Without a doubt, one of the most distinctive living elements of the Laguna de Gallocanta are the birds, especially the striking flocks of common cranes that rest and feed here during the course of their migratory trips.
The vast majority of the European crane population moving on the western migratory route use Gallocanta as a feeding and resting area. Over 100,000 cranes have been counted in a single day (02/24/2011) and its normal for 40,000 to 60,000 individuals to be present during an average migratory season.
Flocks of common cranes arrive en masse at dusk after spending the day feeding in the outlying fields. This has to be one of the most impressive visual and sound spectacles of nature.
Best time to visit the area is during the months of November to February. (I visited and stayed in Tornos for a few days during July 2022 and the lagoon was virtually dry in temperatures of 40 degrees!)
The protected area covers 1.924 hectares of natural reserve (the wetland itself) and 4.553 hectares of peripheral protection zone (the surrounding farmland sometimes is also wetland depending on rainfall)
The area has also become famous as a starlight destination. The Starlight Foundation is a non-profit organization that was founded in 2009 to promote the protection of the night sky and the development of “astrotourism” and there is an ever growing list of starlight destinations in Spain to visit.
Aragón Active Holidays arrange bird watching trips to Gallocanta
Where and what is Gallocanta?
The Gallocanta Lake (Spanish: Laguna de Gallocanta) is an endorheic lake in the province of Aragon. It is within the boundaries of two provinces, Teruel and Zaragoza, and is located just to the south of Gallocanta village, between the Aragonese comarcas of Campo de Daroca and Comarca del Jiloca. This lake is situated on a high continental plain at an altitude of almost 1,000 m
Find a hotel close to The Laguna de Gallocanta
The comfortable hostel las Grullas in the small village of Tornos is an excellent base for exploring the area. Also the Allucant guest house in Gallocanta village. (See below map for reservations)
The interpretation center of the gallocanta lagoon (obligatory visit to get the best out of the area)
Location: in an old road laborer’s house located on the A-1507 road, between the villages of Tornos and Bello. 120 km from Zaragoza and 95 km from Teruel.
The main content of the interpretation centre is the natural history of the lagoon, its history and formation and the uniqueness of the species it provides a home for with special emphasis on the common crane.
There is also an audiovisual projection and an interactive exhibition covering the geology of the lagoon, the habitat and human existence in the area.
Opening times Spring-Summer (from March 21 to September 20)
Mornings: 10:00 to 14:00
Afternoons: 15:00 to 18:00
Opening times Autumn-Winter (from January 24 to March 15 and from September 26 to December 20)
Mornings: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Afternoons: 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Telephone: 978 734 031
Telephone (central offices): 976 07 00 00
Website: https://www.aragon.es/-/reserva-natural-de-la-laguna-de-gallocanta (Spanish)
Places to visit and parking
- Centro de Interpretación de la Reserva Natural de la Laguna de Gallocanta.(see above info about the intepretation centre)
- Mirador de la Ermita de la Virgen del Buen Acuerdo.
- Observatorio de Gallocanta.
- Centro de interpretación de la Reserva Natural Dirigida de la Laguna de Gallocanta (Bello).
- Ermita Nuestra Señora del Buen Acuerdo (Gallocanta).
- Centro de visitantes y museo de las Aves (Gallocanta).
Path PR-Z 33 La Laguna de Gallocanta and los Lagunazos. (32 Km – 9 hours – Circular)
This footpath is circular and goes completely around the lagoon passing by the 5 observation hides and the Ermita de la Virgen del Buen Acuerdo from where there is also an excellen view of the Lagoon. This path can also be made by bike. Its not obligatory to do the whole footpath, just walk as far as you want then turn around.
Berrueco trail (1km – 30 mins – Linear
This is a Linear path, which starts from the town of Berrueco and ascends to its Castle, from where you can see a magnificent panoramic view of the Gallocanta Lagoon.
- Torre-observatorio del Cañizar.
- Observatorio de los Aguanares.
- Observatorio de la Ermita.
- Observatorio de los Ojos.
- Torre-observatorio de La Reguera.
- Obvervatorio del Centro de Interpretación de la Reserva Natural de la Laguna de Gallocanta.
- Observatorio accesible de Gallocanta.
Recreation and picnic sites
- Fuente de los Haces.
- Fuente Sancho.
- Church of the Ermita de la Virgen del Buen Acuerdo.
- La Serna.
- Gallocanta swimming pool.
- Gallocanta avian museum (Inside the Gallocanta visitor centre).
Other lagunas in the area
- Laguna de La Zaida.
- Laguna de Guialguerrero.
Renting hides at the Laguna de Gallocanta
Request processing is carried out by Servicio Provincial en Teruel del
Departamento de Agricultura, Ganadería y Medio Ambiente, Subdirección de Medio Ambiente, placed in C/ San Francisco, 27 de Teruel (44071).
Telephone +34 978 64 11 45
Email adress: email@example.com.
Dowload the full guide to renting a hide here
This area also borders with the Maestrazgo global geopark: https://wildsideholidays.co.uk/maestrazgo-global-geopark/
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