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OLIETE-ARIÑO. THE IBERIAN ROUTE (GR 262 Great Route Section)

Technical Data

Schedule: 2 h 35 min
Unevenness (+): 85 m
Unevenness (-): 140 m

Distance: 9,5 km
Type of road: Trail-path
Severity of the medium: 2

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

Route description

The GR 262 stage towards Ariño can be started on the banks of the Martín river, at the footbridge several meters downstream from the bridge, where there is a crossroads. We will find on the left the detour to the Iberian settlement of Palomar by the path of Pequeño Recorrido PR-TE 114 (direction Alacón). In 15 minutes you reach this village, an example of agricultural-residential architecture.

After returning again to the starting point in Oliete, the GR advances along a path between poplar trees, bordering the alluvial plain towards the Fuente El Piejo, which is reached using a detour of about 25 meters. Then begins a stretch of trail that will lead to another road or track that takes us to the farm of San Pedro, with agricultural and livestock buildings. There we will find the detour to the Sima de San Pedro (1 km). Continuing on our way we will pass through the Plana de San Pedro where we will find a rustic and ancient Peirón and the hermitage of San Pedro.

Following the track, we will soon find another detour uphill to the Iberian fortress of Cabezo de San Pedro ( 1.7 km.) that sits on a hill next to a steep rocky cut. The visit to the Sima and the Cabezo de San Pedro are absolutely recommended in this stage, to which you will have to add two more hours to the tour if you choose to visit them. These points of interest can be accessed by vehicle along a paved road.

Continuing along the GR, without leaving the main path, along the left bank of the Martín River, you will soon reach the riverbed, which is crossed by a ford cemented into the river with stone blocks as stepping stones. The route leaves the forest track to take a path that shortens the walking time, leading back to the track that will take us down to the Escuriza riverbed and, after crossing it over a footbridge, we arrive at a small square where we can see a mining castle and the mining museum (in the old commissary) that remind us of Ariño’s more recent past.

The Iberian Culture is the one that has provided Oliete with the most spectacular archaeological remains, and around them, the Iberian villages of Palomar -example of residential agricultural architecture, and of the Cabezo de San Pedro -example of the defensive and military architecture-, some routes have been structured based on the GR 262 itself. Interpretive panels distributed throughout the sites will help visitors to learn about this heritage, the characteristics of this period and the way of life of the Iberian settlers during the 3rd and 1st centuries BC.

El Palomar is excavated in approximately 1/3 of its total extension. In the excavated block of buildings, the cobblestone streets, stone plinths of the rooms and warehouses can be observed, and the places where burials of children, dogs and ovicaprids have been found are marked.

In the town of San Pedro, on the other hand, its fortress and defensive system are observable, highlighting a spectacular wall based on large stones, moat and defensive towers and surveillance in a second walled line. One of these towers, in preserved height, is the oldest in the Peninsula. Recent excavations have brought to light the necropolis composed of several burial mounds and constructive remains that seem to evidence the occupation of this settlement since the 5th century BC.

The huge Sima de San Pedro is considered unique in Europe due to its geological structure. This amazing truncated cone-shaped shaft is over 100 meters deep from the highest point to the lake (86 meters from an old platform), and has a diameter at its mouth of 75x85m. At its base there is a lake whose depth is estimated at 22 meters. The lake is fed by the waters of the Martín River, which is 40 meters above its level, as well as by the rainwater that enters through its mouth and by the water that collects in the ravine where the chasm is located.

This chasm also stands out as a refuge of biodiversity without equivalent in Europe, providing it with an exceptional ecological value, where some 25 species of vertebrates (birds, bats, micromammals, amphibians and reptiles) find refuge.

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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