Aquaturism among stone giants: “Los Mallos” and the land of the Castles
Like a king looking after his territories, stands proud the massive medieval walls of the 11th century Castle of Loarre, only overcome in its magnificence by the red-coloured extraordinary rocky giants that guard this land of abundant crystal-clear watery rivers. The kingdom of “Los Mallos”.
Welcome to seven days of multi-sport experience that will not only lead you to a different era but, most importantly, get you immersed in the nature of one of the most important destinations for Rafting and MTB practice in the Pyrenees, Murillo the Gallego. Enjoy the comforts of staying in a wholly renovated alley where you will also discover the fantastic flavours of traditional dishes and the charm of its local people.
No previous experience of the practised sports is required for this holiday; still, those who already hold it will not be bored. However, a good fitness level, skills, and physique are strongly recommended to enjoy this trip fully. Please be aware that the fusibility of the water activities relies strongly on weather conditions. If any river activities cannot be arranged, an alternative guided route of a Via Ferrata will be provided.
Day 1. Arrival at the guest house in Murillo de gallego
Reception at Zaragoza airport and train station followed by a 2h 15′ private transfer to our accommodation. Rest and group meeting before in-house dinner.
Day 2. The Initiation ritual to Kayaking
Kayaking curse, Practical and Amusing Approach, Reduced Monitor-Participant Ratio, Gallego River.
Before rushing into the brave waters of Gallego river, our first day will be all about getting ready to enjoy the river entirely safely while having fun in professional hands. The Initiation kayak course that we carry out aims to work on the independence of the canoeist and establish the basic techniques of canoeing in white waters. Today, we will learn to navigate autonomously and safely in friendly waters.
The course commences at walking distance from our accommodation. Our river sports operations base is equipped with canoeing equipment for all audiences, changing rooms and showers, a swimming pool, and a space to teach theory. Still, today we will be experiencing a whole day of practising activity, only stopping to enjoy our lunch by the river.
Day 3. MTB route – The Tour of the Castles.
Activity: 6-7h | Distance: 15.29m (24.6km) | Acc. Ascent: 1978ft (-603m) | Difficulty: Intermediate.
Surface type: Dirtroad: 65% Asphalt: 15% Singletrack: 15%
Loarre Castle, Marcuello Castle, “Los Mallos” Rocky Formations, Vulture Nests, Pine and Gal Forests, Clerics Fountain, Centenary Olive Trees, Gallego River
This history-packed linear route runs through some of the most remarkable landmarks in the Kingdom of Los Mallos. After a short transfer from Murillo, we begin the adventure by the famous Loarre’s Castle, but not before enjoying a full guided tour through the millennial history of the best-preserved Romanesque castle in Europe.
Once finished, we start fresh with a short ride along a pleasant track that runs through a cycling way, letting us enjoy the spectacular landscapes around us. Pine groves will be passed through on our way to Marcuello Castle, ruins which will lead us to a quick detour to the “Mirador de Los Buitres”, a mystical place where observing wildlife will leave us speechless. The Clérigos fountain will be our place to rest after crossing Santo Román narrow path. That will be the beginning of our descend among the stone giants until we reach the town of Riglos. Further down, Gállego River will be waiting for us with a refreshing and deserved bath, only 1 km away from our accommodation in Murillo.
Day 4. Air Kayak + Hydrospeed.
Air Kayaking course, Hydrospeed, Riverboard, Gallego Rapids, Adrenaline.
Today we’ll be back in a new attempt to dominate the wild waters of the Gallego river with two new sports that will take us a whole journey to carry out.
AIR-KAYAK is a new form of canoeing that combines an active and exciting descent with technical learning. The activity consists of learning to handle an inflatable but rigid boat commanded by two people. Before jumping in, you will be taught how to take the oar, read the currents, and draw a line of descent down the river.
HYDROSPEED descent is one of the most spectacular and exciting activities that you will do in Murillo de Gallego. Grab your high-flotation riverboard and feel the current as close as possible as you break through the rapids. The exceptionally resistant cork will help take direction with the handgrips that allow rotation while boosting your speed with the special short fins you will be wearing. If you are looking for an activity that rushes your adrenaline, hydrospeed is your sport.
Day 5. MTB route: The tour of the Seven Pools
Activity: 6-7h Distance: 11.56m (18.6km) Elevation gain: -450ft (-137m) Difficulty: Low.
Surface type: Dirtroad: 76 % Asphalt: 14%
Natural Pools, Downhill, La Peña Reservoir, Waterfalls, Pine Forests, Gallego Rapids.
