Difference between revisions of "Sierra Norte"
Revision as of 17:37, 4 December 2012
The area is home to a number of small and picturesque villages, and to dramatic landscapes that starkly contrast with the Guadalquivir Valley further South. The mountains are not particularly high, and the rivers mostly circulate in a North-South direction towards the Guadalquivir.
There are a few villages scattered within the Park. Most are rather small and picturesque. Constantina and Cazalla are the two largest villages, and they sport a large range of interesting sights. The other villages are good starting points to discover the countryside that surrounds them.
The most important villages are:
The Park is mostly covered in dehesas, a form of pasture dotted with oak trees, and this translates into an economy where farming and wood are major players. Dehesas are also This characteristic landscape is complemented by olive groves, and along the rivers, riverside forests.
The natural environment is home to many large mammals, such as deers (they can often be seen grazing around by visitors) and boars. In the riverside forests, otters can be seen.
Average rainfall is higher than in places further East and North, as the Sierra Morena blocks incoming precipitation from the Atlantic. The temperatures are slightly lower than in the Guadalquivir Valley, and they show a market stationality.
Apart from farming and forestry, hunting and fishing are important sources of income, as they do bring tourists into the Park. The olive groves have resulted in a thriving high quality olive oil business, which is complimented by other farm activities, such as honey production, mushroom and herb gathering, etc.
Upmarket hotels are not that rare around Cazalla de la Sierra. Among these, the impressive Cartuja de Cazalla  in Cazalla (a monumental guesthouse), the Palacio San Benito (ancient pilgrims' lodgings turned palace) or the Trasierra Hotel (16th century cortijo set high in the sierra).
A number of 'casas de turismo rural' (restored country cottages) are dotted throughout the region. These traditional self-catering dwellings are often restored to high quality standards, and provide very convenient and affordable accommodation for families and large groups of people.
Unfortunately, the Park is poorly served by public transport. This makes the use of a private car a near must. Bear in mind that the roads are narrow and winding, and that driving might be difficult in adverse weather conditions.
There are a number of bus services from Sevilla Plaza de Armas coach station.
The railway that winds North towards Extremadura from Sevilla calls at El Pedroso and Constantina.
Try the delicious iberian pork delicacies (ham, cured loin, chorizo sausages...).
The traditional aguardiente made from cherries is a good antidote against cold winter nights!
San Blas Hotel Constantina Description: Offering comfortable accommodation and convenient facilities, the San Blas Hotel Constantina provides you with all of the quality amenities to make your stay a memorable one. Location: San Blas Hotel is situated in Constantina, a town in the very heart of the Sierra Norte de Sevilla Nature Park. The area combines scenery of unparalleled beauty with the charm of the picturesque Andalusian villages. The hotel is an ideal starting point for enjoying beautiful walks in the surrounding nature. Rooms: The hotel has comfortable and well furnished rooms that are equipped with standard amenities.