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Valdeinfierno, Los Barrios: An Umissable Hike in Los Alcornocales Park

Rosario Pérez | Photos: Fran Montes

The Ruta de Valdeinfierno in Los Barrios, a picturesque pathway that winds through one of the most famous “canutos” (hiking trails) in Los Alcornocales Natural Park.

The Campo de Gibraltar is a land of many contrasts; within it lies a place of great natural beauty, virtually unknown to the masses which, in recent years, has practically become a place of pilgrimage for hikers and outdoor adventurers.

The Ruta de Valdeinfierno (Valdeinfierno trail), located within the Los Alcornocales Natural Park, is surrounded by breath taking landscapes. Beside the trail lies a mountain that carries the same name in Los Barrios, where a beautiful path winds through one of the most famous “canutos” (hiking trail) in southern Andalusia. The area is blanketed by the sound of trickling water and surrounded by the ‘laurisilva’ forest – reminiscent of the ‘Tertiary Era’.

Valdeinfierno Hiking Trail Spain

As stated in the guidebook, edited by the Junta de Andalucía and the Diputación de Cádiz, among others, during your tour of the Ruta de Valdeinfierno, you will discover that a valley which boasts its own microclimate that “provides the ideal conditions for the formation of this place, composed mainly of alders, quejigos, willows, ash trees and ferns ”.

This circular route, which is approximately 6 kilometres, begins in a large sandy track, within the same parking lot where the path begins, next to the service road of the Jerez-Los Barrios highway, at the top of exit 73 of the A-381.

The first few meters of the Valdeinfierno trail are easy to travel, surrounded by quejigos and cork oaks, not far from the so-called Montera del Torero, which are part of a section of the ‘Corredor Verde Dos Bahías’, which runs through the old Cañada Real shanty town which connects San Roque and Medina Sidonia.

Once past the old Casa del Guarda (Old Guard House), a path of about 600 meters will open up, which has been modified for disabled access and runs parallel to the Valdeinfierno stream and which, during the rainy winters, allows hikers to enjoy an unusual spectacle in the area: watching the water run through forcefully, surrounded by shady areas and abundant riverbank vegetation.

Valdeinfierno

After the adapted path, and always keeping to the right side of the gorge, the road becomes somewhat narrower and broken, although it is precisely this section, the most difficult part of the trail, that leads you to the most beautiful part of the route.

Here, along the banks of the Valdeinfierno stream, and after almost two hours of hiking, you can relax amongst the most typical vegetation of these cool and shaded areas, with the trill of birds and the constant sound of water as an incomparable soundtrack.

Valdeinfierno Los Barrios, Los Alcornocales Natural Park

A beacon deflects the path to the right to a viewpoint where you can enjoy an impressive panoramic view of the Park and the Rock of Gibraltar jutting out from the horizon.

From that point you will finally reach another forest track which will lead you back to where your journey began, in just over ten minutes. The ‘Ruta de Valdeinfierno’ is a must visit… something you should experience at least once in your lifetime.

The Ruta de Valdeinfierno in Los Barrios, a picturesque pathway that winds through one of the most famous “canutos” (hiking trails) in Los Alcornocales Natural Park.


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