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Alacón-Oliete. Barranco del Mortero (Small Route PR-TE 114)

Technical Data

Schedule: 3 h 30 min
Unevenness (+): 175 m
Unevenness (-): 500 m

Distance: 14,5 km
Type of road: Trail-path
Severity of the medium: 2

Orientation in the itinerary: 2
Difficulty: 2
Necessary effort: 3

Route description

We propose the route of the PR-TE 114 as a crossing. By the road known as Las Ventas (TE-V-1101), we will access by car in a couple of kilometers from the town of Alacón to the plain of Borón, where the head of the Mortero ravine is located. An information booth and a space conditioned as an accessible viewpoint over the ravine welcomes us. From here we will begin the descent of the ravine. A set of stairs in a small valley provide access to the headwaters, characterized by a steep cliff, which gives rise to a spectacular waterfall in the rainy season, and a pond at the foot of it.

Around the headwall, four shelters with cave paintings are strategically distributed around the cliff raft, an unbeatable hunting ground for prehistoric painters. An interpretation table will help the hiker to understand this landscape in relation to its prehistoric occupation and to identify the numerous birds that find refuge in the hollows and crevices found along the ravine. Vultures, Egyptian vultures, kestrels, choughs and rooks among many other birds of rupicolous habits will be inseparable companions during the time of our descent.

After 2 hours we will arrive by a path to Cerro Felio, which rises on the left bank of the ravine, leaving behind the canyons of the headwaters of the Mortero. In the rocky cinglera of the hill there are numerous remains of cavity enclosures made of dry stone and that were used until recent times by shepherds to enclose their livestock during the night. In addition to these traditional enclosures, there are numerous fences to protect the cave paintings, which are also lined up along the cinglera.

A path that starts on the path that occupies the rocky bed of the ravine will help us to ascend to the cinglera and then down the ravine Pellejas down the path to link back to the path of the ravine of the mortar that will take us to the Hermitage and the pond of San Miguel. Here we could finish the descent of the ravine if we have left the vehicles at this point, or continue on the trail from Alacón to Oliete.

From the traditional washing places, very close to the San Miguel pond, in about 10 minutes we will reach the base of the hill that supports the town and that is pierced by about 500 wineries -where the famous wine of Alacón is raised and preserved-, distributed by a series of terraces that adapt to the contour lines and through which runs the PR through cairns and indicators that is also known as the route of the wineries. Interpretation tables explain not only the architecture of these cellars, but also the traditional neighborhood of threshing floors developed at the foot of the hill.

After the wineries, the trail ascends to the highest point of the village, where the church and the paleontology interpretation center are located, to start descending through the castle district passing by the hermitage of the Holy Sepulchre in the Calvary, a medieval tower known as “Torre Vieja” and the local oil mill now adapted as a museum. Through a sloping street the PR reaches the road crossing and in a few meters we will find the detour to a road to Oliete. We descend until we reach the Pulgarillas pond, municipal boundary between Alacón and Oliete and then leaving the Regatillo ravine (extension of the Mortero and the Muela de Alacón ravine) we will go up to a high point where we connect with a track that will soon become asphalted and descending through olive groves we will reach a neighborhood of villas and country houses where we will find the detour to the Iberian site of Palomar (7 minutes from the detour). In a few minutes we will reach the junction with the GR-262 and Oliete.

Route map

Route profile

Respect the Park during your visit

Recommendations and standards

Through any of the marked routes in the Park you will be able to enter places of great ecological and scenic value, but also, this territory treasures an important set of cave paintings protected by law and declared a World Heritage Site.

Remember that we all have the right to enjoy the environment and also the duty to preserve it.

The shelters with cave paintings and some archaeological sites have protective fences. Authorized guides are required for the visit. Contact telephone numbers are available at the Town Halls, Tourist Offices and Interpretation Centers in the different towns that make up the Cultural Park.

Helps in the conservation of cave paintings. Do not touch them or pour water on them and respect the protective fences. Remember that they are a unique, but very fragile legacy, and we must preserve them if we want to continue enjoying them in the same environment in which they were painted thousands of years ago.

Archaeological and/or paleontological prospecting and excavation without the appropriate permits is strictly prohibited, according to Law 3/1999 of Aragonese Cultural Heritage. It collaborates in the preservation of the rich historical, cultural and ethnographic heritage of the Park.

Keep the environment clean. Do not litter or throw garbage.

Remember that it is forbidden to light fires, as well as to throw cigarette butts, glass and other objects that could cause a fire.

Respect nature. Do not uproot plants, do not foul the waters and do not capture or disturb animals and birds. Many of them have their nesting areas in these places.

If you are going to walk any of the hiking trails, wear comfortable sports shoes (sneakers or boots). Although the itineraries are very accessible, with proper footwear you will walk more safely, avoiding falls and sprains.

Keep in mind that you are moving in a natural area and, although the routes are prepared, do not forget to take some precautions. Do not leave the marked itinerary and be careful when passing through rocky and watery areas, especially if you are with children.

Routes of the Martín River Cultural Park

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