Route to the Calabazas Chestnut Trees

Many ingredients are involved in this route. Almost all of them have a strong appeal to the general public and also to specialists, scholars and researchers. Everyone will find satisfaction in a tour suitable for all audiences.

The Calabazas Chestnut Trees are declared as Singular Trees of Extremadura. Some of them are more than five hundred years old and some others can present the stamp of centuries behind them. In addition, the Calabazas waterfall will call our attention; an imposing waterfall, which according to the season presents different attractions, always in an incomparable setting.



7,6 Kms. ida
5 horas
Todos los públicos
Fácil – Media

But this route brings much more to our credit, our culture will be reinforced by the many cultural and environmental values that we will know; many unknown to the general public and all, sample of the best ecosystems of Extremadura. As diverse and appreciated as they are original.

The itinerary we propose is a round trip, but the more adventurous and walkers can continue turning the mountain to return on the other side of the mountain. In principle we start from the square through the old neighborhood and looking for the path of the Pasaeras.

When the last houses are left behind, the area of orchards and olive groves begins; a short stretch that will end in the Arroyo del Castañar. Normally it has little flow, although it maintains the type almost all year round, so it will be easy to pass it on one side or the other. In its vicinity we can already see the remains of what must have been a specimen of many years, lying part of the trunk, we can hardly get an idea of how it was. There is also a surface canal that carries water to the many orchards along its course.

From here begins the ascent; a kilometer and a half of constant slope that is done without too much effort, since the slopes are not steep. To our left are the chestnut trees of Fuente Blanca and to the right is the Camorro de Castañar, which as its name suggests is full of chestnut trees. Most of them are destined to the transformation into wooden beams, although little by little the forests for chestnuts are gaining space, since the excellence of its production makes it much more profitable.

The latter have the typical habit of a common tree: a single stem and rounded crown, it grows in pasture land and allows grazing. The chestnut tree dedicated to wood presents several trunks from the same root; they grow stiff as candles, offering flexible and durable wood.

Depending on the area, they have a favorable soil for any seed that falls on it and a more than acceptable rainfall regime. These are ancestral uses that still survive the times. Most of them were probably planted in Roman times, when they were introduced in Spain. In 1338 there is already talk of Castañar del Ibor.

We stopped more than twice to look back, catch our breath and look carefully at the two slopes that we felt closer and closer. We soon reach the Postuero pass. It is an ideal natural viewpoint to contemplate the cliffs of Camorro, the stone rivers, old goat herds and the last farms that we will see…

It is time to go down slowly, in almost flat stretches, especially at the beginning, we enter a charming oak grove. First forming groves, fine specimens that grow very close together, and then other larger ones, with much more space between them. The wild flowers, especially peonies and the company of the stream will take us to the area of large trees in the hope of spotting one of the many animals that run these mountains: deer, mouflon, roe deer more difficult and the sure tracks of snout of the javalí.

The group declared as Singular Trees of Extremadura includes a grove of 17 specimens of chestnut, Castanea sativa Milar, together with a specimen of Quejigo. The largest of all has a crown of 17 meters and a trunk that exceeds 8 meters. You have to see them up close or with someone as a reference to appreciate the magnitude of the chestnut trees.

Your view of them will vary substantially depending on the time of year you visit them. In winter, when it is at its deadest, it says the most; its branches greet our passage, its bark smiles with our attention. Quite different from spring and new leaf or autumn color. Almost all of them are along the stream, but the largest specimen grows in a rocky area, a few meters from the course.

From here another very different route begins, we go to La Chorrera and everything will take place in a very different way. To begin with, we feel closer to the earth. We are passing through the bottom of a gorge and the pressure of the rocks increases with the pressure exerted by the mountain. The path closes between oaks, rockroses and heather; there is just enough left to pass in single file.

Some equally original tree species will be added to the holm oaks. The junipers attract our attention; we only see them on the heights of the cliffs and in places that are difficult to access. They are usually confined to the vicinity of or between the ridges of the quartzite cliffs, on the summits. However, as we move forward, they become more numerous and slender. We got to see some of them of three or four meters.

To the list is added the Parrot, Prunus Lusitanica, a rare survivor of the dinosaur era and which are almost exclusive to the Villuercas region. There are many medium-sized trees and many others that grow along the banks of the stream, which is gradually beginning to take on a certain flow. We continue advancing along the narrow path and pass places where the level of the rocky area exceeds our height and we have to avoid some branches that hinder our walk.

A small cave and pieces of cobblestone path mark the end of the trail. We are in the Chorrera de Calabazas, just where the water jumps several meters into the void to fall into a small pool. It is necessary to descend a few meters to contemplate the fall from below and enjoy the chromatic variety of all the rock, where the greens and reds mix their shades to recreate suggestive forms.

The gully breaks the line of quartzite cliffs in a beautifully fractured break. Once again, stone and water recreate landscapes that seem to be from another planet. If we go up a little we will see the set that form these and the vegetable blanket that appears where the rock gives a crack of land where to take root. There are some very interesting caves and shelters, with stains on some walls that experts will decipher.