Canchal de la Ceja is the most elevated point in Salamanca province and is placed in Sierra de Béjar,
located at Macizo Occidental de Gredos (Sistema Central). It's an easy to climb mountain by the normal route and a very interesting peak to climb with skis. The area was shaped by the glaciers in the Quaternary so now there are the biggest lakes in Gredos. Sierra de Béjar is placed in the south east of Salamanca province, bordering on Cáceres to the south and Avila to the east. Its name comes from the nice town called Béjar (Salamanca), located to the north east.
The most climbed normal route starts at Plataforma del Travieso (1.870 m),
goes by the NW side of Sierra del Calvitero, passing El Calvitero (2.401 m) and the Col 2.324 m. Don't confuse Plataforma del Travieso with Plataforma de Candelario (approx. 1.650 m), wich is a parking placed near a boarding house 3 Km before Plataforma del Travieso. Other normal routes would start at Central Eléctrica del Chorro (1.390 m),
placed below Laguna del Duque, and would go:
-By Garganta del Trampal to Lagunas del Trampal, Col 2.324 m and summit.
-Or by Cordal de la Ceja, the long east ridge of Canchal de la Ceja.
The most frecuented bases of the mountain
are Plataforma del Travieso (1.870 m), also called El Quemal; Central Eléctrica del Chorro (1.390 m) or Puerto de Tornavacas (1.275 m).
The nearest airports
are the National Airdrome of Matacán (Salamanca) or the International Airport of Barajas (Madrid).
There is also a railway
station at Béjar (Salamanca) and bus lines
wich join Avila, Cáceres, Salamanca or Madrid with Béjar or Barco de Avila, the biggest towns in the area. Information about buses Salamanca-Béjar and Béjar-Candelario
1a. FROM MADRID TO PLATAFORMA DEL TRAVIESO
Take A-6 to Avila (107 Km), then N-110 passing Piedrahita (62 Km), AV-102 (also called SA-101 or SA-102) passing Puente del Congosto to N-630 (36 Km), Béjar (13 Km) and a little road passing Candelario (3 Km) to Plataforma (8 Km). Total: 229 Km, 2 h 45 min.
1b. FROM MADRID TO CENTRAL ELECTRICA DEL CHORRO
Take A-6 to Avila (107 Km), then N-110 passing Piedrahita (62 Km) and El Barco de Avila until a right cross (30 Km) to Solana de Avila (3 Km) first and Central del Chorro (5 Km) finally. Total: 207 Km, 2 h 30 min.
There are little works of widening in the A-6, from Km 43 to Km 56 (20 June 2008).
1c. FROM MADRID TO PUERTO DE TORNAVACAS
As in point 1b but adding 9 Km on N-110 to Puerto de Tornavacas. Total: 208 Km, 2 h 30 min.
2a. FROM SALAMANCA TO PLATAFORMA DEL TRAVIESO
N-630 to Béjar (80 Km) and then as in point 1a. Total: 89 Km, 1 hour.
2b. FROM SALAMANCA TO CENTRAL ELECTRICA DEL CHORRO
C-510 to Piedrahita (66 Km), then as in point 1b. Total: 104 Km, 1 h 15 min.
2c. FROM SALAMANCA TO PUERTO DE TORNAVACAS
C-510 to Piedrahita (66 Km) and N-110 to Puerto de Tornavacas (39 Km). Total: 105 Km, 1 h 15 min.
3a. FROM CACERES TO PLATAFORMA DEL TRAVIESO
N-630 passing Plasencia (84 Km) to Béjar (52 Km), then as in point 1a. Total: 145 Km, 1 h 30 min.
3b. FROM CACERES TO CENTRAL ELECTRICA DEL CHORRO
N-630 to Plasencia (84 Km), N-110 passing Puerto de Tornavacas (52 Km) until a left cross to Solana de Avila (3 Km) and left again along 5 Km to Central Eléctrica del Chorro. Total: 144 Km, 1 h 30 min.
3c. FROM CACERES TO PUERTO DE TORNAVACAS
See the point 3b. Total: 136 Km, 1 h 20 min.
This mountain is placed in Parque Natural de Candelario (8.200 Ha / 20,500 acres)
but it requires no permits, fees or parking passes to get into. Sometimes you could be charged at the entry to Central Eléctrica del Chorro by a guardian who usually stands at the gate. There are no seasonal closures.
