Trail 2: Bardénas Negras

The most important place to visit is the summit of Punta Negra, from where you can observe the magnificent landscape of this steppe environment, which is found within Bardenas Reales Nature Reserve . There are two ways to get there: by car from Loma Negra where the Sanctuary of Sancho Abarca is found, or on foot/by MTB from the road that connects Valareña to Tudela.

Sanctuary of Sancho Abarca: You’ll set off from the village of Sancho Abarca, next to the town of Tauste.  This trail is suited for a bus. During the ascent, you can observe how Aleppo pine (pinus halepensis) has colonised the entire slope, together with shrubby species of mainly kermes oak, juniper, Spanish juniper, and rosemary, except for the vertical walls where the different parts of the horizon can be seen. At the very top, there is a shrine, hostel, picnic area and lovely lookout point with sweeping views of the entire area, including the majestic relief of Moncayo. From the Sanctuary, you can drive along the ridge crest to the NA-125 road between the towns of Valareña and Tudela. Halfway there, you can take a short walk to Punta La Negra (geodesic point: 650 m).

From Valareña: take the NA-125 road towards Tudela. After crossing the irrigation ditch of Las Cinco Villas, take the first dirt track on the left. You will pass the following places on this route: Planos de Goya, Goya mountain refuge, Florian mountain refuge, Val de Pinos and Casa Forestal. From there, it’s a gentle climb until you find the starting point of the path to La Negra. At this point, leave the car and set off down the path. The circular path consists of 15 waymarked stops and is 6.5 km long.

Information request
Type of itinerary: Loop
Estimated time: 3
Distance: 6,5 km
Elevation: 246 m
Physical difficulty: Intermediate
Technical difficulty: Low

La Bardena Aragonesa is located in the southernmost part of the region of Las Cinco Villas, between the municipal districts of Tauste and Ejea de los Caballeros, in the province of Zaragoza.

This part of La Bardena Aragonesa goes by the name of “Bardena Negra” (Black Bardena) because the vegetation, particularly the Aleppo pine, gives this area a darker appearance.

RELEVANT BIRD SPECIES

  • Permanent residents: golden eagle, griffon vulture, common buzzard, western marsh harrier, common kestrel, Eurasian eagle owl, long-eared owl, little owl, red-legged partridge, black-bellied sandgrouse, Eurasian stone-curlew, black wheatear, blue rock thrush, Dartford warbler, rock sparrow, red-billed chough, western jackdaw, carrion crow, common raven, Thekla's lark, corn bunting.
  • Summer residents: booted eagle, short-toed snake eagle, Egyptian vulture, black kite, Montagu's harrier, Eurasian hobby, lesser kestrel, little bustard (in drought), common quail, great spotted cuckoo, red-necked nightjar, European bee-eater, European roller, western Bonelli's warbler, western Orphean warbler, spectacled warbler, subalpine warbler, black-eared wheatear, melodious warbler, etc.
  • Wintering species: golden eagle (sub-adult and juvenile), hen harrier, merlin, song thrush, robin, common chaffinch, brambling, hawfinch, rock bunting, yellowhammer, common reed bunting.
  • Migratory stopover: northern wheatear, willow warbler, European pied flycatcher, etc.

RELEVANT PLANT SPECIES

The wooded formations are dominated by Pinus halepensis, with an understory consisting of Juniperus phoenicea, Rosmarinus officinalis, Quercus coccifera, as well as grasslands where Brachypodium ramosum predominates.

The species worth pointing out in the steppes and salt flats are: Lygeum spartium, Gypsophila struthium hispánica, Ononis tridentata, Microcnemum coralloides, Limonium ruizii, Senecio auricula, Thymus loscosii, etc.

Among the existing orchids on the edges of roads and slopes, next to lastonares (perennial meadows), holm oak or pine forests, you can see: Ophrys lupercalis, Ophrys lutea, Ophrys scolopax, Ophrys ciliata, Ophrys sphegodes, etc.

It is located on the left bank of the River Ebro, which corresponds to an elevated area above the valley at an altitude of 642 metres in the highest part of the plain. The “butte” is a tabular, horizontal relief, characterised by a resistant carbonaceous roof (tertiary limestone), a lower body of vertical slopes formed by a softer substrate of a clayey or loamy nature. The relative isolation of these areas, given the fact that the slope is not easily accessible, favours its conservation and its value as a shelter and bastion for many species that are not found at the bottom of the valley.

Interspersed with the areas of buttes are fields of crops, at whose sides and slopes forest formations dominated by Pinus halepensis and areas with Mediterranean sclerophyll shrubs dominated by Juniperus phoenicea, Rosmarinus officinalis, Quercus coccifera, among many other species, develop. In sections where grazing has taken its tool, there are grasslands where Brachypodium ramosum predominates.

This environment serves as the habitat of large birds of prey, such as the booted eagle, short-toed snake eagle, golden eagle, Eurasian eagle owl, griffon vulture and Egyptian vulture.

It is located on the left bank of the River Ebro, which corresponds to an elevated area above the valley at an altitude of 642 metres in the highest part of the plain. The “butte” is a tabular, horizontal relief, characterised by a resistant carbonaceous roof (tertiary limestone), a lower body of vertical slopes formed by a softer substrate of a clayey or loamy nature. The relative isolation of these areas, given the fact that the slope is not easily accessible, favours its conservation and its value as a shelter and bastion for many species that are not found at the bottom of the valley.

Interspersed with the areas of buttes are fields of crops, at whose sides and slopes forest formations dominated by Pinus halepensis and areas with Mediterranean sclerophyll shrubs dominated by Juniperus phoenicea, Rosmarinus officinalis, Quercus coccifera, among many other species, develop. In sections where grazing has taken its tool, there are grasslands where Brachypodium ramosum predominates.

This environment serves as the habitat of large birds of prey, such as the booted eagle, short-toed snake eagle, golden eagle, Eurasian eagle owl, griffon vulture and Egyptian vulture.

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Albergue El Villés

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Hospedería de Sádaba

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