The Dehesa of Santa Fe offers a wide range of possibilities for rural tourism. Lovers of nature, bohemians and numerous students walk along their footpaths of olive groves and pines. At an altitude of 575 meters over sea level, and with an annual average temperature of 14.7 degrees, the Dehesa is located at the centre of the fertile valley of Granada, eleven kilometres away of the capital.
– How to get there: You can access the route at the outskirts of Santa Fe, through the path that goes next to the silo and once you have crossed the Arroyo Salado.
– Itinerary: Circular route of twelve kilometres. There is a chance to make it shorter, since a circular sub-route is suggested, inside the main one, a lot shorter.
– Recommendations: You can do the route any time of the year, except in the summer, and with any vehicle without engine.
The route designed by the Partnership for the Development of the fertile valley- Elvira Mountain range begins at the path that goes next to the silo, once you have passed the Arroyo Salado. The itinerary presents the particularity to have a main route and shorter sub-route.
At the beginning there is a crossing: the main route takes the path of the right and the sub-route the one of the left. This last one goes up to the Dehesilla and its recreational areas, and soon it goes down through Aguas Calientes until reaching the main route again.
This way, at this point you have to decide which route to take. If you take the main one the route is a few kilometres longer, but it is a very attractive area as far as the landscape and points of interest. If you choose the sub-route, the signs will lead you through the path. The only point that you will have to pay attention is the connection point of the track that goes up to the Dehesilla with the one that goes back to the main route.
The Dehesa shines on tables and barbecues where the traveller will refill energies, while he enjoys lunch. The history of Santa Fe provides this picnic a special meaning: each 25th of November, hundreds of people come to the place in a parade that is called “La Merendica”, and that commemorates the signature of the ‘ “Capitulations of Santa Fe”, which would give way to the surrender of Granada months later.
Santa Fe is known in history as “the only city of the world that was built to siege another one”, Granada. Created originally as a military camp, the town began its construction after a fire. When the Catholic Kings signed, the 25th of November of 1491, the Capitulations with Boabdil, Isabel the Catholic celebrated it with a picnic.
From the Dehesilla, the route has no difficulty and there are no great problems about the direction. You have to go up through the dry land until connecting with the way of the Canal del Cacín, point that connects with the exit of the sub-route. The Canal del Cacin accompanies the traveller along a good part of the route.
Along the path you will pass near the Buena Vista State, which you will leave to the right. Shortly after the road of Chimeneas that you have to cross carefully to continue the route appears.
Once you have walked a good section, you reach where you have to cross a ravine and, shortly after, the Canal del Cacín goes over. Then you access to a track on the left that goes down the ravine. It is a good place to rest. Later, you will return to the main path to start going back to Santa Fe.
The route guides to a historical space: Las Yeseras. The traveller will meet with the tradition of one of the disappeared activities of the town. The plaster was extracted normally of these deposits that abounded at the Dehesa and which at the moment have been restored by a group of volunteers. Formerly, they served to obtain plaster very appreciated at the town and the surrounding area.
The plaster was obtained from quarries in blocks of stone that were later burned in an elaborated process. The product was used to whitewashed walls and in rubblework walls.
After contemplating these spaces, the signs guide to the Tower of the Boldonar, of Nasrid time. Only part of the construction is conserved at present time. After passing through the Chinchilla Farm and leaving it aside at the crossing, you will have to look for a track coming from the right and that it will take you to cross the Arroyo Chimeneas again.
Later the footpath follows towards the motorway until getting to the Cortijo of Santa Filomena. You have to cross again the road of Chimeneas through the bridge over the motorway. You will go around the airport in the direction of Santa Fe. The itinerary goes along cultivations of dry land and small orchards. This way you reach the end of the route.
A COMPULSORY REST: “AGUAS CALIENTES”
One of the great attractions of the route is the thermal waters, to which you can access through the sub-route once you have passed the Dehesilla. Although the well is private property, the owners do not mind if people use the water, with the condition that the visitors are respectful with nature. A main well, the ravine and the secondary wells that have formed draw up the route of crystalline waters good for the bones. The thermal spas have as origin a spring from which hot water comes out along the whole year and the temperature is higher than the atmospheric one because it comes from the underground. The water contains diverse mineral substances and, from immemorial time, it has had curative properties. Many people go to this spa that nature has formed for the visitors weekly. The thermal waters offer different treatments for rheumatic diseases: the temperature of the water improves the oxygen concentration and releases substances that produce an anti-inflammatory effect.