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Alcudia and Riofrío. Between volcanoes, bats and gorges

Ciudad Real

Our visit takes in the eastern part of the Alcudia Valley and Madrona Mountain Range Natural Park, perhaps the wildest and most unknown zone, bona fide habitats for unique species in an intricate web ...
27
49km
-
Puertollano
21.6km
Monumento Natural Laguna Volcánica “La Alberquilla”
26.2km
Estrecho de Riofrío
0.5km
Microrreserva Mina de los Pontones

Our visit takes in the eastern part of the Alcudia Valley and Madrona Mountain Range Natural Park, perhaps the wildest and most unknown zone, bona fide habitats for unique species in an intricate web of mountains and valleys, surrounding the town of Mestanza and its municipal area.

Just 20 km south of Puertollano, we come across a true marvel of nature: the “La Alberquilla” Volcanic Lake Natural Monument has formed in the hole left by a volcanic eruption, perched atop the Madrona mountains, creating a unique spot offering stunning views. We recommend taking binoculars and cameras to be able to see the flight of golden eagles and other animals.

The whole zone from Mestanza to El Hoyo, Solanilla del Tamaral or Solana del Pino is territory that has preserved its purity, making it perfect hiking land.

Among all the options available, we suggest the route from the Riofrío gorge to Chorrillo. On the road from Mestanza to El Hoyo, we’ll find a huge roundabout with three exits to three towns (El Hoyo, Solanilla del Tamaral and Solana del Pino), where we can leave the car and hike to a stunning balcony over the Riofrío gorge, a cleft that crosses the Umbría de Alcudia mountains from side to side.

From there to the Mina de los Pontones Nature Reserve, in the gorge, it’s just 400 metres. This is a particularly fragile area that should be visited with great care. The scenery surrounding the mining area offers impressive natural richness and seeing large birds of prey is commonplace. In this mine, where we can still see some infrastructures in good condition, up to 6,400 examples of six different species of bats have been detected. It is a special protection refuge. (If you’re interested in the world of bats, the Ojailén tunnels nature reserve, 21 km away, is one of the most important winter refuges in Castilla-La Mancha).

Below, there is a path that covers the whole extension of the gorge, a trace of the railway track built to extract minerals. From this moment on, our walk goes through rocky cliff faces and steep slopes; the calm river waters offer the perfect habitat for cliff-nesting birds, otters, fish, birds of prey, herons, waterfowl, etc. It will take some time to get our bearings.

Tourist office
Oficina de Turismo de Ciudad Real
Plaza Mayor, 1
13001 Ciudad Real
926 214 415
926 21 64 86
Further information
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Castilla-la Mancha