Sierra de Cadiz by AJ Paris ajparisphotos

Sierra de Cádiz

Sierra de Cádiz, for those of you who may not be familiar with it, is a region within a region in Spain.

Called comarca, or sub-region, the area is part of Cádiz, one of the country’s provinces.

I love mountains.

Mountains make me feel small and they remind me my place in the world, in the universe.

I also love mountains because of the freedom you feel when at nature. There seems to be a freshness that is so far away from the pollution of the world at large.

So, here are some…

Notes from Sierra de Cádiz

I met a man named Sandro Cádiz on Instagram.

We decided to do a photo shoot, so I went to his home outside of Cádiz.

“Where is your favorite part of your region?” I asked him.

Without hesitation, he said “the Sierra!”

So, off we went to the Sierra de Grazalema.

The Sierra, as the locals call it, a huge natural park in northeastern part of the province, is a wonderful green space that leaves you feeling one with nature.

There are endangered animals in the park, including Egyptian vultures.

Something I enjoyed about the park was running into animals.

For example, I saw Iberian pigs for the first time.

Nearby farmers take their pigs to the park, for feeding and exercise.

“It is a typical scene,” said Sandro to me, as we watched a group of pigs cross the road.

“We don’t have something like that in the States,” I told him.

Sandro smiled.

Scenes like this were more common that I thought.

We have seen sheep, cows, horses –– any kind of domestic animal, basically.

Towns in Sierra de Cádiz

One of my favorite part of the trip was the simplicity of beauty.

There are many pueblos blancos, or white towns, in and around the park.

Sandro and I went back and forth to the park over a period of one week.

We visited towns like Zahara de la Sierra, which is up on a hill and overlooks the Embalse de Zahara el Gastor, a man-made reservoir.

We also visited and had lunch in Vejer de la Frontera, a town voted as the most beautiful in Spain by tourists.

“This is incredible,” I told Sandro.

There really is nothing like eating lunch up in the mountain while overlooking the natural world below.

In one of the evenings, we had our dinner in Arcos de la Frontera, which is another lovely town whose historical importance ranges from Stone Age cave-dwellers to Roman decadence.

It was amazing to watch the sunset over a scene out of postcards.

Although the are nine municipalities of the province of Cádiz in and around the Sierra, the other side of the park is also home to five municipalities of the province of Malaga.

Sierra de Cádiz Arrival

A visit to the Sierra is simply a must if you are in Spain.

It is for sure one of the most beautiful parts of the country, especially that it is part of the sunny coast.

The Costa de la Luz, or the Coast of Light, sees more sun than anywhere else in Western Europe.

To get there, fly into Malaga (AGP) or Juarez (XRY).

There are definitely more flights coming into Malaga. Flights tend to be cheaper to Malaga than Jerez, as well.

If you fly into Malaga, take a 5-hour bus to Cadiz. The buses leave from the airport.

However, if you miss the airport one, then just take a taxi to the main bus station in the city, known in Spanish as Estación de Autobuses de Málaga.

From Jerez, you can take a 30-minute taxi from the airport to Cadiz city center.

From Cadiz, there are daily trips to the Sierra. Your hotel will arrange a trip for you.

You can go in the morning and return in the evening.

It is more than enough to go explore one or two villages.

If you have more time, go back and explore other villages.


Want to Hear from You

Have you been to Cadiz? To the Sierra?

If so, let me know!

AJ Paris is a photographer and travels all over the world. His photo books include Men Around the World, Rio, and Banaras. Shop by visiting ajparisphotos.com/shop

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