Tag Archives: protected areas in Aragón

Refugio de Fauna Silvestre de la Laguna de Sariñena

The Refugio de Fauna Silvestre de la Laguna de Sariñena (in Aragonese Refuchio de Fauna Silvestre d’a Lacuna de Sarinyena ) is a wildlife refuge located in Los Monegros in the south of the province of Huesca. The refuge, which has an area of ​​604 hectares was declared as a protected natural area for the first time on April 4 1995. It is located within the municipality of Sariñena between the basins of the Alcanadre and Flumen rivers. In 2001, the natural space was also declared a Special Protection Area for Birds (ZEPA) together with the other nearby lagoon of the Balsa de la Estación.

The Sariñena lagoon is endorheic meaning that its waters have a very high concentration of salts.

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The Tena Valley

The Tena Valley (in Aragonese Bal de Tena ) is a Pyrenean valley located in the Aragonese region of Alto Gállego (crossed by the Gállego river from north to south). It borders with the French valley of Ossau and access to France is through the Portalet d’Aneu pass . The southern limit is found in the Foz de Santa Elena which separates it from Biescas.

It is one of the largest and most populated valleys in the Pyrenees with an area of ​​about 400 km² and mountains range from 600 meters of altitude in its lowest part to over 3000 m in many of its peaks (Balaitus, Gran Facha, Argualas or the Picos del Infierno). There are also two large reservoirs: Lanuza and Búbal.

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Pinares de Rodeno

Created in 1995, the protected landscape of the Pinares de Rodeno is located in the Sierra de Albarracín region in the province of Teruel, Aragon. Local villages in the area are Albarracín, Bezas and Gea de Albarracín.The area covers around ​​6,829 hectares and the altitude ranges between 1,095 meters above sea level in the Tobías ravine and 1,602 meters in the Cruz de Montoyo.

The soil of the pine forest is formed on a substrate of red sandstone, called rodeno. Among the forms that the atmospheric agents have shaped. It is worth highlighting the gorges dug by the water courses, the taffoni (hemispherical holes in the rock wall) or the pilancones (large circular depressions in the rock surface).

There is also an area in which limestone rock is predominant with a softer relief and higher, flatter areas. Here there are other species of pines and holm oaks.

The main species of pine that inhabits the area is the rodeno pine (Pinus pinaster) which is characterized by having a medium height and a rough reddish bark. They have traditionally been used to obtain resin. The rodeno pine is accompanied by characteristic species such as juniper, rockrose, heather, lavender, rosemary and thyme . In addition you can find other species of trees of the genus Quercus (Carrasqueño oak, rebollo and sessile oak).

In ravines and more humid areas there are species such as poplar, willow, hazel, hawthorn and holly.

In the limestone areas, the rodeno pine gives way to the black pine and the scots pine.

The animal species found in the pine forests are typical of the Mediterranean forest such as wild boars, roe deer, red deer, fox, stone marten, hares. and squirrels.

Among the birds, the pine forests are a refuge for wren, crossbill, little owl, tawny owl, various hawk species and booted eagle. In the oak forests you will find birds like blue tit, blackbird, robin and buntings. On the cliffs and crags look out for golden eagle, peregrine falcon, kestrel and eagle owl.

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Cave paintings

There are various caves among the pine forests with important examples of Levantine rock art, among which the Prado del Navazo, Doña Clotilde and the Cocinilla del Obispo stand out . The artwork represented consists of humans hunting or cooking and scenes of animals.

Information centres

Donarque Interpretation Center (Centro de Interpretación de Donarque)

Located between Bezas and Albarracín, 30 km from Teruel, 14 km from Albarracín and 3 km from Bezas.

The exhibitions in this interpretation centre cover the rich natural history ​​of the protected landscape of the Pinares de Rodeno, especially the geological values ​​and traditional forest uses. Inside the centre we can find…

  • Audiovisual Projections.
  • An Interactive exhibition.
  • Geology of the Sierra de Albarracín.
  • Protected Landscape Units (Rodeno, Loma Rasa and Sierra Carbonera).
  • Flora and fauna of the Sierra de Albarracín.
  • Caves, cave paintings and pre history
  • Obtaining resin.

Opening times

Autumn – winter: weekends and holidays, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 3pm to 6pm.
Spring – summer: weekends and holidays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4pm to 8pm

Albarracín Cultural Park

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 containing painting representations in Albarracín, Bezas and Tormón. There are also two large areas with engravings in Pozondón and Ródenas.

Bronze Age remains can be found in places such as Cueva de la Artesa, in the mining fields Loma de la Tejería and Tajada Bajera.

Celtiberian culture remains have been found in the town of Griegos.

From Roman times, parts of an aqueduct remains which once brought water from the Guadaliviar river down to the town of Cella.

The Middle Ages are represented by the beautiful and well preserved castles of both Albarracín and Peracense.

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.


The Lomaza de Belchite Wildlife Refuge

The Lomaza de Belchite Wildlife Refuge is located in the Campo de Belchite region in the southwest of the province of Zaragoza, Aragón. The refuge has an area of ​​961 hectares and was declared a protected natural area in1995.

This steppe territory is the result of a very ancient process of human deforestation and subsequent agricultural (mainly livestock) use.

The current wastelands and moorlands are fragile ecosystems and hold a habitat of specialized steppe flora and fauna.

The area has suffered an abandonment of traditional agricultural practices in recent years.

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 Lesser kestrel, Stone curlew, Dupont’s lark, Pipit and Calandra lark

The flora is also adapted to the steppe environment with scarce arboreal and shrub vegetation resulting from the extreme weather conditions in the area.

There is very little rainfall, strong winds and sudden changes in temperature during both winter and summer.

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Access is on the A-222 road, with a parking area, explanatory panels and a signposted itinerary that starts from this point.

At the time of writing this article a permit is required in order to o be able to enter the refuge area (Ask in one of the information centres below)

Information Centres

There is a tourist office in the town of Belchite that should be able to help you with access to the area so it is reccommended to visit here first.

Address: Calle Becu, 2 Belchite

Interpretation Center of the steppes of the Ebro valley (Belchite)

This center is located in a superb building on the outskirts of Belchite next to the Ethnic Museum.

The center has a large room with the exhibition on display and another adjoining video room. In addition, it offers various interactive panels, with sounds and aromas of the steppe, models, audiovisual projections for groups which allows a first approach to these natural spaces before visiting the La Lomaza Wildlife Refuge and the El Planerón Ornithological Reserve.

The Interpretation Center is open to the public on weekends and holidays, from 10:00 to 14:00 and from 16:00 to 20:00.

On other dates you can arrange a visit by calling 679 55 20 90 beforehand.

The website for the town of Belchite is here.

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.