After finally getting our official permission to walk this route we drove down the gorgeous town of Zahara de la Sierra and from there on the road to Puerto del Boyar, on KM8 we found the sign to Llanos del Rabel. There is a small car park where you can leave your car. You have to go around the big gate to get in. Doing that and the fact that we needed permission to come here somehow gave the feeling that we were doing something naughty.
The 1.5h long route is VERY easy but the whole 11km is lovely. In the first few hundred meters it leads you next to the famous Garganta Verde and you can have a glimpse at the gorge.
The path is wide, well maintained and goes through a forest all the way to llanes, the picturesque meadow, which incidentally seems like a perfect spot to throw down your sarong and have a picnic on. The two peaks you can see from here are el Torreón and el Pinsapar. According to the signs there should be a fountain somewhere here but we couldn’t find it.
From here there’s a small circular route that you can do, it only took us about 20-25 min. It goes right into the thick of the forest so make sure you have your walking shoes on for this part. We spotted a roe deer here but it ran away before we could take a photo of it.
Don’t forget to look around sometimes and admire the huge pine trees that grow in this part of the Sierra, the Spanish Fir. They are relics from another time, way back when this area was covered in snow and glaciers. Due to their restricted habitat the ‘pinsaro’ trees are endangered, hence the need for permission to walk in the area.