Family Overlanding, exploring the Sierra de Los Filabres in Almeria
Family overlanding has one purpose – to get us all outdoors and our youngest off his laptop. It works and it also means we can create a boat load of content too [like for this blog and the K90 Overland Youtube channel], living and overlanding in Spain means that relatives and friends can’t really come with us at the drop of a hat so this is a good way to keep in touch and let our family see what we are up to.
37.2236° N, 2.5461° W
The ‘Sierra de Los Filabres’ is the largest range of mountains in Almeria and somewhere we had not yet explored. Using GAIA GPS, we planned a simple route which would take us past several interesting areas, past landmarks and observatories until we hit the dirt tracks.
Heading out of Baza [Granada] towards the town of the Seron you follow the route toward the Observatories via trunk road, on the way there are several places to stop with the most interesting being the ‘Menas Poblado Primero’, an old mining village and an area dotted with ruins.
Past the observatories you then hit the dirt track and the ‘real’ overlanding begins. The elevation takes you to above 7000ft at the highest point and it pays to plan for the weather as there are signs warning about ice and snow – you can imagine that there would be quite a lot of the white stuff up here.
Driving through this natural park delivers simply stunning views and it’s quite an unusual place, the ruins from the afore mentioned mining village can still be seen dotted throughout the wooded hillsided – numerous old buildings, now abandoned and left to the elements.
The track itself is by no means a challenge but this overland drive is more about chilling out and taking in some of the beauty this area of Spain has to offer. It pays to drive on the cautious side, not because of the tracks themselves but because of the deer, these animals can be seen at almost every other turn and can jump out unexpectidly from the side of the road or hillside. There is ample wildlfe!
During the month of November you have spectacular Autumn colours in this area which makes a change from the usual drab Andalucian dusty countryside and endless evergreens, a splash of orange and red is always welcome, you can imagine that in the in the winter this entire area will change again and be a more challenging drive.
Family overlanding involves plenty of cooking, stopping off for coffee, hot chocolate, making tortillas and bacon sarnies, this trip offers plenty of places to do that as well as offering up some giant pine cones to take home for the woodeburner which is essential this time of year in a warehouse!
One thing to watch out for and something that is very apparent are the processional pine caterpillars – they are abundent and you can read more about them [and how dangerous they are] in this post.
On the way out of the natural park you find yourself negotiation narrower tracks, some of which can be blocked by fallen pines so it pays to keep that saw or axe in the back of the rig.
The final stretch of the journey is through the outskirts of the woodland – expect to pass and come across hunters during hunting season. You then decend into the fields, getting closer to civilisation where the earth is a mottled red due to the iron content.
Would we do this one again?
Absolutely, this trip was right up there with the best of them, different scenery, more wildlife, spectacular views, and moderate drive and plenty to do on the way before you get there if your destination is the woodland.
Going back in the Winter will certainly be more challenging but having seen the Sierra de Los Filabres in the Autumn the Winter will no doubt be just as stunning.