Sierra of Algairen and Pico del Aguila
The central sector of the Zaragozan Iberian System is found in the districts of Campo de Cariñena and Community of Calatayud shaped by the sierras of La Virgin, Viacort and Algairen. The latter are arranged practically parallel to the Valley of the Ebro. The Algairen Sierra is classified ZEPA (Special protection Zone for Birds), within the declaration of the Natura 2000 Network.
The small town of Tobed is located in the Southern part of the sierra, from which it is possible to carry out a comfortable climb to the highest point of this sierra, Valdemera Peak, at an altitude of 11,275 metres.
Just outside of Tobed, some formations of marl are found that have formed some curious shapes with the passage of time due to erosion which have been baptized “Los Abuelos” (the Grandparents). From there you can get to the highest point of the peak by following first a large road, afterwards, we go along a path that reaches the peak which is crowned by a television repeater. During the climb, we are able to enjoy the fragrances that the herbs rosemary, rockrose and junipers, which populate the slopes, give off. Kermes Oak trees and even Cork trees, a rare specimen in Aragon, are also present. From the summit the best views of the valley of the River Grio, Campo de Cariñena and Eagle Peak, amongst other places, can be had. Several varieties of wild mushrooms on the wooded slopes of this interesting sierra, as well as Kermes Oak trees can be found. In the shady areas where the woods are the thickest, the cortex of the tree trunks is clothed with ivy and moss which gives a spectacular appearance to the entire sierra in Spring.
We leave the nearby town of Paniza in order to get Eagle’s Peak, where we take the road to Alarden. At about 300 metres, we take a trail on the right, which we must do once again about 100 metres further on. From there, we slowly ascend to the highest part of the peak, at first between vineyards and fields and later among ilex shrubs. Once we have got to the top, our efforts are rewarded with an impressive panoramic view of the Pyrenees as there in nothing in the way to block the spectacular view.
A singular footnote is put by the numerous villages that are scattered throughout the area, in which, even today, some of them still maintain traditional ways of life that will surely surprise the traveller.
- GR 90. 2ª Fase. Sistema Ibérico Zaragozano. Morata de Jalón-Badules. Editorial Prames.
- Colección Rutas CAI - Nº 9 El Campo de Cariñena Edita CAI – PRAMES