Though placed in the very same range (and a short distance apart!) of the Canchal de la Ceja
, El Torreón is considered by most maps and guidebooks the highest summit of the spanish province of Cáceres. It's also known in some maps as Calvitero (which might be confusing with another summit of the same range) or Vértice del Calvitero. It's not a really difficult climb, but -being placed apart from the main trailheads- will call for a good physical shape. Some climbing skills might be helpful (though not strictly necessary) for a passage (Paso del Diablo-Devil's Pass) placed on the normal route from the Plataforma del Travieso and Canchal de la Ceja.
The main trailheads
are Plataforma del Travieso (easily reached from the small city of Béjar), Central del Chorro or the small village of Hervás
Getting TherePLATAFORMA DEL TRAVIESO TRAILHEAD
In order to keep it short, let us consider the driving routes from the nearest province capital. For Plataforma del Travieso that capital would be Salamanca
, placed about 90 kilometers north of the trailhead. Leave the town southwards, going towards Béjar and Cáceres via road E-803/N-630. The first thirty kilometers (or so) are made easier by a highway under construction. When construction works send you out of the highway, keep going south on road E-803/N-630 towards Béjar
and you will get there 74 km after leaving Salamanca. Enter Béjar leaving the main road, and (about mid-city) take the road on your left signposted as "Candelario". From that point on, it's about 5 km to Candelario
and (crossing the village) 13 more on a small mountain road towards the Plataforma del Travieso. Keep going until the end of the road.
CENTRAL DEL CHORRO TRAILHEAD
This trailhead is reached from the small village of Solana de Avila
, a short distance west of the road linking Avila
(closest province capital) to Plasencia
. You will need to leave Avila via road N-110 and follow the signs towards Plasencia, reaching Solana de Avila after 92 km of an excellent (December 2007) road. At Solana de Avila, follow the signposts to "Central Eléctrica del Chorro" for a further 5 km. Obviously, if you start at Plasencia the signs to be followed will be those marking "Avila" but the distance to Solana de Avila will be of 59 km.
Hervás is a small village scarcely 25 km south of Candelario. It belongs to the spanish province of Cáceres. To reach Hervás, leave Cáceres northwards via highway A-66 (following the signs to "Salamanca"). After 70 km you will find the provisional end of that highway section, but keep driving towards Salamanca on road E-803/N-630. 34 additional km will place yourself at Plasencia, where a new highway section begins. 6 km after that, the signposts mark "Exit 436" to Aldeanueva de Baños and Hervás.
There seem to be a number of daily bus services running from Salamanca to Béjar and back, though my information on that subject is still quite thin. Will let you know any further news about that as soon as I get them.
Main railway stations in the area
Plasencia - You will need to get there from Madrid, Badajoz, Cáceres or Mérida (apart from a number of minor stations). Check the web page of RENFE - spanish railways
Closest main airports
(237 km from Candelario, 217 km to Solana de Avila)
(205 km from Candelario, 231 km to Solana de Avila). Only offers some international connections, but you might find it handy if flying in from Paris or London.
Red TapeNo need for special permits nor fees to be payed
, though some informations say that a guard on the Central del Chorro trailhead might charge you a small amount if you find him.
The Sierra de Béjar is not specially protected nowadays, but take all necessary precautions to preserve nature and remember that there are talks about turning it into a Natural Park
Free camping is officially forbidden, but none of the routes are hard enough to make it really necessary in order to climb El Torreón.