Nature in its purest form or how to be captivated by the treasures that the province of Cuenca hides

CUENCA.- Unique landscapes, spectacular gorges, natural labyrinths in which stone and water seem to come alive, forests and imposing rocks, lagoons and gorges modeled according to the whims of the centuries, are some of the treasures of nature that you can enjoy in the countryside Cuenca.

Places to visit at your own pace, letting yourself be captivated by the environment or through the activities offered by specialized companies in the area, with guided tours or interpretive hiking trails, among others. The commitment to ecotourism, in which respect for the natural environment and its riches must always be present.

A tour that can start with the capital itself, where gorges of the Hukar and Uekar rivers They have sculpted a spectacular landscape over the centuries.

Two canyons that are more than 1000 meters wide, with a slope of more than 200 in some points, and which are included in the Spanish list of places of geological interest.

On the outskirts of the capital is precisely one of the rivers that embrace it, the Hucar, which, on its way between Unya and Villalba de la Sierra, forms an impressive canyon in which nature has indulged, modeling over the centuries unlikely figures, like a spell, like this way is born Enchanted city.

A place declared a natural site of national interest in 1929, where Tormo Alto welcomes visitors, while Lovers of Teruel, The Sea of ​​​​​​Stone, Slide and Face of Man, among others, await you along the route.

In addition, at the gates of the Serranía de Cuenca is one of the most spectacular views in the province, Devil’s windowfrom which you can see the Júcar making its way through the deep gorge and endless views.

A rock that is also the main character in another of the magical enclaves offered by Serranía Cuenca, such as Alleys of Las Mahadas. An authentic labyrinth, the result of the erosion of limestone rock over millions of years, giving rise to spectacular formations, leaving it to the imagination of those who pass through it to identify it.

This “another enchanted city” where James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) filmed one of the scenes of The world is never enoughin which the main characters are rocks and pine forests.

But aside from letting yourself be enveloped by this maze, it’s worth a visit to climb up to Uncle Kogote’s point of viewone of the most spectacular balconies in the area and from which it is not uncommon to enjoy a short flight of the griffon vultures.

Direct contact with nature that can also be found in the heart of the Serranía Alta, visiting El Hosquillo Park. A space dedicated to conservation work, research and environmental education; a large outdoor classroom located in an asymmetrical valley, with high and inaccessible rocks and slopes covered with dense pine forest, inhabited by a wide variety of game species, but also by two endangered species such as the Iberian wolf and the brown bear, emblem of the park .

Although, if there is a must-stop when visiting Serranía de Cuenca Natural Park, this is it The source of the Raven River, which gives the name of the natural monument. An impressive active travertine spring where the water seems to turn to stone through its waterfalls, all covered in a blanket of moss that maintains its dynamic profile.

Any time of the year is a good opportunity to visit this protected area and each of them has its charm. During the summer months, most of the waterfalls are without water, revealing the gray tones of the bare and dry rock, in contrast to the river water; With the onset of autumn, this environment is filled with color due to the fall of the leaves, while in winter the spring is covered with snow and decorated with icicles. In turn, it is in the spring, with the abundance of water resulting from the thaw and the green of the vegetation, when we can find it in its greatest splendor.

However, the visit to the natural monument has much more to discover and for this you can follow one of the three existing routes: the path of the source of the Cuervo River, a 1.5 km circular route that allows you to visit the falls and the source; the Turbera trail, which starts just before the previous one and crosses the limestone peat bog, and the Pinar trail, an 11-kilometer route through a white pine area, offering spectacular panoramic views at some of its points.

Although without a doubt one of the most visited places during the summer season in the province of Cuenca are Choreras River Cabriel. Located between the municipalities of Enguídanos and Víllora, it is a natural area nestled in the Biosphere Reserve of the Cabriel River Valley, whose crystal clear water canyon, pools and small waterfalls attract dozens of visitors with their incredible beauty.

A natural monument that stretches along a kilometer and a half along the course of the river, in which, for 6700 years, a huge tuff building has been deposited, taking different forms, reaching in some places an authentic waterfall set in stone.

Another natural monument can complete this tour of the province of Cuenca: Cañada del Hoyo lagoons. A complex formed by sinkholes of karst origin, of great uniqueness and significance at the national level.

It is formed by seven permanent lagoons and four torcs, the depth of which varies between 4 and 32 meters. It is possible to pass through the three public properties, through a small path, in this way you can observe one of the characteristics that make them so special, their color, since – in appearance – each of them has a different tonality.

Multiple opportunities to discover, tour and enjoy the extensive natural and landscape heritage of Cuenca Province.

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