A bit of a mouthful even by Spanish standards but the Reserva Natural de los Galachos de la Alfranca de Pastriz, La Cartuja y El Burgo de Ebro is well worth a visit if you are in the area.
The nature reserve is located in the middle of the Ebro valley in the province of Zaragoza.
Also well worth a visit are the nearby villages of Alfajarín, El Burgo de Ebro, Fuentes de Ebro, Nuez de Ebro, Osera, Pastriz, La Puebla de Alfindén, La Cartuja Baja and of cource the city of Zaragoza.
Find a hotel in Zaragoza close to the Reserva Natural de los Galachos de la Alfranca de Pastriz, La Cartuja y El Burgo de Ebro.
A Galacho (Ox-bow lake in English – Resaca in the US and Billabong in Australia) forms when a river creates a meander, due to the river’s eroding bank. After a long period of time, the meander becomes very curved, and eventually the neck of the meander becomes narrower and the river cuts through the neck, cutting off the meander and forming an oxbow lake.
Since the 1960s, these areas of still water (Galachos) have been declining due to extraction for human resources such as irrigation and drinking water.
The typical vegetation of this ecosystem is mostly reed being the typical plant of the humid environment in addition to the presence of aquatic fauna and flora. Also providing an excellent habitat are poplars, tamarisk and willow.
The irrigation of the southern farmland of Zaragoza (Aragón), the artificial ponds of Saica and other artificially formed bodies of water, such as the Canal Imperial de Aragón and its pond create a large protected area for migratory groups of more than 1500 specimens of birds such as kites, crows, lapwing, rooks, seagulls, storks, vultures and starlings.
Interpretation Center of La Alfranca (Centro de interpretación de La Alfranca)
Location: Finca de la Alfranca, in the International Center for Water and the Environment (Centro Internacional del Agua y del Medio Ambiente CIAMA), 15 km from Zaragoza, 2 km from Pastriz and 3 km from La Puebla de Alfind.
This centre has guided visits to the Galacho de la Alfranca
There are also excellent audiovisual projections, exhibitions and models. Indepth iformation can be found about the riparian ecosystems, fauna and vegetation of the reserve river forests and the fluvial dynamics of the river Ebro.
Autumn-Winter: Weekends and holidays from 10.30 a.m. to 2.30 p.m. and 3.30 p.m. to 6.30 p.m.
Spring-Summer: Weekends and holidays, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The Grazalema Guide
The best way to see all our web projects in one place is over at the Grazalema Guide.
The Grazalema Guide – Tourist Information Portal for the Sierra de Grazalema, Wildside Holidays, The town of Ronda and the Caminito del Rey.