By / 23rd April, 2015 / 4x4 / No Comments

The geographic center of the region of Guadix is ​​occupied by what is known as the Hoya de Guadix, a name that refers to his character hollow in the middle of the plateau. Erosion is responsible for this particular formation, where it dominates a peculiar landscape: the badlands.

The plateau of Guadix is ​​the bottom of a sea arm and a lake which ended drying, and materials that dominate it are very weak and therefore subject to very rapid erosion. In this climate of the region is united, but with little rainfall concentrated in time. These conditions have facilitated the rapid Boxing watercourses, of which the Fardes River is the principal, and the formation of numerous gullies and ravines that extend across much of the region, constituting the area’s largest badlands of the Iberian Peninsula.

Despite its estepario aspect, the bad lands have been occupied by humans since prehistoric place, giving rise to specific habitat forms, the cave, and exploitation of resources.

In this regard it highlights the agricultural landscape irrigation where small size plots arranged in terraces to facilitate the distribution of water. Along with the anthropic landscapes of badlands, we find areas where flora and fauna of great wealth adapted to extreme drought conditions, temperatures and poor soils remains.

Path: Circular

Difficulty: Low

Travel Distance: 20,3 km.

Maximum height: 932 m. (Ermita de San Torcuato)

Minimum height: 765 m. (Fardes River)

House: 76% dirt roads and 24% asphalt


We start from Fonelas, cave village whose origin must be in the medieval era. In the vicinity there are several watchtowers and some caves refuge oldest in the medieval district. Continues the route going up the Rambla del Ovel, a course strongly cased water, with almost vertical walls and interesting remains of gallery forest. Moving away from the coastline, we reach the village of San Torcuato. Here we find, in the middle of a desert landscape two hermitages. The oldest is attached to a hill with a labyrinth of caves, possibly a dependent hostelry of the chapel. The most modern, fully built, houses the image of the saint, who is worshiped on 15 May, with a pilgrimage. San Torcuato left behind and continue to Benalúa, through the badlands. We arrived at Benalúa its typical cemetery with niches dug into caves. Through the village and continue to Fonelas. From the road we turn on a track that leads through the valley until Fonelas station, next to Pardes River.

We can use the metal bridge, through which passes the railway to cross the river, or, if it does not take much water, fording. At the foot of the area known as “The Terreras” we continue along a dirt track among fields of fruit to leave the bridge that crosses the county road Fardes and from there back down that road to Fonelas.