In the northeast of Granada province adjacent to neighbouring Almeria is the sparsely populated 53,649ha Sierra de Baza Natural Park, part of the Cordillera Penibética. Its steep slopes are mainly pine-clad, up to the more barren, rocky ground over 2,000m. Its central part is made up of remote, jagged limestone peaks, which can be snow covered for some of the winter and are inhabited by majestic birds of prey, like the golden eagle and another nine species of raptors.
The Sierra’s topmost point is Santa Bárbara, at 2,271m, from where there are superb views; on clear days you can see the Cazorla Natural Park. Located between two arid plains – the Llanos del Marquesado, which separates it from the Sierra Nevada, and the Hoya de Guadix – the Sierra de Baza is by contrast a verdant landscape.
Many abandoned farms and villages – such as Casas de Santa Olalla, Tablas and Tesorero – are scattered about the park, evidence of the Sierra’s population decline.
Near Baza is a visitors’ centre, the Centro de Visitantes de Narváez (958 002 018), which is accessible by taking the Baza exit on the A92 at Km 325. Next to the centre are the starting points of three signposted walks.
The easiest entry point to the Sierra is from the A92N motorway (N-342). The park is signposted from the exits at Baza and Gor. The GR-6103 leaves the southern branch of the A-92 at km 312 and goes to Charches. The GR-8101 crosses the park south from Caniles near Baza. The park is crisscrossed by a network of forest tracks, which give access on foot or by mountain bike. During the winter months, avoid driving in the Zona de Calares – the central high, rocky area – since the tracks are often blocked with snow and the road surface is frequently icy.