Located in the Sierra Norte de Cádiz, Olvera has become the Rural Capital 2021, an initiative promoted by the rural accommodation platform Rural getaway. The town of Cadiz has managed to prevail over the other nine finalists —Daroca (Zaragoza), Yeste (Albacete), Taramundi (Asturias), Cuacos de Yuste (Cáceres), Aia (Gipuzkoa), Chelva (Valencia), Sepúlveda (Segovia), Ortigueira (A Coruña) and La Baronia de Rialb (Lleida) – by obtaining 21,794 votes (18%) of a total of 120,781 participants in the vote. The figure far exceeds that registered in previous editions, and Olvera takes the witness from the Cantabrian town of Potes.
Whitewashed houses and a Nasrid castle
Perched on the slopes of a cliff crowned by a castle from the Nasrid period and surrounded by olive groves, in the Route of the White Villages, the urban area of Olvera, declared a historical-artistic complex in 1983, is an amalgam of historical and popular architecture, with whitewashed houses and steep streets that lead to the aforementioned fortress and the church of Our Lady of the Incarnation (from the 18th century) and viewpoints such as the gardens of the rock of the Sacred HeartTo know the history of the town you have to visit the La Frontera and Castles museum, in ancient Cilla’s House. Another interesting visit is the sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies, located at the exit of the town.
The oleotourism is represented by the olive oil mills and cooperatives of extra virgin olive oil, of the denomination of origin Sierras of Cádiz, scattered around. One of the last oil mills that used the traditional stone mill and esparto baskets to grind olives was the Waiting Mill, an old cilla from the 18th century in the Sierra de Cádiz and about 60 kilometers from Olvera. Today the oil is extracted in modern facilities on the outskirts of Espera, although you can visit (free) the original building, transformed into a museum and shop.
The rock of the vultures
In the municipality of Olvera —Surrounded by mountain olive groves and hundreds of rural roads— ends the Sierra greenway, one of the first to integrate the greenway network Spanish: 36.5 kilometers of exclusive path for walkers and cyclists that starts from Port Serrano, in the fertile plain of the Guadalete, and follows the old Jerez-Almargen railway line, which was never used. On his way he goes through four viaducts, seasons as the Olvera, Coripe Y Port Serrano, enabled as restaurants and rural accommodation with bicycle rental service, and 30 tunnels, including the Castle, almost a kilometer long.
About four kilometers east of Coripe is the rock of Zaframagon, declared a nature reserve, and at the base of which the river has been boxing in and excavating a narrow and steep gorge. Its 584 meters high shelter one of the largest colonies of griffon vultures of the Peninsula, along with other protected birds of prey such as Egyptian vulture, Bonelli’s eagle, falcon or eagle owl. It has an observatory and a visitor reception center.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.