Off the Beaten Track: El Yelmo

El Yelmo (1808m) is one of the highest and most panoramic mountains in the north of the park. A 5.5km road – paved all the way, but single-track in parts – goes right to the summit, which is disfigured by a rash of communications towers but has magnificent 360-degree views. El Yelmo is a favourite take-off point for paragliders and is the focus of a big fiesta of free-flying and other activities, the Festival Internacional del Aire, which attracts thousands of people for three days every June (usually the first weekend of the month). For tandem flights contact Olivair in Segura de la Sierra.

To drive to El Yelmo, take the A6305 from Hornos, winding your way east up into the mountain pine forests. Go left (signposted to Segura and Siles) at a junction after 13km, and in 1km you'll see a road taking off to the left, between a ruined building and a smaller intact one (El Campillo walkers' refuge). This is the road up to El Yelmo. If you'd prefer to walk up, take the path signed 'Derivación 2 Bosques del Sur' from the El Campillo refuge. It shortens the climb to 3km (about 1½ hours).