Canoeing. Serranía de Ronda
Canoeing is a water sport which is practised with a lightweight boat, like rafts, canoes, kayaks… As many other sports, other sub-varieties are classed according to water conditions and required equipment.
Sprint Canoeing takes place on straight courses with calm waters such as lakes, reservoirs and steady rivers. From the tourism and leisure perspective, it can be described as a peaceful travel on board a boat.
White water Canoeing requires higher technical skills and experience to carry it out as you will paddle along challenging moving waters with rapids and ripples. It typically takes place in rivers but it can be also practised in artifi cial white water canoeing courses.
The Serranía de Ronda offers a wonderful variety of waters to choose from placid waters in the Zahara Reservoir (Pantano de Zahara) to challenging white water descents in the Guadiaro River when the river level rises.
Zahara reservoir is located in Zahara de la Sierra and it stores water from the Guadalete River, which is sourced in the mountain range Sierra de Grazalema. This large reservoir is shared between the towns of El Gastor and Montecorto and its size is ideal to go around exploring the banks during a quiet day with the family or to use it for canoe sprint training.
Guadiaro River is formed by two major tributaries, the Guadalcobacín River, which fl ows across the town of Arriate, and Guadalevín River, the river of Ronda. It is in the village La Indiana where they meet forming Guadiaro River which discharges into the Mediterranean Sea at the level of Sotogrande (in the province of Cadiz).
Thanks to the signifi cant rainwater volume, Serranía de Ronda boasts navigable rivers with calm waters in small reservoirs or with white waters, especially during rainy periods. In summertime, it becomes perfect for short walks along well-preserved woods. The descent conditions can vary according to the rainfalls. Nevertheless, two main stretches can be distinguished:
Estación de Benaoján-Estación de Jimera
Guadiaro River has two main sources: Guadare River which after pouring the water out of the cave Cueva del Gato meets Guadiaro River in the village Estación de Benaoján and the water from the spring Nacimiento de los Cascajales which meets the Guadiaro a few metres away from this town. This guarantees enough water to practise canoeing during the whole year.
You will begin in a small reservoir in the village Estación de Benaoján called Charco de la Barranca. From here on, rapids, obstacles and narrow stretches of the river always covered with exuberant vegetation will come up in your descent towards the Canoeing Centre, Vagones de Jimera.
Estación de Jimera-Estación de Cortes
The second stretch leads us from the mooring in the village Estación de Jimera to the village Estación de Cortes (also called Cañada del Real Tesoro). It is an opener stretch with rapids where risky backwaters are frequent. You will need to avoid them walking along the bank or jumping them off depending on water level and your experience.
The Canoeing Centre. Vagones de Jimera is a water sports centre located close to the Railway Station in Jimera de Líbar. It consists of three old wooden train coaches, refurbished and restored as a tourism information office about the Guadiaro River, as changing rooms and as a boat storehouse.
• Life vest
• Suitable clothes
• Sun cream
• First-aid kit
• Water and food
• Mobile phone
• Dry change of clothes.
- Keep in mind that water levels affect noticeably this sport.
- It is highly recommended to rely on local companies for these types of sports, thus you enjoy a safely descent.
- Please, obey all warning signs.
- Take all litter home and respect nature.
- In summertime, there is a high risk of fi re. Do not set any fi re.
- Livestock farming is a vital economic activity in the Serranía de Ronda. Therefore, you are asked to take due care to close gates and respect livestock.