Hiking route to Castañarillo, recommended by the mountain guide Severiano Antón

Autor Diane Cambon

Hike to Castañarillo, Losar de la Vera:

Its duration is 3 hours and it is about 8 KM with low difficulty. This circular route is distinguished by its beautiful views. It starts from the Venero fountain in Losar de la Vera. Gaining height, you can see all the way to to the Sierra de Guadalupe. Crossing rivers and an oak forest that is nice and cool in summer, the trail ends at the rock pools of the Vadillo gorge, where you can bathe in crystal clear water.

Severiano, a guide to experience the mountain with

When he was 8 years old, the town of Losar de la Vera was too small for Severiano Antón. He began to look across Vadillo’s gorge, toward the first steps of the Sierra de Tormantos. «At that time, you could not possibly get lost. The goat paths were impeccable and there were huts inhabited by goatherds all over the area, always ready to offer you a glass of freshly milked milk» says Severiano, taking a look at the mountains from his mountaineering shop and shoe store on the town’s main street. This Losareño, who entered his 50s looking like a young athlete, never lost contact with the mountains. «Not a week goes by without me going up the mountain no matter what the weather is like. » Since adolescence, he began to travel the different slopes of the mountains, from Guijo de Santa Bárbara to Viandar. «I started going out for several days, with a tent, at first with friends but later alone, each time I wanted to go further, towards the peaks,» says Severiano.

His passion encouraged him to train as a Tourism Development Agent and Mountain Guide. He organized trails of several hours or of a whole day, combining physical effort with the observation of the fauna and flora.

He invites hikers to enjoy the natural environment with all their senses. «Our mountains offer a great variety of plants due to the special climate we have, and what still surprises me the most today is the smells surrounding you,» says Severiano. For this nature lover, what makes the Sierra de Gredos special on its southern slope is the smells that envelopes you when you walk through it: thyme, lavender, heather, rockrose, rosemary, oregano…. «I have walked through many mountains but the smell of this mountain range is unique,» says the guide. He tells us about the flower of a characteristic plant of these lands, the broom, which comes out in spring and covers the mountainside with a delicate yellow mantle.

On the trails, there is no shortage of groups of mountain goats, which in winter leave the peaks to look for food down the mountain. But there is also a great variety of birds such as eagles and vultures. «It is very impressive to discover the nests of vultures and admire their flight from above, it is a spectacular sight,» says Severiano, remembering a route to La Covacha, the highest peak in Extremadura, located at 2,395 meters.

Not all of Severiano´s trails go over high peaks. «It is very important not to show off on the mountain and know your limitations, not everyone can reach the highest peak in a single day,» says the guide who recommends caution.

Beauty can be found in every corner of the mountains, such as the Waterfall Route or the Unique Trees Route. Without forgetting the Numbers Route, a path where stones engraved with dates are found. «The most famous is that of 1618,» explains Severiano, «these were people who walked from the south of the peninsula to Castile and who marked the stones.» At each step, one lives a new experience where the mystery of this unique mountain range is revealed.

Severiano’s contact phone to hire routes: 699 58 73 51.