Despite being only 120km from the bustling Port City of Santander you can still find the Cantabrian brown bear and the Iberian Wolf hidden deep in these forests.
We meandered our way along the Rio Sil, a magnificent drive skirting turquoise blue reservoirs and forested hillsides, again rarely passing other vehicles.
Venturing North from Algeciras on the Costa de la Luz we entered the Parque Natural Los Alcornocales. Visited mainly for its atypical Andalusian whitewashed hillside villages, this rolling countryside of flower meadows, oak woodland with roaming deer and waterfalls is a hidden gem.
Winding back down towards the Costa del Sol, we weaved our way round hairpin bends through the Sierra de las Nieves park. We crossed several old stone bridges over clear, rocky rivers; the isolated road flanked by pine-covered slopes.
We veered northwards from the coastline again towards Granada and the Sierra Nevada National Park and into Cazorla National Park, the largest protected area in Spain and second largest in Europe. The scenery was breath-taking; river valleys surrounded by white rocky Mountains and pine forest.
An early morning stroll along the riverbank was rewarded with the flash of Golden Oriole flying amongst the trees, Griffon Vultures circling overhead and fish shoaling in the shallow margins.
So give the Costa’s a wide berth and instead chuck some camping gear in your car boot and enjoy a leisurely drive and some beautiful sights and siestas through natural Spain, you might even spot some deer!