Tag Archives: protected areas in Aragón

The Selva de Oza

The Selva de Oza (Selba d’Oza in Aragonese) is a protected natural space located in the Hecho Valley (Huesca province), in the western part of the Aragonese Pyrenees . It is a natural space crossed by the waters of the Aragón Subordán river and surrounded by high mountain peaks between 2300 and 2700 meters. In the area the peaks of Peña Forca (2390 m), Punta Agüerri (2450 m), Castillo de Acher (2384 m) and Bisaurín (2668 m) stand out. )

The dense forest consists mainly of fir trees mixed with pine and beech and other species such as yew, maple and birch. In addition there is also huge variety of fungi, fruits and wild flowers.

In the forest and mountainous environment there are bear, ferret, roe deer, wild boar, badger, beech marten, fox, squirrel and otter.

In the sky keep a lookout for bearded vultures griffon vultures and golden eagles.The Aragón Subordán river also holds excellent stocks of trout.

The whole area is ideal for numerous sports and tourism activities and the stunning landscape is ideal for hiking, mountain biking, climbing, paragliding and in winter, cross-country skiing, mountain skiing, snowshoeing and back-country skiing.

Find a hotel in the Selva de Oza


Dolmens, the abbey and the remains of one of the ancient Roman roads of Antonino Pío

Dolmens and stone circles

Some of the hiking routes allow you to discover traces that the ancient inhabitants left in the valley. One of the most interesting, due to its good conservation, is the dolmen in Aguastuertas, 1,600 meters above sea level (In the municipality of Ansó). it is accessed via the Selva de Oza, through the Guarrinza valley.

The Dolmen de Aguastuertas is one of many megalithic remains found in this area and around 80 monuments have been cataloged, creating what is considered to be the largest concentration of megaliths in the Pyrenean mountain range. In the Selva de Oza at the “Crown of the Dead”, there are also concentrations of huge stone circles that have been dated between 7000 and 5000 BC. Inside the stone circles, excavations have found flint arrowheads and small stone utensils that suggest that they are the remains of an ancient settlement used throughout history from prehistoric times to medieval times.

Abbey of San Pedro de Siresa

Buildings have existed at this site for centuries, possibly back to Visigothic times according to the excavations conducted in 1991. A Roman road (ruins of which remain today) passed nearby, connecting Zaragoza and Berdún (in the municipality of Canal de Berdún) to Béarn (France) through the 1,970 meter pass at Puerto de Palo. (More info at wikipedia)

Abbey of San Pedro de Siresa
Abbey of San Pedro de Siresa

Information Centres

The town of Valle de Hecho has an excellent information centre with everything you need to get the best out of a visit to the area.

Web: http://www.valledehecho.es/informacion_turistica/oficina-turismo/39/

They also have a facebok page

The Interpretation Center of Pyrenean Megalithism and Val d’Echo

OBLIGATORY VISIT! 🙂 To find the Interpretation Center of the Pyrenean Megalithism follow the road that leads to the Selva de Oza and after 8 kilometers you will find the old Forest House (antigua casa forestal) at the beginning of the Boca del Infierno.

The exhibition is also available in English and through projections, reproductions and interpretive panels, “you will enter one of the most exciting worlds that the ancient inhabitants of the Pyrenees designed and built.”

There is also a cafe bar on site.

Opening times

From the 15 June to September 15 open every day.
From September 16 to June 14 open only on weekends and holidays. (Except Christmas Day and New Year’s Day).
Times: 11:00 to 13:00 and 17:00 to 19:00.

Wildside Holidays – Spain

The top wildlife, activity and walking holiday companies in Spain. Small family companies living and working in Spain. Local guides are the best!


Protected landscape of San Juan de la Peña and Monte Oroel

  • Declared a site of national interest: 1920.
  • Declared protected nature area: 2007.
  • Protected landscape area: 9514 hectares.
  • Nearby towns and villages: Botaya, Bailo, Caldearenas, Jaca, Las Peñas de Riglos, Santa Cilia and Santa Cruz de la Serós.

The protected landscape of San Juan de la Peña and Monte Oroel is located in the province of Huesca, Aragón. The two elements that stand out the most are those to which its own name refers: the monastery of San Juan de la Peña and the Oroel rock .

In 1920 the place where the monastery is located was declared a Natural Site of National Interest, being one of the first to obtain this declaration in Spain. In Aragón it has been defined as a protected landscape since January 23, 2007 and it is also a SCI and ZEPA .

The Peña Oroel can be divided into two main formations: the Sierra de San Juan de la Peña, with a maximum altitude of 1550 meters above sea level, and Mount Oroel, which reaches 1770 meters. The conglomerates stand out, sedimentary rocks of the detrital type formed by bouldersand containing ridges and escarpments.

Find a hotel in the Protected landscape of San Juan de la Peña and Monte Oroel


Fauna and Flora

Vegetation varies according to the altitude as in the lower areas you can find gall oaks and holm oaks as well as a scrub forest made up mainly of boxwood, gorse and hedgehog broom. Higher up we find pines, beech, fir, yew and maple.

The two formations constitute a mid-mountain ecosystem. The forests are dense and there are conglomerate escarpments that serve as an excellent refuge for colonies of raptors. keep an eye out for the bearded vulture, egyptian vulture, golden eagle, griffon vulture and peregrine falcon.

Royal Monastery of San Juan de la Peña

The Royal Monastery of San Juan de la Peña located in Botaya, southwest of Jaca was the most important monastery in Aragón in the high Middle Ages. In its Royal Pantheon a good number of kings of Aragón are buried. It is also an important part of the Aragonese way of the Camino de Santiago.

Best viewpoints in the area of the Protected landscape of San Juan de la Peña and Monte Oroel

  • Balcón de los Pirineos.
  • Santa Teresa.
  • San Voto.
  • Peña Oroel.

Information Centers

Information about wildlife of the area can be found at the San Juan de la Peña Visitor Center next to the New Monastery of San Juan de la Peña (directions see below). This Centre includes excellent information about:

  • Protected Natural Areas of Aragon.
  • Geology of San Juan de la Peña.
  • Forest masses and associated flora and fauna.
  • History of Aragon.

Monastery of San Juan Interpretation Center

Built on the ruins of the “New Monastery” this center details the different aspects of San Juan de la Peña from its origins until the monks had to abandon the monastery in the 19th century.

Directions: Take the N-240 road Jaca to Pamplona and pass through the beautiful village of Santa Cruz de la Serós. A mountain road that starts from this village leads to the Old Monastery, and from there it is a further 1, 5 km more until the New Monastery and the Interpretation Centre.

Opening times

Autumn – winter: weekends and holidays, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Spring – summer: weekends and holidays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

The website is here

Wildside Holidays – Spain

The top wildlife, activity and walking holiday companies in Spain. Small family companies living and working in Spain. Local guides are the best!