Walking Holidays in Spain - Mainland - Spain - Maestrazgo - El Cid Country

Holiday Highlights
  • A rare opportunity to travel through a little-known, untouched region of Spain
  • Explore an area of outstanding cultural interest and natural beauty with deserted villages
  • Walk between ever changing striking landscapes of jagged mountains, canyons and moorlands

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Self Guided walking holiday - Click here to find out more about Self Guided walking holidays          

  • Overview
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Our Maestrazgo trek provides walkers with the rare opportunity to travel through a little known region of Spain which remains untouched by the modern world. Straddling the regions of Teruel and Aragon in Northeast Spain Maestrazgo, this region has been designated an area of outstanding cultural interest and natural beauty. Overnight stays are often in villages founded by the Knight Templar, El Cid, castellated strongholds perched on rocky crags above deep ravines. Walking between villages each day offers ever changing striking landscapes. Jagged mountains, rivers, canyons, moorlands and forests all intersperse with fields where farmers continue to eke out a living as their ancestors have done for generations. Maestrazgo is still little known by walkers and tourists. We think this is heaven!

The route often follows the long distance GR-8 path. You will walk on footpaths and drovers routes used for generations by villagers and farmers. 

The paths are of good quality but rough underfoot in places. A walking day would normally be between 4 to 7 hours long.

You have two nights in one place towards the end which you can take as a rest day or we provide details of walking options on that day if you prefer to keep the legs going. There are no vertiginous sections.

Day 1: 
Collect your hire car and drive from the airport to your first accommodation in Cuevas de Cañart. Explore the town, with its Baroque style chapels and churches and Aragonese arches.Overnight Cuevas de Cañart.

Day 2: Today you walk alongside the Guadalope River, giving opportunities for cool down dips along the way. This takes you through forest trails, through the ravine of Guadalope river to Rock Bridge (Puente de La Fonseca) and onto El Raspador where you are met and transferred to Montoro de Mezquita. Overnight Montoro de Mezquita.

Ascent: 800m. Descent: 440m. Distance: 11 miles. Time: 6 ½ hours.

Day 3: The walk starts on the pilgrimage route to the Hermitage of San Pedro de la Roqueta, an ascent the local villagers committed to make after receiving rain following 7 years of drought. You cross mountain ranges running parallel with each other and intersected with little valleys and streams, with short but steep ascents and descents. You will feel engulfed by the solitude. Overnight Montoro de Mezquita.

Ascent: 530m. Descent: 340m. Distance: 7 ½ miles. Time: 5 ½ hours.

Day 4: You start on a path along a shady gully to the source of the river Pitarque. Maple, walnut, and hazel trees constitute one of the best Mediterranean river bank forests of the area. On the journey you will pass a small hydro electric power station with its defences built against the attacks of the Maquis resistance against Franco which fought from 1949 to 1954. Overnight La Canada de Benatanduz.

Ascent: 770m. Descent: 425m. Distance: 11 ¾ miles. Time: 4 ½ hours.

Day 5: Today you visit the High Maestrazgo with an altitude of 1700m. The landscape is dappled with pine forest and alpine grass and is the area with the most historical buildings in the district, six municipalities having been declared of historical-artistic interest. These lovely towns of significant medieval architecture truly warrant their classification. Overnight Cantavieja.

Ascent: 465m. Descent: 590m. Distance: 11 ½ miles. Time: 5 ½ hours.

Day 6: Free day in Cantavieja. You could take a short walk below the village where you can fully understand the defensive capability of the settlement or take a longer walk after a short taxi ride (payable locally) to one of El Cid’s castles. Overnight Cantavieja.

Ascent: nil. Descent: 220m. Distance: 4 ½ miles. Time: 3 ¾ hours.

Day 7: Your route today will encounter little or no woods or forests as they were felled in the 16th century to provide more pasture for sheep when the area was thriving economically from wool. Your destination is Mirambel, a village full of beautiful medieval stone buildings decorated with bold wooden eaves which has often been used as a film set. Overnight Mirambel.

Ascent: 560m. Descent: 950m. Distance: 9 ½ miles. Time: 5 hours.

Day 8: Return home, either transfer back to your car or directly to the airport.

Self Guided

You can walk entirely at your own pace with our extensive walking notes giving route directions, ascents, descents, distances and walking times (as well as where those most important cafe and toilet stops are)! If you wish to lengthen the holiday we can easily add rest days when you make the booking.

Baggage Transfer

Your baggage will be transferred for you from hotel to hotel, leaving you free to travel with a day rucksack only. Some days you are taken to the start of a walk and/or collected at the end - these transfers are all included in the price.

Walk Grading 

Self-Guided – Moderate, with some remoteness but excellent way marking. Total for standard week ignoring variations:- Ascent 2970m, Descent 2805m, 60 miles.

This map is for illustration purposes only and we cannot be held responsible for its accuracy.

El Cid Country

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Our accommodation has been especially chosen to give you an authentic experience of the real rural Spain. All are government registered and are located in villages except for one in a small town. They are a mixture
of small rural hotels and Casas Rurales which are interesting old buildings converted for tourist accommodation.
Dinner is included every night (wine also!) in the hotel or at a local restaurant. All rooms feature a bath or shower and W.C.


Availability Information

Maestrazgo has a dry climate with more precipitation in the winter months and a possibility of snow during December to February above 1400m. We do not recommend July and August it is too hot and thunderstorms are also prevalent in August. Winter temperatures range from -4° to 13°C. Spring is soft and warm 18°-22°C and temperatures then rise until August 38°C in the sun. September to October is similar to Spring.

Please note our best to go information is generally referring to the walking which may fall in the early or late season in some places. This may mean that not all tourist facilities will be open at the time you visit.

When to book your walking holiday in Spain - Mainland - Spain - Maestrazgo - El Cid Country

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