When To Climb
Every time of the year is good to climb this mountain but try to avoid July or August
because of the high temperatures. Late in the season try to avoid the days of fog or storm, it could be dangerous to get lost in this range. The minimum temperatures in winter can drop below -15 ºC and the winds guts can be very stong sometimes. So always take map, compass and altimeter with you.
INM Weather forecast for Sierra de Gredos.
Get informed of winter road conditions in the pages 601 and 611 of "Teletexto" TVE.
Camping and Lodging
Free camping is forbidden
in the area but you can bivy nevertheless.
Refugio Hoya Cuevas (approx. 1.840 m)
Non guarded, 8-10 places, near Arroyo (creek) Cuerpo de Hombre and below Charca (pond) Cuerpo de Hombre.
Refugio Palomo (approx. 1.300 m)
Non guarded, near and to the SE of Puerto de Tornavacas.
A possible shelter could be the sheperd's shack
wich is dirty and only has 2 places. It's placed 50 m ahead of the normal route (from Plataforma del Travieso) old ski-lift.
There are many lodgings and rural houses
in the area (Candelario, Béjar...) Boarding house (hostal)*
on Puerto de Tornavacas. Tel 927 197 097
LOS CINCO CASTAÑOS 2nd cat, with boarding house**, placed on the exit of Candelario towards plataformas.
LLANO ALTO, El Castañar, 37700 Béjar. Tel 923 400 702
ALBERGUE JUVENIL CANDELARIO, Avenida del Parque s/n, 37710 Candelario. Tel 923 413 323
2-Thousand-Meter Mountains in Sierra de BejarCanchal de la Ceja 2.428 m
Point NE of Canchal de la Ceja 2.405 m
Calvitero 2.401 m
El Torreón or Vértice del Calvitero (or Calvitero) 2.400 m
Point NE of El Torreón 2.394 m
Point SW of El Torreón (near) 2.373 m
Point on Cuerda del Calvitero 2.372 m
Risco Gordo 2.366 m
Canchal Negro 2.364 m
Canchal del Turmal 2.338 m
Los Hermanitos 2.329 m
Point NW of Canchal del Turmal 2.312 m
Peña Negra 2.217 m
La Nijarra or Canchal de la Portilla del Arenal 2.212 m
Point E of La Nijarra 2.186 m
Loma de la Culebrilla 2.184 m
Point S of El Torreón 2.174 m
Point S of La Nijarra 2.171 m
Point 1 at Lagunas del Trampal 2.149 m
Point 1 of Serrezuela de Béjar 2.139 m
Point SW of El Torreón (far) 2.134 m
Point 2 at Lagunas del Trampal 2.128 m
Canchal Pinajarro 2.099 m
Risco La Campana 2.093 m
Risco del Aguila 2.059 m
Point NE of La Campana (near) 2.046 m
Point NE of La Campana (far) 2.041 m
Point 2 of Serrezuela de Béjar 2.035 m
I still haven't enough data of the mountains to the N of Canchal Negro. I'll try to find them soon but I think that they won't modify the list a lot.
MapsInstitution scale, number or name, year [altitude of Canchal de la Ceja given]:
IGN 1:25.000, new [2.428 m]
IGN 1:50.000 (553 Béjar and 576 Cabezuela del Valle)
ALPINA 1:50.000, Valle del Jerte (Valle del Ambroz - La Vera), 2000 [2.430 m]
CGE 14-23 1:50.000 (series M7814), 2000 [2.432 m]
ADRADOS Parque Regional de la Sierra de Gredos (Mapas Topográficos Excursionistas), 2002 [2.425 m]
All the information about monuments, museums, lodging, transport and restaurants of Béjar (Salamanca), the nearest major town to Canchal de la Ceja. Also has some information about routes, mountain bike routes, ski, weather (not good), traffic and telephones. In Spanish.
- Ayuntamiento de Béjar - Concejalía de Turismo
The site of Béjar council includes information about monuments, routes, traditions, museums, lodging, restaurants and telephones. Click on Sierra de Béjar, where it's located Canchal de la Ceja, and you'll obtain information about routes and photos of this beautiful range. In Spanish.
- Revista Turística de Salamanca - La Sierra de Béjar, refugio invernal
The site of that mag (winter-spring 2004) includes an overview of Sierra de Béjar with approaches, history, skiing information... In Spanish.