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6 febrero 2023

5 Aragonese Protected Natural Spaces to visit this Christmas

Christmas is one of the best times to visit some of the Natural Protected Areas of the Autonomous Community. And, taking advantage of these dates, the Natural Network of Aragon proposes several experiences to enjoy during the next few days.

Hiking, bird watching or winter activities are some of the possibilities offered to the visitor by these natural environments.

POSETS-MALADETA NATURAL PARK

Aragonese Protected Natural Spaces

In the easternmost part of the Pyrenees, north of the Ribagorza region, this protected natural area offers visitors the chance to discover the high mountain winter. Surrounded by peaks over 3,000 meters high and dotted with extensive valleys and numerous waterfalls, the Posets-Maladeta Natural Park allows visitors to practice all kinds of winter sports and enjoy the natural values of the environment.

Within the limits of the area, a very interesting alternative is to go snowshoeing or cross-country skiing in Llanos del Hospital. A simpler option is to follow the S-1; a circular botanical trail, lasting one hour, which starts in the plains of Turpi and takes the visitor to the Gorgas de Alba.

Another alternative of great beauty is the S-4, which starts in the valley of Eriste and leads to the Espigantosa waterfalls.

(*) It is essential to be properly equipped and well sheltered.

DIRECTED NATURAL RESERVE OF THE GALLOCANTA LAGOON

If you have a good pair of binoculars, we recommend that you take advantage of these days to visit the Directed Natural Reserve of the Gallocanta Lagoon. This protected area, located between the regions of Jiloca and Campo de Daroca, offers a unique natural spectacle during these months: the wintering season of the cranes. According to the latest census carried out by the company Sarga, the Reserve is currently home to more than 22,700 cranes.

One of the best trails to discover this area is the PR Z33-‘La Laguna de Gallocanta y los lagunazos’. This is a long, 30-kilometer trail, with no incline, which crosses several birdwatching points from which you can enjoy the presence of the cranes. If desired, only a section of the route can be done on foot, by bicycle or on horseback.

CRYSTAL CAVES OF MOLINOS

Aragonese Protected Natural Spaces

There are only a few weeks left to visit this real jewel of nature before the winter break. The Molinos Crystal Caves are one of the four natural monuments in the Maestrazgo region. Together with the Organs of Montoro, the Natural Bridge over the Fonseca River or the source of the Pitarque River, all of which can be visited, these majestic karst caves constitute one of the most impressive subway landscapes in all of Aragon. Formed by hundreds of stalactites, stalagmites, columns, curtains and geological waterfalls, these caves offer visitors a very interesting experience during these Christmas days.

The guided tours to the Crystal Caves of Molinos are conducted from the Town Hall of the town in three passes in the morning and three passes in the afternoon. They can only be visited on December 31, January 2 and 6, 7, 8 and 9 January. After the Epiphany long weekend, visits will be interrupted until the end of February.

PROTECTED LANDSCAPE SAN JUAN DE LA PEÑA AND MOUNT OROEL

Only 25 kilometers from Jaca, the Protected Landscape of San Juan de la Peña and Monte Oroel becomes, during these weeks, an exceptional viewpoint to contemplate the panoramic view of the great Pyrenean massifs covered with snow. A space that also allows visitors to walk through different types of forests and enter the Romanesque monastery of San Juan de la Peña.

Highly recommended during this time of year is the S-4 trail, a two and a half hour walk that takes us over the conglomerate rocks to the hermitage of San Salvador. For those who want a shorter route, the path of the viewpoints, which combines the S-1, S-2 and S-3, can be a great option at this time of year.

MONCAYO NATURAL PARK

The Moncayo Natural Park is one of the obligatory visits in these days of December, with good weather. This protected natural space has possibilities for all audiences and sporting levels. From the snows of the summit of San Miguel, very frequented these days by skiers and more experienced mountaineers, to the various trails that run through the space in all its slopes.

For mountain biking enthusiasts, the Park has five marked routes specifically for this sport. Another way to enjoy the space is to make a route on foot. The S3 route, which runs through the Purujosa ravines, is truly surprising and of great beauty.

Also, if you also want to enjoy the ethnography of the territory, you can make the AG3 path that draws a route through the valley of the Huecha river around the traditional uses of the villages of the Moncayo somontano.

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