The highest mountain of Eastern Massif of Sierra de Gredos
Cerro del Cabezo in winter from the village of Serranillos
is situated between the valleys of the rivers Alberche
(to the north) and Tiétar
(to the south). It is part of a subrange, the Sierra del Cabezo
, which consists of a number of summits, aligned on the east-to-west running ridge. Cerro del Cabezo
is the highest of these summits and located almost centrally in the subrange. The main summits are (west to east)
Cabezo de Mijares
- Risco de Miravalles (2008m)
- Cerro del Cabezo, also Cabezo de Gavilanes (2191m)
- Cabezo, Also Cabezo de Mijares (2187m)
- Cabeza Santa (2068m)
is considered a geodesic vertex by the Instituto Geodésico Nacional (IGN)
(National Geodesic Institute) in spite of its lower elevation.
Cabezo de Gavilanes Gavilanes summit block Gavilanes summit view
The easiest access to Sierra del Cabezo
starts from the northern side (Alberche valley) because the difference of elevation is much lower than from Tiétar valley in the south. Cerro del Cabezo
is located between two mountain passes, both accessible by car: Puerto de Mijares (1.572 m.)
to the east and Puerto de Serranillos (1.571 m.)
to the west. This is the reason why many mountaineers choose these mountain passes as a trailhead; in addition, they are located higher than the villages of the rivers Alberche (Serranillos) and Tiétar (Mijares and Gavilanes).
Cabezo de Gavilanes Cabezo de Mijares On the ridge traverse
The Eastern Massif of Sierra de Gredos
is much less frequented than the Central Massif (the most popular of the range), so that it will be rare that you find other mountaineers sharing these routes to climb Cerro del Cabezo.
Cabezo de Mijares Cabezo de Gavilanes Cabeza Santa
On the northern slope of the Eastern Massif of Sierra de Gredos
is situated the wide Alberche valley. This is a natural area covered with large forests (pine woods, oak woods, chestnut woods, etc.) and “dehesas” of holm oaks: a kind of woods where the cattle (cows, sheep, goats, pigs…) graze under the trees and there is hardly any scrub. In these forests you will find some species of birds in danger of extinction, as the black vulture (Aegypius monachus
), the iberian imperial eagle (also Adalbert's eagle (Aquila adalberti
). In nearby Valle de Iruelas (Iruelas valley) there is one of the most important nesting populations of black vulture in Central Spain.
The Alberche valley is closed by the north by Sierra de la Paramera
(a secondary Sierra in northern Sierra de Gredos). It separates it from the Adaja valley, a tributary of the river Duero (one of the major rivers of Spain).
Risco de Miravalles
Reasonable trailheads are the villages Seranillos
(1100m) in the north of Sierra de Cabezo or Mijares
(800m) in its south. Alternatively you can start at the saddles Puerto de Seranillos
(1575m) in the west or Purerto de Mijares
(1570m) in the east. From the saddles there is less elevation to be scaled but the distances are longer.
- From Avila take AV-900 to Burgohondo
- For Seranillos or Puerto de Seranillos switch to AV-913 west.
- For Puerto de Mijares or Mijares take AV-901
Huge fields of Spanish Broom cover Sierra del Cabezo so that routefinding can become difficult
All hiking routes to the summit of Cerro del Cabezo
head for one of the saddles first an then follow the ridgeline of the mountain. Between the road passes Puerto de Seranillos
and Puerto de Mijares
there are two lesser saddles, Puerto de Lagarejo
and Collado de los Pozos
, which can be used to shorten the ascent.
The route along the ridgeline is little more than a strenuous hike. The most serious obstacles are the bushes of Spanish Broom, which cover the whole Sierra de Cabezo
. Between Cabezo de Gavilanes
and Cabezo de Mijares
the ridge consists of large blocks and slabs with some exposure. You can avoid this part by passing it on the southern side.
There's no Red Tape. On the lower slopes you'll find cattle or horses grazing on the meadows so you are requested to close any gates or fences you might encounter.
It's not so easy to find accommodation for the area on the internet but you should be able to make your selection here:
Maps & Books
- Sierra de Gredos
ISBN: 978-3-7633-4716-2 (Spanish)
ISBN: 978-3-7633-4381-2 (German)
- Parque Regional de la Sierra de Gredos
Mapas Topograficos Excursionistas
1:135000 / 1:25000