GR 24: Paths of Calatayud, Daroca and Gallocanta
The GR 24 is a path through the Iberian mountainous areas of Aragon as an extension to the GR 90, which it joins in Daroca.
It rises to the Gallocanta Lagoon and, after crossing the highlands of Blancas in Teruel, joins the GR 10, Paths of Albarracín and Javalambre, at Peracense. One of the greatest attractions of this path is the aforementioned Gallocanta Lagoon. This salt-water lagoon is one of the most important wetlands in Europe.As well as indigenous species and the presence of many endemisms, this unique ecosystem is notable for the considerable presence of migratory birds.Thus, the most recommendable time for visiting it are the months of November to February, when the lagoon is an important place of passage and winter pasture for cranes and other migratory birds. The Gorges of the River Piedra constitute another of the strangest and best conserved ecosystems of the area.Sheltered by its deep rocky escarpments, a flora and fauna of particular interest has grown, particularly notable being a large colony of griffon vultures.In one part of the gorges that does not at all affect the habitat of this or other wild species, climbing enthusiasts can enjoy this sport at the school established for this purpose, which has numerous routes and different levels of difficulty. For its part, La Paramera de Blancas, declared an Important Area for European Birds, houses numerous species belonging to the Asian and North African steppes, including the Dupont's lark, which reaches one of the larges populations of Europe in this area.Certain isolated examples remain from the forests originally populated, such as the impressive and ancient Sabina de Blancas and Carrasca de Peracense. These lands, populated since ancient times (interesting achaelogical sites such as the Celtiberian fortified enclosure at Berrueco), reached their historic splendour during the Middle Ages, a time in which they had to face various wars as borderlands, first betwen the Arabs and the Christians and later between the Aragons and the Castillians.Proof of this are numerous castles and forts that mark out these paths, particularly those in Daroca and Peracense. The former, one of first Spanish cities to be declared a Historic-Artistic Site, houses beautiful churches and stately homes within its almost eight km. walled perimeter.For its part, the Castle of Peracense is an impressive fort that melts into a landscape of strange rock formations to make it even more suggestive. The GR 24, with the seven small paths surrounding it, constitute a network of 200 km. of signposted paths and is expected to be extended in the future to the north into the land of Calatayud and the Valley of the River Jalón to end up in the Celtiberian city of Arcóbriga and the Cistercian Monastery of María de Huerta, on the border with Castilla.
Departure point: Aldehuela de Liestos
Arrival point: Paracense
Distance (km): 80
No. of stages: 9
Aldehuela de Liestos - Torralba de los Frailes (PR-Z 19 and PR-Z 21) - Las Cuerlas (PR-Z 18) - Bello (PR-Z 21) - Torralba de los Sisones (PR-TE 16 and PR-Z 18) - Blancas - Pozuel del Campo - Ojos Negros - Villar del Salz -Peracense (PR-TE 4).
Almost all of the towns have regular bus connections.To stay overnight, there are hotels in Daroca and Peracense, inns in Used and Tornos, hostals in Gallocanta and Tornos and Rural Tourism Accommodation in Daroca, Gallocanta, Santed, San Martín del Río and Tornos. Restaurants in the places with hotels, hostals, inns and bording houses and also in Aldehuela de Liestos and Bello.