Cave paintings and Iberian settlements
The ‘Primers Pobladors’ trail visits Cretas, Mazaleón, Calaceite and Valdeltormo on a 47.2 km long path. The starting point is situated at the old train station called ‘Estación Rural del Matarranya’, in Cretas, and finishes in Mazaleón.
The itinerary takes us into the past and offers us the chance to enjoy natural landscapes, millennial olive fields, vines, peach and almond trees, all of them sprinkled by natural elements such the Matarraña River. We can also observe beautiful architectural heritage, hermitages, Iberian settlements, waterwheels and traditional constructions.
It is a linear path featuring two branches: one to Calaceite and other to Valdeltormo.
Main itinerary: Cretas-Mazaleón (27,16 km)
The trail starts in the municipality of Cretas, near the old train station on the ‘Vía Verde’ (greenway). Leave the urban centre by heading northwest on the ‘Barranco del Calapatá’ path to ‘Bassa d’En Perler’ (drinking trough). By following the same path, we come across an example of an important building in our ancestors’ daily lives: a waterwheel, used to draw the water for irrigated land.
Further on, the cave paintings at ‘La Roca dels Moros’ and ‘Els Gascons’ can be seen, both of which were declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. Later, another waterwheel is found, ‘Costa del Calapatá’. Ride north between olive and almond fields, where a fork presents different paths: to Calaceite or to other places.
Continue along the main itinerary to find the remains of the Iberian settlements of ‘Els Castellans’ and ‘Horno de Cal’, near ‘Font de la Madrillera’ (drinking trough), and continue west in a zigzag. Yet another alternative route is found on the banks of the Matarraña River. This one leads to Valdeltormo.
Follow the main path to the northeast, the Matarraña River will guide us to Mazaleón. After passing under the bridge, ride close to a huge tree called ‘El Tilo del Molí d’Arnal’. From here, peach fields and vegetable patches are the predominant features. The hermitage of ‘San Cristobal’ and the Iberian settlement of ‘San Cristobal’ are located in the last stretch. The urban centre of Mazaleón marks the end of this trail through so many different yet invariably beautiful natural landscapes, with a sprinkling of cultural vestiges from diverse periods.
Branch to Calaceite
The path forks 7 km out of Cretas and we can take one branch to Calaceite amidst olives, almond trees and vines. After passing the beautiful hermitage of ‘Santa Ana’ and ‘la Font d’En Oró’ (drinking trough), we come across the Iberian settlement of ‘Tossal Redó’ and ‘Font de les Espiles’ (drinking trough). The trail ends at the hermitage of ‘San Cristobal’ next to the Iberian settlement of ‘San Antonio’. From here, we can take in the spectacular views of the whole Matarraña region.
Total itinerary from Cretas to Calaceite 23.57 km
Branch to Valdeltormo
Once the main itinerary reaches the Matarraña River, we could take the branch to the village of Valdeltormo, passing through the Iberian settlements of ‘Torre Cremada’ and ‘Tossal Montañés’, and, if we like, connect with ‘Vía Verde Val de Zafán’
Trail from Cretas to Valdeltormo 23.1 km