Sierra Espuña A Beautiful Protected Natural Area

A Mini Tour of El Berro

PHOTO GALLERY 

Here is the pretty village of El Berro and surrounding areas. El Berro has a population of just over 100 who are very proud of it, keeping it spotless and attractive. 

It is such a small village you can amble through it in minutes and never get lost! It is hard to believe it has two bakeries, a friendly family-run supermarket which sells everything, two restaurants and a cafe, as well as a roast-chicken takeaway and the campsite cafe-bar! Admittedly they are not all open simultaneously or every day - but you will never be lacking in anything. There is always at least one restaurant open, the supermarket is open morning and evening throughout the week and the baker is open Monday to Saturday every morning for the kind of bread you dream about. Of course you can always eat something at the Camping Sierra Espuna cafe-bar which does pizzas as well as Spanish tapas and sandwiches to order - they are open daily - morning, noon and evening.

You will be surrounded by panoramic scenic views in this area. Who needs to take flying lessons when you can get the same experience here on terra firma! However it is only 650 metres in altitude, not too high for winter comfort.

It is always a good idea to look to the sky now and then, because you never know what you might see! It is a truly amazing experience to see Golden Eagles circling above, usually in pairs. There are breeding pairs of Golden Eagles in Sierra Espuna. If you go to the VIDEOS page you can watch a video of Golden Eagles demonstrating their size and power.

This is also an area for olive and almond growing. In September the almonds are dropping off the trees and being harvested. Villagers dry the almonds outside their houses at this time, after they have taken them out of their soft, velvety green pods. Almonds in hard shells then remain. Almonds are expensive because they are so labour-intensive. Havesting them, taking them out of their soft green pods, and then drying them - before you can even start cracking open the shells and then blanching them - all takes an incredible amount of time and care. Blanched, fried almonds are always on the menu in this area as a snack - they are surprisingly tasty! You will often find them brought to your table with a meal or added to the typical Spanish starter of cheese and ham - jamon y queso. 

Olives are harvested green in September or black in December. Most people  harvest them black (when they are totally ripe) to turn them into olive oil. Olives also go through many processes before they can be made edible, either as olives or as oil! If you want a shocking experience, just try eating an olive straight from the tree -  you will only do it once!

Not only is there the protected natural region of the Sierra Espuna mountains with abundant wildlife, but beautiful walks through olive and almond country. You can see how beautiful the almond trees are when they´re in blossom. It´s a rare occasion to see almond trees all in blossom like this! There are other amazing landscapes such as the barrancos de Gebas which are lunar white chalky landscapes. There are also wonderful walks along ancient dry river beds with rocks to amaze you, see right. The amazing thing is that you can enjoy all these things without being sporty, as we only go on the easy routes. All you need is suitable non-slip footwear that grips your feet properly. Walking boots are good but strong trainers or proper sturdy walking sandals will do as well, depending on the weather! You do need to be healthy though, there is no mobile coverage for emergency assistance in some places.

For the whole month of February the countryside is blossoming! There are literally miles of almond groves within walking distance of the village. It is a heavenly experience to witness all the trees bursting into pink and white blossom! There is a very delicate scent wafting through the air and it really is a sight to behold when, at the end of February, the whole countryside is one magnificent pink and white display!

You can see the Snow Houses (see photo right) and marvel at the ways people made ice in times gone by..  go on scenic walks through many different scenic areas, with different stories to tell.. You will often have the chance of seeing wildlife too... lizards, foxes, arruis, wild boar, squirrels to name but a few things.

There´s a spot in the mountains which is a regular haunt of wild boar although of course seeing them can never be guaranteed, but when we see them it definitely makes our day, specially if they bring their beautiful stripey babies!    

 

There is also a gorgeous, unspoilt quiet lake area within the moonscapes of Gebas very close to El Berro, just a few minutes' away, and a lovely place for a walk. In fact, if you're looking for variety, there is plenty in the Murcia area around Sierra Espuna. It's not a very long drive to the coast for beachlovers  nor to big city Murcia and all the shopping centres, so there's something for everyone.

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