GR-24: From the Gallocanta lagoon to the Peracense Castle
The long haul trail GR-24 is a journey around the Iberian mountain range in the provinces of Zaragoza and Teruel. In this case we are going to describe the stretch that runs over the Comarca del Jiloca and links two of its most relevant elements: The Gallocanta lagoon and the Peracense´s castle. It can be done by walking, on several-day trips and resting in some of the rural accommodations in Blancas and Ojos Negros, or by mountain biking. You can download the track of the route in the following links, but must clarify that this route has suffered from some modifications to the original due to changes in the paths used.
|Enlace a Wikiloc||Ruta en KML||Ruta en GPX|
The itinerary starts from Bello and as soon as you enter the town, you will bump into The Trinidad´s chapel, and going further, the Nuestra Señora de la Natividad´s church from the XVI century, notable for its tower and main altar. This is a fitting place to visit the Gallocanta lagoon or take the circular route around it, as the Interpretation Centre is located nearby.
The next stop in Torralba de los Sisones adds a Moorish touch to the route. The town is organized around a half-ruined Muslim castle and it is the entry point for the birds to the Special Protected Area of the high moorland in Blancas, which is a landscape, that will be visited once leaving Torralba. Hopefully and patiently, from the Paramera, you might observe birds species with a great ornithological value, such as the Dupont´s lark, the little bustard or the black-bellied sandgrouse.
The architectural patrimony is further enhanced as soon as you arrive to the next village called Blancas. The Iglesia Parroquial de San Pedro Apóstol especially stands out. It was built over the remains of a fortress that was set on fire in the XIV century.
Later remodelings, make it look different from its original style. The Virgin of Dolores, San Pascual Bailón and the Virgin of Carrasca´s chapels, (this last one is the local patron saint), are the ecclesiastical goods of the village, and if you are interested in visiting them, it is recommended to have a walk through the Blanca´s chapels.
Leaving the town it is well worth stopping at the millennial sabina (thuriferous juniper), which is 2000 years old and has become a witness of the forests that existed in the past.
Passing through Pozuel del Campo you will arrive to Ojos Negros and to the old mining exploitation. If you have enough time, it is highly recommended to visit this spectacular environment, by following the mining route. Later, the road reaches the town of Villar del Salz, which is located in a depression and next to Sierra Menera. It is worth mentioning the Santo Cristo´s and Santa Barbara´s chapels, and also, The Asunción de la Señora´s church all along this stretch of the road.
However, still behind an awesome place at the end of the itinerary when arriving to Peracense and that the visitor should not miss. That is its castle, built over the top of a hill, from where you will have an amazing panoramic view of the Jiloca´s valley.
From a geomorphological point the view, it can be highlighted the quartzite hill of San Ginés, which is 1601 metres high, and it is also recommendable seeing the second monumental tree of the itinerary: the Carrasca de Peracense.