Above Image by Heparina1985 – Valley of Ordesa, Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park, Spain
Walking and wildlife holidays in Aragón
- Capital: Zaragoza.
- Area: 47,719 km²
- Provinces: Huesca, Zaragoza, Teruel
Aragon is home to the highest peak in the Pyrenees “Aneto” which reaches a height of 3404m, situated in Pirineo Central, Huesca. It also holds the oldest National Park, Ordesa, which was founded in 1918 by Royal decree. The wildlife here includes Eagles, Lammergeyer, Brown bear, Otters, Wild boar, Alpine marmot and Chamois along with more than 170 bird species.
Contrasting to these high peaks, snow, waterfalls, meadows and glacial valleys is the 14.4 km² saline lagoon at Gallocanta which is an important reserve and wintering ground to cranes plus more than 200 bird species throughout the year.
Aragón Active Holidays close to the Ordesa National Park
The plain on which Gallocanta is situated is 1000m above sea level It is dissected by the Ebro river and contains many other lakes, both saline and fresh water. This plateau is surrounded by mountains. Those to the east (Moncayo), west (Montes Univerales) and south (Sierra de Javalambre) do not reach the incredible height of those in the Pyrenees but are never the less very rugged. In further contrast to the lush depression of the Ebro the foot hills in the southern area create a buffer zone to the clouds driven in from the Mediterranean. The result is semi arid steppe with dried out water ways.
All this only adds to the rich diversity to the flora and fauna of Aragon.
The province of Aragón
Covering an area of 47720 km2 (18420 sq mi), the region’s terrain ranges diversely from permanent glaciers to verdant valleys, rich pasture lands and orchards, through to the arid steppe plains of the central lowlands.
Aragon is home to many rivers, most notably, the river Ebro, Spain’s largest river in volume, which runs west to east across the entire region through the province of Zaragoza. It is also home to the highest mountains of the Pyrenees.
Just click the links below to read more about each natural, national park and other important protected areas of Aragon.
On each page you will find useful information to help you get the best out of a visit to the area including visitor centres area highlights and hotel booking.
Please use the links to book your hotels and other accomodation. The small commission we receive helps to keep Wildside Holidays – Spain updated and current. Thankyou!
Aragón has 3 natural Parks and one National Park
- Ordesa y Monte Perdido (National Park)
- Posets Maladeta Natural park
- Sierra y Cañones Natural park
- Moncayo Natural park
A proposal has been made to create the Estepa de los Monegros National Park.
Other important protected areas in Aragón
- The Laguna de Gallocanta (Famous for migrating common cranes).
- Sitio Nacional de San Juan de la Peña. (Protected landscape of San Juan de la Peña and Monte Oroel. The Royal Monastery of San Juan de la Peña was the most important monastery in Aragón in the high Middle Ages. It is an important part of the Aragonese way of the Camino de Santiago. See bearded vultures here! :))
- Selva de Oza, Valle de Hecho. 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
- Valles de Zuriza y Anso. Zuriza’s forest (Selva de Zuriza) spreads deep in the valley, with its large woods of fir and beech trees and its high pasture fields showing a splendid ecological richness. This area is close to the Selva de Oza and Valle de Hecho. Anso is a particularily beautiful village and well worth the visit.
- Valle de Tena. A must visit for this area is the Lacuniacha Wildlife Park of the Pyrenees. here you can see Cervidae (deer, reindeer, roe deer and fallow deer), goats (chamois or chamois and ibex ), European bison, wild boar, mouflon, lynx, bear, Przewalski’s horse and European wolf, and other native animals.
- Refugio de Fauna Silvestre de la Laguna de Sariñena. (This is the second most important wetland in Aragón after the Gallocanta)
- Los Monegros. The Sierra de Alcubierre mountain chain crosses the comarca from Northwest to Southeast. Its maximum elevation is 822 meters, at the mountain called Oscuro. The climate is semiarid with scarce rainfall and high temperatures in the autumn. The area has numerous saltwater and freshwater lakes, including the Lake of Sariñena and the Lake of la Playa. The area’s cultural heritage includes several historical monasteries, including the Monasterio de Santa María de Sigena and the Charterhouse of Las Fuentes. (Last two links lead to Wikipedia)
- Reserva Natural de los Galachos de la Alfranca de Pastriz, La Cartuja y El Burgo de Ebro. 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.
- Refugio de Fauna Silvestre de la Lomaza de Belchite. The Lomaza de Belchite Wildlife Refuge is recognised as a Zona de Especial Protección para las Aves (ZEPA) and is an important nesting area for steppe birds. The main species found here are Stone curlew, Dupont’s lark, Pipit and Calandra lark
- Paisaje Protegido de los Pinares de Rodeno. The centre of the park is the town of Albarracín and the surroundings of this medieval villa stand out as a remarkable geological, paleontological and archaeological heritage. Albarracín, surrounded by a vast pine forest holds one of the biggest amounts of post-Palaeolithic prehistoric art in South West Europe. There are over 20 sites to visit in the area visiting sites containing painting representations in Albarracín, Bezas and Tormón. There are also two large areas with engravings in Pozondón and Ródenas.
- Rio Vero Cultural Park Discover the villages and stunning scenery of Aragón. This is perfect territory for a road trip staying one or two nights in selected villages and towns of the Aragonese Pyrenese.
Please feel free to contact me with any suggestions for more protected areas in Aragón. Spain. Any and all feedback is most welcome! Just leave a comment below! 🙂
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.