Monday, 16 June 2014

How to get official permission to hike in the Sierra de Grazalema

The Sierra de Grazalema is one of our favourite hiking spots in Andalusia. We already did a lovely walk from the village of Grazalema (read about it here) and decided that we wanted to go back again. As a big area of the Natural Park is protected, you need special permission to walk many of its trails. I had a hard time getting this permission due to many and I hope that by writing this blog I can make the process easier for my fellow English speaking mountain lovers.

First of all, you have to choose the trail you’d like to go on. There are many trails that are restricted during the summer, or aren’t even available to hike due to the risk of fire so choose the time of your arrival considering this. We asked for permission for the beginning of June and by this time only 500m of the Garganta Verde was accessible and only with a guide. The El Pinsapar trail was completely closed down and the Llanos de Rabel was only accessible for the first 5km.

You can find most of the info you need on the National Park website, here. You can try to call them but as far as I know their English speaking skills are limited. You need to write them an email stating your name, how many permissions you want, your passport numbers and your nationalities. If you don’t speak any Spanish then just write ‘solicitar de permiso’ as subject of your email. During the year there are many busy periods so it’s always worth doing as far in advance as you can. You have to go to the El Bosque Centro de Visitantes (always check their opening times as it varies, you can download it from their website above) on the day of your hike to pick up the permissions.
This was the mistake we made.

It is all well to go to El Bosque if you want to hike on that part of the mountain range however we were on the other side of it and had to drive all the way there and back to pick up a piece of paper! The lady however told us that next time we can send an email to this address:
They will then attach the form to the email and you can download and fill it in.

Sounds much easier, doesn’t it?

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