Las Torcas de Palancares – Mohorte, Spain - Atlas Obscura

Las Torcas de Palancares

Mohorte, Spain

Walls of stone rise up from sinkholes caused by underwater erosion. 


Twenty kilometers from Cuenca and near the town of Mohorte, you’ll find one of the most impressive landscapes of the province, the Torcas of Palancares.

Huge torcas between thirty and five hundred meters in diameter in calcareous soil are scattered throughout the terrain across 6 square kilometers. Circular collapses and sinkholes with impressive stone walls, the floors of these pits filled with brushwood, pine trees and other greenery. They vary in size between 40 and 500 meters across, some measuring up to 100 meters deep.

There are about 50 torcas in all, including the imposing Blonde Torca, the Water Torcazo, the gorgeous Torca Wolf, the Torca of Hives with its 100 meters of slope, and the largest, the Torca Long. The rest of the torcas are named after local vegetation, or sometimes by the persons who discovered them.

The geological oddities are caused by 80 million years worth of carbonated water eating away at the limestone underground. Once it hit stronger layers and was unable to eat its way through, the ground collapsed, creating the scenic craters that pit the landscape.

Some of the torcas are easily accessible by car, others have to be accessed by marked trails that connect them.

Know Before You Go

To get there go out of Cuenca on the N-420 towards Teruel and turn after the village of Mohorte.

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June 19, 2012

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