The protected landscape of San Juan de la Peña and Monte Oroel is located in the province of Huesca, Aragón

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.

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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
http://www.monasteriosanjuan.com/

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