Caminos de Pasión: The best of Andalucia on foot, horseback, or by bike

by Lorraine Williamson
Caminos de Pasión

ANDALUCIA – Caminos de Pasión is a new tourist route inland in Andalucia. It consists of eleven stages that can be completed on foot, horseback, or by bike. Caminos de Pasión offers a blend of history, cultural heritage, traditions, gastronomy, crafts, and nature.

The new route follows the GR 341 and spans over 320 kilometres. This long-distance trail crosses 25 municipalities in the provinces of Jaén, Córdoba, and Seville, passing through three “vías verdes” (greenways). Travellers on the route are treated to a rich variety of flora, fauna, and beautiful landscapes. One of the highlights is the UNESCO Geopark Sierras Subbéticas.

Several options for cyclists

For cycling enthusiasts, there are three options to follow the GR 341: on paved roads, dirt tracks, or mountain biking (MTB). Depending on the chosen route, cyclists can complete the journey in three to seven days. The route involves a maximum ascent of 3,660 metres and descent of 4,480 metres. Accommodation along the route ranges from historic hotels to luxury “paradores” or tourist apartments. Caminos de Pasión can be visited throughout the year. Each season lends its own charm to the surrounding areas. Spring hosts many festivals and local celebrations, while summers offer a wide array of cultural events. In autumn, during harvest time, gastronomy takes centre stage with numerous culinary activities.

Endless olive groves and lovely towns

The route begins in Alcalá la Real (Jaén) and ends in Utrera (Seville). A recommended stage for mountain bikers is between Baena and Cabra in Subbética Cordobesa, where endless olive groves alternate with natural vegetation. Baena itself offers plenty to see for sporty cyclists. The route continues along the “vía verde” from Aceite to Cabra, passing old farms and country houses.

The stretch between Fuentes de Andalucía and La Campana is ideal for horse riders, passing through farmland and natural vegetation via rural roads and old ferry routes. Around Estepa, nestled between mountains and the Genil Valley, visitors can enjoy a diverse landscape. Osuna, located amidst expansive fields in Seville, is also a sight to behold.

Art and monuments

Art and monumental heritage enthusiasts will find much to discover along the GR 341. Alcalá la Real is home to the impressive fortress of La Mota, visible from kilometres away, offering stunning views of the Sierra Nevada. Écija, a historically significant town in Andalucia, is renowned for its exceptional monumental heritage, dating back to the Tartessian civilisation in the 8th century BC, flourishing especially during Roman rule.

The town of Priego de Córdoba bursts with colours, shaped by rivers, streams, and deep canyons. Priego boasts the monumental Fuente del Rey fountain, picturesque squares, and the masterpiece of Andalucian Baroque: the Iglesia de la Asunción church, housing the Sagregorio Chapel, a true gem.

Wine, cheese and olive oil

Olive oil and fine wine are highlights for food and drink enthusiasts along Caminos de Pasión. Olive oil, sourced from the numerous olive groves adorning the landscape, features prominently. Visitors can tour “almazaras” (olive oil mills), visit olive orchards, enjoy breakfast among ancient olive trees, or taste olive oil at various locations along the route.

Wine lovers will also find plenty to savour along the route, with several renowned wineries offering tours and tastings. The Caminos de Pasión website provides extensive information on a “Tour de Experiencias Rurales y Gastronómicas” (Tour of Rural and Gastronomic Experiences), a unique opportunity for visitors to discover and taste the best of Andalucian cuisine, including olive oil, wine, and cheese.

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