Singular nature

The orography of the Comarca, with a gradient from north to south, offers visitors a wide variety of landscapes which go from the large plains from the Sierras de Santo Domingo, through deep valleys, like the one that welcomes the Val de Onsella, the depressions irrigated by the ‘Arbas’ of Luesia and Biel, or the Ebro (Tauste), and the unique geological formations, such as the Aguarales de Valpalmas.

All of them are unique and peculiar and host a personalised wildlife: each different area has its own natural species, from the forests of oaks and beech trees of the Sierra de Santo Domingo, to the scrubland of its flat land, as in Las Pedrosas, passing through the beautiful wild orchids that can be found in the mountains of Los Pintanos and Bardena Negra.

The orography of the Cinco Villas originated after the tectonic inversion of the beginning of the tertiary era, which on the one hand formed the Ebro Valley and on the other created the pre-Pyrenean area of the Comarca, including the Sierra de Santo Domingo (1,517 meters), declared Protected Natural Area in 2015, the first Aragonese region to be awarded that title by the Government of Aragon.

This area offers a ‘broken’ landscape, which can be perfectly seen from some spectacular viewpoints such as the Sanctuary of Monllor (Luna), the castle of Sora (near Castejon de Valdesaja), or the chapel of Sancho Abarca (Tauste), in addition to the natural beauties of the area of the castle of Roita, which dominates the entire Val de Onsella, or the amazing view from the road between Uncastillo and Sos del Rey Católico.

According to “The Best Landscape” maps made by the Government of Aragon the Comarca de las Cinco Villas has 857 unique spots, and among them, many reach the highest rating (10 out of 10).

And next to the beauty of the forest, other ecosystem such as endorheic spaces, very common in the Depression of the Arba of Biel, where more than some 50 small lagoons or ponds have been found, in addition to the large reservoirs such as the Gancho (Ejea), the Moncayuelo (Pinsoro), the Bolaso (Ejea), the Valdelafuén (Sádaba), the San Bartolomé (Ejea) or the Erla just to name a few. In many of them you can enjoy ornithological routes, since hundreds of different birds live in these spaces.

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Additionally, visitors can enjoy the natural wells in which they can bathe: Pigalo, in Luesia, or Zarrampullo, in The Frago are the most famous ones. Let’s not forget places like el Salto Del Lobo, Marracos, or Fuente Del Diablo, in Biota, which also offer exciting water-related attractions, especially enjoyable during the summer.

Also linked to water, but in a different way (they are the result of water erosion) are the Aguarales de Valpalmas.

Anybody visiting that area is impressed by the rock formations that was shaped by liquid elements (water, snow…), fragile and easy to erode, through a process known as piping.

The result is hundreds of pointed shapes, combined with small cracks and ducts that offer an almost lunar appearance. A natural scenery in continuous evolution.

Additionally the varied flora that reigns in the Cinco Villas, which grows and dies leaving space for other species in a continuous natural evolution contributes to a permanent colour changing. This is the case of the lush pine forest which grows in the Montes de Caste Jon de Valdejasa, classified as a Community Interest Area and a Special Bird Protection Area (ZEPA).

In front of this populated pine forest, the landscapes of steppes of the southern area of the Comarca, the flat area ofThe Pedrosas is full of needles grass, white wormwood, Mediterranean saltwort and retama; or the paradise of Salto del Lobo, an emblem for botany lovers, for housing species such as horsetail, ash, black poplars and climbing plants typical of wet areas.

Beside, in more arid spaces, such as The Bardenas Negras, you can find magnificent examples of orchids, beautiful and wild, such as Orphys Apifera, Orphys Scolopax or Orphys Lutea, among many others.

With all these ingredients, the Comarca de las Cinco Villas personifies a unique space to enjoy active tourism and linked to nature. In fact, this region is positioning itself (as confirmed by visitor’s data) as a place of reference for those who seek active tourism in unique spaces full of beauty and personality, and, in many cases, totally unknown.