El Altiplano: Baza and Huescar

El Altiplano lies to the northeast of Granada, where immense plateaus rise up to more than 1000 metres above sea level. There is a huge and mainly deserted plain in its central part, surrounded by the mountain ranges of Sagra, Castril, Baza and Orce. This is a land of contrasts, with short and warm summers and freezing winters. In spring you can see the amazing sight of the snow melting and descending from the summits into the reservoirs of El Portillo, San Clemente and El Negratín. This district has beautiful landscapes including two natural parks, the Sierra de Baza and the Sierra de Castril.

According to archaeological evidence, this was one of the first homes to man in continental Europe, more than a million years ago. Later, the Iberians arrived, then the Romans and, from the 8th century onwards, the Muslims. The legacy left by the Islamic culture can still be identified in villages such as Benamaurel or Castilléjar, where we find caves used by the settlers. The old Barrio de Santiago de la Alcazaba of Baza or the Alcazaba de lasSiete Torres in Orce are other places where you can clearly see the area’s Muslim legacy. After the Christian conquest of the region, the rulers built churches such as the Colegiata de Huéscar and Colegiata de Baza, or the Palacio de Los Enríquez in Baza or the Casa de los Patiños in the Puebla de Don Fadrique.

In this district you can find some fantastic holiday accommodation in cave dwellings, for example in Guadix and El Marquesado. They are some of the most fun attractions in the province, especially as they are all at least of three-star-hotel standard.

The province’s delicious cuisine includes cordero segureño (a lamb dish) and homemade sausages that are dried inside caves. It also has a long heritage in craftsmanship. In the Altiplano you can buy all sorts of artefacts, ranging from replicas of ancient ceramic cups to hand-made guitars in Baza.

The range of tourist attractions and active tourism options are impressive. They include picturesque horse rides and treks as well as paragliding and hang-gliding from the Pico del Jabalcón.


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