Our second chance to pedal this magnificent land is a linear route that runs through one of the most beautiful river valleys that waters “La Peña” reservoir. After a short transfer, those who feel sporty will enjoy the early climb that leads to an almost continuous descent. A long, gentle, pleasant ride between pine forests that takes us to the depths of the valley and goes parallel to the river crossing through it several times, so expect to get your feet wet!
During the day, we will explore several natural pools of extraordinary beauty, sometimes hidden from plain sight. Magical places to dive in, have a refreshing bath and relax… perfect for enjoying a hot day with the rest of the group. Once our batteries get replenished, we will take the road back to Murillo, witnessing picturesque sceneries such as La Peña Iron bridge, the Dam and the Gallego rapids that soon we will be visiting again.
Day 6. Hiking route to “Los Mallos de Agüero”
Activity: 6h-7h | Distance: 11.7m (18.85km) | Ascent: 2378ft (725m) | Difficulty: Low
The Medieval Village of Agüero and its Stone Giants, Rueba Massif, Pyrenean Landscape, Romanesque architecture.
Only powered by our legs and feet, the circular route we are about to hike this time departs from Murillo, leaving behind the beautiful views over the nearby Mallos de Riglos to visit his not less impressive relative, “Los Mallos de Agüero“. Cultivation fields and holm oaks will accompany us on our descend until presenting ourselves to the Hermitage of Santiago, a wondrous jewel of Aragonese Romanesque, which is well worth a stop and leisurely contemplation. Right next to us awaits the medieval village of Aguero that gives name to the standing by ferrous massif.
Once delighted with the views of the village, we aim to coronate the nearby Rueba massif, which tops our route at nearly 3900ft (1200m). If the weather is on our side, the way up will offer us the chance to observe an incredible 360 degrees composed from a complete scene of the pyrenes and their rampant peaks to the endless plains that lay after them.
Day 7. Gallego Canyons Rafting + Farewell traditional lunch
La Peña Reservoir, Gallego Rapids, Rafting, Home-Cooked Traditional Lunch.
For our last day, we have left what might be one of the more stunning rafting expeditions of the Pyrenees. The Gallego River Canyon begins just after the Pantano de la Peña dam. Add 3km to the classic rafting route “Rafting Murillo de Gallego”, completing a descent of more than 11km during a morning of waves and brave waters. The unevenness of this section makes it a delight for adventurers seeking excitement.
We begin the descent with one of the most exciting stages on the river. The passage of the “IV” will be the perfect intro for the section that awaits us next. The river runs between walls, and the waves follow one another while the team tries to take control of the raft. We will have navigated many exciting rapids when we get to a more open section. However, we still have 8 km of rapids left, among which “El Funudo” stands out, a rapid with a difference in altitude and remarkable strength.
And to take this wholesome experience to an end, what better than enjoying a delicious traditional lunch cooked on premises by our host Jesus. The perfect occasion to share feelings during the week and have a good rest before the next day departure.
Day 8. Final day
After a relaxed breakfast, we start the journey to our next destination. Please let us know if you need help arranging the commute to any other city, either you are on your way back home or heading to your next adventure.
Born and raised among these stunning landscapes and holding more than 17 years of guiding adventure activities in the Pyrenees, we can surely say that Chema knows every inch of these foothills, canyons and rivers like the back of his hand. But, not even close to being stopped by borders, he is the kind of person who always looks for an opportunity to travel abroad, organising and participating in expeditions just like he did before in Brasil, Alpes, Marruecos, Nepal, India…
Completely confident communicating in English and French, he is a certified Whitewater and Canyoning Guide who appreciates the most from his job to be constantly in contact with nature and the feeling of having a new adventure every day. He is madly keen on the practice of outdoor and river sports, even during his free time, but the only thing he might master better than rowing is cooking and sharing a plate of good-old traditional breadcrumbs with friends and company.
Once sacred space dedicated to service and quiet contemplation, our accommodation during this holiday is nothing less than a 14th-century abbey converted into a superb destination to disconnect from the rest of the world for a week. Its monastic history makes it ideal for rest and reflection, but its finely ornate ensuite rooms and the delicious food served by their hosts Jesus and his wife Judith at the refectory are the perfect indulgences after a busy day of adventure.
This newly renovated rural house in Murillo de Gallego counts with six spacious double rooms and a delightful suite room, all of them with their own bathroom, whereas inside its walls, the cloister has been turned into a fantastic garden where to relax and sunbathe. The perfect spot to enjoy the breathtaking views and the tranquillity of this unique location at the Pyrenean foothills.
Transfer from/to Zaragoza airport and Zaragoza Delicias Train Station with minibus and dedicated driver is included on the tour price.
Ryanair operates flights between Zaragoza and London among many other European cities on a regular basis.
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