Al-Ballut Decalogue

We wanted to define 10 specific pieces of advice and/or recommendations as a kind of decalogue, which we believe will help you to make Al-Ballut a 100% satisfactory experience under the slogan ENJOY IT, RESPECT IT, TELL OTHERS ABOUT IT.

Click on each image to see each one of them!

Additional Information


Although the routes are cyclable throughout the year, the weather conditions unique to the area make certain times of year more suitable than others to do the route. As a general rule, the months of July and August are hot and dry in the area, which is why we recommend you exclude the possibility of doing the route during these months.

Autumn is a beautiful season to do the route. The extreme heat is already over, and contemplating the revival of the greenery, the contrasts that arise with the falling leaves and listening to the bellows of deer stags during rutting season, is quite an experience.

Winter is dry and cold in Pedroches Valley, but it offers scenes of rare beauty, and it’s an opportunity for watching wintering birds, such as the common crane, the red kite, the lapwing, or the golden plover, which visit the region by the thousands.

Spring es the best time of year to enjoy the whole ride. The spring showers in the area leave fields with a wide range of colors in all landscapes: mountains, pasturelands, river beds, grasslands, etc.

Decálogo de Al-Ballut
El buitre, abundante en el valle


Pedroches Valley offers a wealth of biodiversity with both plant and animal species.

Emblematic species appear, such as the Iberian imperial eagle, the Iberian lynx, Bonelli’s eagle, the golden eagle, the Egyptian vulture, the otter, etc. It is also easy to see large concentrations of scavenger birds: griffon and black vultures. Together with these more visible species, other less visible species can also be found: freshwater mussels, stone martens, genets, great spotted woodpeckers, etc.

As night falls, the nocturnal fauna takes center stage, with its characteristic sounds: tawny owls, eagle owls, nightjars, amphibians, scops owls and the list goes on.

Coexisting with the wild fauna, along the routes we will also find flocks of sheep, and herds of cows, goats and Iberian pigs.

In Pedroches Valley we can find a wide variety of ecosystems: mountain olive groves, gallery forests, Mediterranean hills, grasslands. The holm oak pastureland predominates; Although the area of the Sierra de Cardeña and Montoro Nature Reserve is associated with Pyrenean oaks, cork-oaks and gall-oaks.

The topography is conditioned by the Pedroches Valley batholith (a giant mass of intrusive igneous rock) in its central area, which gives it a terrain of rolling hills. However, the north and south of the batholith, are characterized by more abrupt landforms, modeled by the erosion of rivers. The Sierras de Santa Eufemia and the Loma del Calatraveño-Buenavista stand out as well.


Saint James’ Mozarabic Way (Camino Mozárabe de Santiago) crosses part of the region in its connection between the provinces of Almeria, Granada, Malaga and Cordoba and Extremadura, where it joins the Vía de la Plata (or Silver Route) in Merida.

The villages of Alcaracejos, Villanueva del Duque, Fuente la Lancha and Hinojosa are the protagonists and representatives of the Pedroches Valley region on the most famous pilgrimage in the world, and they also have their Waypoint on the Al-Ballut Bike Experience routes.

That’s why it won’t be difficult for you to find some of the characteristic yellow arrows that guide pilgrims, on foot and on bike, on their special route.


The Pedroches Valley region was declared a Starlight reserve by the Starlight Foundation, praising the high quality of its night sky, with an extraordinary darkness and clearness.

The credentials of this territory also establish the demarcation of several areas: the Core Zone, where the natural lighting conditions and clarity of the night sky are kept intact; the Protection Zone, located near the Core, which serves to cushion the adverse effects associated with light and air pollution that may affect them; and the General Zone, a nearby area outside the reserve where responsible, smart lighting criteria should therefore be applied.

Photo courtesy of Hilario Rubio