In the heart of the Sierra de Andújar, the main bastion of the Iberian lynx and one of the most biodiverse territories in Europe, we can find the private estate El Altozano. 66 hectares of wild nature that alternates Mediterranean forest with repopulation pine forests, this estate has been declared as the first Ecological Reserve in the province of Jaén because of its good state of conservation and being ecotourism its only avtivity. Thereby, part of the benefits of the economic activity are reinvested in conservation-oriented actions, mainly aimed in increasing the density of wild rabbits, a key species in the entire ecosystem.
We are located in the east part of Sierra Morena and close to Sierra de Andújar Natural Park. This territory counts with a huge ecological value and contains in its dehesas and pine forests, in its rivers and crags 53% of the amphibians, 20% of the fishes, 39% of the mammals and 48% of the birds that we can find in Spain, the country with highest biodiversity in Europe.
This is an excellent example of the Mediterranean forest. From the 196 meters of altitude in the river Jándula, main arteria that dies in the river Guadalquivir, to the Sierra de Quintana and its half mountain risks with 1291 meters we can find an ecosystem mosaic formed by shady river forests passing through dehesas with holm and cork oaks as main characters, gall oak claims its protagonism in higher places with more humidity to repopulations of stone pine, that gives shelter to multitude of forestall birds. As a result we obtain the typical landscape of Sierra Morena, with knolled and soft profiles.
“El Altozano” is mainly dominated by holm oaks in an adehesada way accompanied by patches of the main species of autochthone shrubs like mastic tree, kermes oak, rockrose and strawberry tee in a landscape always splattered with large granitic rocks locally called bolos. This biotope serves as habitat in benefit of many species, a lot of them threatened, highlighting the Iberian lynx, wich breeds inside the estate, or the Iberian Imperial eagle.
In the reserve we can also find a dense forest of stone pine which is transited by a large number of forestall birds, this forest comes from different repopulations that took place in the mid-20th century. A seasonal water course flows across this land and serves as shelter by many species of amphibians.
With sights of the Virgen de la Cabeza Sanctuary and the Jándula shrine this seems to be a perfect spot to get to know in an exclusive way the Mediterranean forest, its odor and sounds, and the main characters that live in it in an exclusive way. Low population density in this area gives the environment a night gift; its sky presents the stars in such a pure state that has induced UNESCO to protect it.
To enjoy all these natural values in a close way, the Rural Accommodation El Altozano is located on the estate itself, a unique place where we have taken care of every detail, maintaining the rustic style of the area and offering all the comforts.