Human activity in the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park
Given the size of the Natural Park, it is not surprising that there are numerous towns and villages located within the boundaries of the Natural Park: Ronda, Grazalema, El Bosque, Prado del Rey, Jimera de Líbar, Benaojan, Ubrique, Montejaque, Cortes de la Frontera, Algodonales, Benaocaz, Villaluenga del Rosario, El Gastor and Zahara de la Sierra.
The area has numerous remains dating from the Roman as well as the Arabic periods, although human activity in the area dates back to Paleolithic times.
During the industrial revolution, more than 4,000 workers were employed in the textile or carpentry industries due to the abundance of water need to power the necessary machinery. Most of the mills in existence were destroyed, but many of those that were saved are now having a renaissance as holiday cottages.
Local natural resources have influenced in many of the industries which have created employment in the past as well as the present: from goat cheese to honey, basket making to woollen and leather goods manufacture, hunting and fishing to ecological tourism.
Mention must also be made of the breeding of fighting bulls in large open grazing fields, still an important business in Spain: having said this, our walking routes avoid crossing paths with these animals, so there’s no chance of any budding matadors waving a red rag!