Acequia del Toril and the Alicún dolmensAdd to My Granada
The short and easy walk runs through the area surrounding the spa of Alicún de las Torres. The tour gives you the opportunity to enjoy the lovely mineral rock wall that has formed hot water springs over the centuries.
By Bárbara Alcalde > Granada Hoy
The presence of hot water springs with temperatures of 35 degrees and the strategic position between two valleys has made this place ideal for human settlements all the way back to Prehistoric times. Remains from the Palaeolithic and Neolithic periods as well as from the Bronze Age and Argaric culture have been found here.
Nestled in the Sierra Nevada-Baza valley, the thermal springs are located near the Mencal hill, near the confluence of the Río Fardes and the Río Gor, tributaries of the Guadiana Menor. The landscape is lush and verdant, within a wild and arid environment, and isolated. There is little rainfall in this area, as it is characterised by a continental climate, but when it does rain, it is torrential.
The starting point of the walk is in front of the Hotel Reina Isabel. After heading up the road, take the dirt track until you reach a small limestone plateau with various dolmens, all still in very good condition. You can continue the journey along a pathway that crosses an ancient Palaeolithic settlement.
After this descent, the route runs alongside a strange natural formation, which is also partly man-made. It is a limestone wall formed over time by the precipitation and sedimentation of the mineral salts of the water that runs through here. What was in the Palaeolithic period just a simple irrigation system that used to carry water to the settlement is now 15 metres high and about 1 kilometre long. It is thought to be the only one of its kind in the world.
Before ending the journey, follow a beautiful dirt track until you come to some vegetable plots. The route will take you to another group of dolmens before heading back towards the spa.
When you have finished the walk, it is a nice idea to visit the spa of Alicún de las Torres, were you can enjoy the spring water and its healing properties. According to the owners of the centre, the waters were already used for therapeutic reason as long ago as in Roman times. The Moors also favoured them and added new sections to the spa, such as the hydraulic structure that still survives today.
The waters are rich in sulphates, bicarbonates and have high levels of calcic-magnesium, good for treating rheumatism, circulation problems, the nervous system, the digestive system and the skin.
The first documented reference to these hot springs dates back to the era after the conquest of Granada by the Catholic Monarchs, when it was known as the Balneario de Bracamonte. Today the complex includes a number of swimming pools, baths, mud-therapy treatments, massage treatments and a hotel.
Regions: Guadix and El Marquesado
Towns: Villanueva de las Torres
Route length: 2 km
Estimated duration: 1 hour
Altitude on departure: 785 metres
Maximum altitude: 785 metres
Gradient: 50 metres
Recommended season: All year round
HIKE RATING SYSTEM
- Itinerary and route
- Effort needed
- Severity of natural surroundings
- Level of difficulty for walking