Cazorla is situated on the edge of the national park which bears the town’s name. It is a place of breathtaking beauty with a depth of history which unfolds around every corner as you wander around its labyrinth of narrow streets. Medieval Andalucia is right in front of you wherever you may roam. Be careful though, and don’t trust your GPS to direct you to a car park. The streets are so narrow that it’s hard for some vehicles to turn the corner. The best advice is to park in the car park by the market and walk the short distance into the centre.
It’s hard to know where to start exploring Cazorla. The obvious place is the Yedra castle which sits high up on the hill overlooking the town. It’s well worth the climb up, if only for the incredible views of the surrounding area. The castle itself has been well restored and today houses a collection of medieval artifacts, such as various suits of armour, a collection of religious art, and an interesting display of local agricultural tools. It’s free to go in, but you’ll have to wait for a guided tour up into the keep. Be aware that the tour was in Spanish only, and there are some very steep steps to climb. On the way back down try to visit the underground water cistern. It looks amazing but unfortunately the tour at the castle took so long that it was closed by the time I reached the entrance.
You won’t be able to miss the Basilica of Santa Maria. It towers above the square of the same name and houses the tourist information office. When you visit, ask to climb up the tower. The views from the rooftops are worth the short climb up a spiral staircase.
There are many footpaths into the hills if you want to walk further. There are a couple of routes out to nearby hermitages, and some which go even further afield. If you don’t want to go far, just wander along the path by the river for some spectacular scenery not far from town.
A visit to Cazorla wouldn’t be complete without a bit of mountain fare. On the main square right opposite our hotel was the intriguing Bar La Montería. If hunting and bullfighting offend you too much, don’t go in there because the walls are full of pictures and trophies. The free tapas including local white sausage should be enough to tempt you in though. There are many restaurants to choose from where you can feast on jabali (wild boar) or choto (mountain goat). La Yedra looked after us very well so I’m happy to recommend them!
We stayed at the Hotel Ciudad de Cazorla which was right on the central Plaza de la Corredera. It was comfortable and represented good value for money. The problem was parking, but as I said at the beginning, once you’ve found the car park at the market, don’t look for anything else!