Cazorla is a city at an elevation of 836 metres, located in the province of Jaén. It is famous as the entry point to the Natural Park of Sierras de Cazorla, Segura y Las Villas Natural Park. Its location makes it an excellent location as a base to explore not only the city itself, but the surrounding National Park, which is a magnificent area of mountains, river gorges and forest.
The origins of Cazorla date back more than two thousand years with significant Iberian and Roman settlements. Under the Moors it was a strategic stronghold guarding the mountains.
The city is a maze of narrow streets, many are so narrow that they are either one way, or the traffic flow is controlled by traffic lights. Although there is a car park in the centre of the city, getting to it is not easy and spaces are rare. If travelling by car, I recommend leaving the car on the outskirts and exploring on foot. Its not a big town, and walking gives you the opportunity to experience the atmosphere and vibe much better. Watch out for the traffic and be prepared to duck into doorways to get out of the way! – Yes, some of the streets are that narrow.
The city boasts three main squares, each very different in character:
- The Plaza Santa Maria. This is the oldest and my favourite, mainly due to its surroundings and the number of bars, cafes and restaurants. It takes the name from the old cathedral (now in ruin), which is located at the southern end of the square.
- The Plaza de la Constitución (also known as La Tejera). This is the most central of the main squares and has a rather busy roundabout at its centre. You can catch a tourist train from here; I believe the sightseeing tour takes about 40 minutes.
- The Plaza de la Corredera (or de Huevo), so named because of its egg shape. The square has a a number of busy bars and the elegant ayuntamiento (town hall), located in the former Padres Mercedarios Convent building, dating from the 16th century, located in an elevated position in the southeast corner.
Other places worth looking out for:
- Castillo de la Yedra
- The ruins of Santa Maria
- Museum of Arts and Traditions of the Upper Guadalquivir
- Rio Borosa
- Boveda del Rio Cerezuelo
Also, worth a visit is nearby La Iruela (0.8 mi away) and the Moorish fortress, Castillo de La Iruela, which is perched precariously on a rocky peak. My personal favourite is the Natural Park Sierras de Cazorla, Segura y Las Villas. It is absolutely stunning! I hope to add some videos and articles about the park soon.