From Biescas to the Church of Saint Elena (Iglesia de Santa Elena)
DURATION: 2 HOURS (ONE WAY)
DIFFICULTY: EASY, GENTLE CHANGE IN ELEVATION
The small trail PR-HU 78, which is marked and well signposted, brings you from Biescas to the stunning Saint Elena’s Shrine. The route runs through woodlands and past different interesting sites, incorporating nature, history and tradition. Along the way, you will come across information panels about the fauna, flora, geology and history of the area, so that you can learn as you walk and discover more about this very intriguing part of the Alto Gállego Region.
The route starts on the road, the N260 from Biescas in the direction of Gavín, and takes about 2 hours one way. There are no particular challenges on the route and so it is suitable for all ages and also for families.
You will cross the ravine twice along the way, first going through pine trees, then later you will go into a leafy woods, where hazelnut trees, birch, poplar and boxwood are the protagonists. After passing the spring at Silla, you go down into the Asieso ravine. The ravine is very well maintained and with a bit of luck you may hear woodpeckers in the trees.
And so, nearly before you know it you arrive at an open area where Saint Elena’s Dolmen is situated. The dolmen was witness to the funeral rites carried out in prehistoric times by the inhabitants of this area.
Now for the visit to the Shrine, which is situated on a height so that it stands out from other places. Walk uphill in the direction of the Shrine; half way up you will come across the remains of a small fort, built to protect the area against invasion by the French Huguenots. Finally, to the Shrine itself, which stands in a meadow, and from where you have magnificent views overall of the Biescas area. Next to it is the La Gloriosa spring, the waters of which are said to have healing properties and where lots of locals still go for water.
Go down the steps very carefully; they bring you down to the waterfall that drops underneath the Shrine. Together they form the best-known and most photographed image of Saint Elena’s: the Shrine sitting above the waterfall.