La Toba [Jaén]
La toba, a tiny hamlet with only four dozen inhabitants, a location surrounded by mountain range, striking scenery, rock faces and pure nature. We’d never done this route before so climbing to nearly 6000ft then a decent to half that on way to the Anchuricas reservoir was always going to be interesting.
The route from Santiago de la Espada is full of winding roads, the climb not challenging with tarmac roads, this trip though was not about going off road, it was about the destination and an easy journey there, we didn’t know what to expect but the scenery was breathtaking, after a decent to 3200ft lies a tiny little hamlet, dwarfed by the mountains that overlook it with overhanging rock face and dense pine forest.
Through the middle of this unusual gathering of homes runs the Segura river, the main focal point at first glance although there is much more to this area than meets the eye. Enter La Toba and you can see a large area in which to park and explore the lower part of the hamlet, you can also explore the center of the hamlet which is probably best done on foot, the place is so small you will be lucky to find anywhere to park.
38.1831° N, 2.5602° W
Although it may not seem like it you could spend the best part of a full day here, there are numerous hiking trails around the area if that’s your thing, the hamlet itself can only be described as ‘quirky’, you have caves, waterfalls, woodland and the nearby reservoir of Anchuricas just a 5 minute drive down the road.
For the overlander seeking an unusual place with incredible views this little place has a lot to offer – as does the drive there. As mentioned, the roads are not challenging but if your passenger isn’t keen on heights you might want to hug the rock face a bit..!
There are numerous places to stop, slide out the kitchen and get the coffee on, layby’s in fact are every hundred yards or so, over shadowed with large pine [great in the summer] and you can get more than one rig in many of them.
Having stopped for only half an hour we made the decision to make this trip again and explore more of what La Toba is about, the hamlet really is unique and the locals seem to take tourists in their stride. We’ve heard that it gets busy during the summer months purely on a people to area ratio which wouldn’t take much.
Overall, a great place to find and this one for us is bookmarked for a return visit.
For something a bit bigger check out our full review of the neighbouring reservoir El Tranco de Beas