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BRIDGE OF THE BATÁN-ALBALATE DEL ARZOBISPO. THE STRAITS OF THE RÍO MARTÍN (GR 262 Long Distance GR 262)

Technical Data

Schedule: 4 h
Unevenness (+): 400 m
Unevenness (-): 300 m

Distance: 10,5 km
Type of road: Trail-path
Severity of the medium: 2

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

Download tracks Los Estrechos long

Download tracks Los Estrechos short (two hiking loops)

Download tracks Los Estrechos all

Route description

The route of the Estrechos begins at the Batán bridge (on the A-1401 road) on the Martín river, about 11 km. from Albalate del Arzobispo in the direction of Ariño and very close to the sanctuary of the Virgin of Arcos (XVII century). Several esplanades on the margins of the road can serve as parking areas.

From here, several options:

Los Estrechos: Batán Bridge- left bank Martín river- Rivera plant- right bank Martín river- Batán bridge. (Two hiking loops 3 hours 30 minutes):

It is possible to hike the Straits as a hiking loop (a sort of “8”). We recommend to go through the Straits first on the left bank always visiting numerous shelters with cave paintings and reach almost the Central Rivera to return on the right bank following the path of the Canal until you reach the bridge of Batán (about 3 hours and 30 minutes). It is also feasible to do from the Batán Bridge, only the first hiking loop and at the height of Chaparros return again to the Batán Bridge (2 hours).

The path of the Straits runs through the rocky cliffs that channel the river and offers a variety of scenic settings. Along the trail several viewpoints, interpretation tables and information panels will help us to understand and analyze this evocative and rugged landscape, as well as several rock shelters with ritual engravings as Christianization crosses that along with the Sanctuary of the Virgin of Arcos, try to show the sacralization of this territory from prehistoric times to the present day. It is not in vain that several groups of prehistoric post-Paleolithic cave paintings, declared World Heritage Sites, are located in this area of the river. Thus we find two shelters in Recodo de los Chaparros and a shelter in Los Chaparros, before reaching a picnic area that can be a good place to rest.

The GR descends to the river passing through an area characterized and modeled by karst phenomena. In travertine rocks, shelters were excavated in the rock with enclosures made of the same material that served to enclose livestock and shelter. There we cross a footbridge to the other side of the river and in a few meters by another footbridge we return to the left bank to find two shelters in the Estrechos II and a shelter in the Estrechos I that requires binoculars to observe the paintings that are located more than 10 meters high. At the foot of the Estrechos I we will cross the river again by a narrow footbridge, in the background we can see the “Rivera” Power Plant, to return to the Batán bridge always on the right bank (canal path).

In this return stretch from the Estrechos to the Batán Bridge, the trail takes us to the most aerial part of the route. The trail climbs gradually and the path is increasingly winding and aerial, so the views are also increasingly impressive, along the way have been placed some stairs and protective ropes that help and facilitate the movement.

During all this return journey the path runs parallel to a water channeling made in the early twentieth century -in some sections underground- that the workers opened during the work from an existing dam upstream of the Batán bridge, to the Rivera hydroelectric plant, which supplies water to produce electricity and which is encased in the walls that channel the river, hence it is known as the path of the channel for being the service and access path open for maintenance. The area is spectacular and fascinating because of the steep rocky cliffs through which the trail hangs and which require extreme caution throughout the entire route.

It is possible to consider the Straits as a crossing (3 hours and 30 minutes).and taking the path on either side of the river (remember that the paintings are always on the left bank) continue from the viewpoint of the Straits very close to the Central Rivera by a path parallel as always to the Martín river that was once recovered by some young people in work camp (now on the right bank) to an esplanade and from there along a path to the A-1401 road (this point is by road about 3 km. from the Batán bridge and about 7 km. from Albalate del Arzobispo).

Batán Bridge-Albalate del Arzobispo (4 hours): That implies arriving from the Batán bridge to the town of Albalate after crossing the Narrows (2 hours and 30 minutes without stops along one of the riverbanks), and taking a detour to Albalate, which is located on the left bank of the Narrows, and after climbing a path the GR runs along a road or track for 6 km to the town (1 hour and 30 minutes).

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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