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Natural parks of Aragon - Aragón, España

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Natural parks of Aragon

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Aragon is one of the quietest and most unspoilt regions of Spain. Aragon's rich offer in natural beauty is distributed among one national park and almost 40 natural parks and areas. 



The National Park of Ordesa and Monte Perdido is located in the Aragon Pyrenees in the province of Huesca. It is situated in a U-shaped glacier valley and is one of the most important parks in the Pyrenees as one of the highest limestone mountains in Europe (Monte Perdido, 3,355 meters) lies within its limits. The park has been declared a 'Special Protection Area for Birds', a World Biosphere Reserve and a UNESCO 'Place of World Humanity Heritage' thanks to the diversity of its natural landscape. In 1997, it was also included in the cross-border Pyrenees - Mont Perdu World Heritage Site. Visitors can enjoy a wide variety of mountain and adventure sports such as mountain biking, canoeing, paragliding, climbing, trekking, rafting, flying in glider planes, hiking and bungee-jumping. The Ordesa National Park is open from May until mid-November. 


The Sierra and Canyons of Guara Nature Reserve is located in the pre-Pyrenees mountains in the limits of Huesca. It is the largest protected natural area in Aragon and has a 'Special Protection Area for Birds'. The landscape in the reserve is rugged and striking. There are numerous waterfalls, rocky out crops, deep gorges, limestone walls, circuits of caves and canyons. The area is also home to a number of medieval villages, prehistoric cave paintings and megalithic constructions. Visitors can also enjoy a wide variety of outdoor mountain and adventure sports here including climbing, canyoning and caving. 


The Posets-Maladeta Nature Reserve is located in the valley of Benasque, in the easternmost area of the Aragon Pyrenees. More than half the highest mountains in the whole of the Pyrenees are contained within the park's limits, including Aneto (the highest in the Pyrenees at 3,404 m), Posets (3,375 m) and the Perdiguera peak (3,222 m). It is also home to most of the remaining glaciers in the Pyrenees and has a 'Special Protection Area for Birds'. There are lots of excellent treks and walking routes including the challenging Aneto ascent (also known as the 'Roof of the Pyrenees'). The more taxing climbs and hikes are often worth the effort for the excellent views at the end. 


The Natural Monument of San Juan de la Peña is a protected natural enclave located about 23 kms away from the Aragonese town of Jaca. It has been declared a Natural and Cultural National Monument of Aragon thanks to its rich ecological and historical value. The San Juan de la Peña monastery is the historic monument at the center of this protected area. The monastery, which was built in 1025 under the shelter of a huge rock, holds the remains of Aragon's first monarchs and contains some stunning Romanesque and Mozarabic art. Many legends about the Holy Grail also mention the monastery as the Holy Grail was thought to have been brought to the monastery from Rome by Saint Lorenzo. Visitors can also enjoy a number of excellent treks and walking trails through the area and the Aragon Pyrenees ski resorts of Astún and Candanchú are also situated close by. 


The Parque Natural de los Valles Occidentales (The Natural Park of the Western Valleys), which covers an area of 27,073 hectares, was declared a Natural Park in 2006. It encompasses territories such as the Oza jungle, Aguastuertas and the Archer castle, the Hecho valley and the Bisaurín peak in the Aragüés del Puerto valley. Wildlife in the park includes woodpeckers, the alpine ptarmigan, Pyrenees frogs and vermilion and the Pyrenean desman and brown bear. The area also has a rich cultural heritage as the valley of Subordán has the best collection of megalithic structures in Aragon and is home to one of the Roman roads that used to connect both sides of the Pyrenees.


Parque Natural del Moncayo (Moncayo Natural Park) is located in the northwest of the province of Zaragoza, in the districts of Tarazona and Moncayo, Campo de Borja and Aranda. It is one of the most important protected natural areas in Aragon and is particularly noted for its spectacular scenery, peaks and glacier crops, imposing limestone grinding and river valleys. 


The Oza Forest is located in the region of Jacetania, in the picturesque Valley of Hecho. It is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna and is the habitat of some rare species of animals and birds, including wild boars and treparriscos. The forest is surrounded by mountains and contains an interesting collection of megalithic monuments, such as stone circles, menhirs and dolmens. There is an old Roman road, that was used before the 4th century to get to France, located near to the forest. The forest also forms part of the Santiago's Way (the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela).