Cruces and Romeria

June - St John's Eve

July - Cultural Week and Santa Lucia Feria

August -Open-air painting competition and Feria

September – Cortegana Horse Fair and Alajar Romeria

October – Almonaster Islamic Days, Aracena Jamon Feria and Chestnuts

November – Setas (mushrooms)

December – Mosto Festival and Christmas.


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