Jimena de la Frontera, Cádiz, Spain
Jimena de la Frontera is a historic town and municipality located in the province of Cádiz, Spain. According to estimates made by the National Statistics Institute of Spain. Over the years the town has known many rulers, from the Phoenicians and Romans to the Moors and ultimately the Christian armies. It’s a delight to stroll the steep and narrow cobblestone streets of Jimena, one of the more stunning of the Pueblos Blancos. It takes about 15 minutes to ascend to the highest point, the castle-fortress built on Roman ruins. Today the Castillo-Fortaleza is in ruins but still impressive. Inside the castle enclosure, you can take in one of the most panoramic views of the Costa del Sol, including the Rock of Gibraltar and the port of Algeciras, where ferries depart for Morocco.
Visitors with more time will find that Jimena is the gateway to the Parque Natural de los Alcornocales, stretching south to the Mediterranean and north to one of the white towns, El Bosque. The park is named for its cork oaks (alcornocales), which are among the largest in the world, but is also home to the gall and the holm oak as well as wild olive trees. Creatures such as the Egyptian mongoose, the royal eagle, eagle owls, lion buzzards, and the roebuck also inhabit the park. The park is one of the most heavily forested in Spain and will give you a sense of what Iberia used to look like before being deforested.
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