If you want to walk through a fir wood like in the Finnish taiga, the route that connects Lanuza with Panticosa will take you there.
The magic of beech and broad-leaf forests, recalled so many times in the fairy stories of central Europe, this is the experience you will have at El Betato (witches’ wood), in the forests at Lanuza and Sallent. Any time of year that you delve into these woods, do so without rushing, quietly, curiously, leave the paths behind, keep your mind open, and you will leave with a sensation of having lived something special that will stay with you for a long time.
If water is your thing, because of the characteristics of limestone and the volume of water that flows in the River Gállego and all its tributaries, even on the hottest days of summer you will find a spring, pond, gorge, pool, waterfall, river or lake to cool down in or take amazing photos of. Precisely because of this abundance of water, peat bogs are a unique feature of our landscape. Normally associated with the Scottish Highlands, the presence of the peat bogs here has led the European Commission, through the Natura 2000 network, to declare them a protected area of special conservation.
Oaks and holm oaks are also represented in the Region. Why not organise an excursion specifically to get to know some of the species featured among the Unique Veteran Trees? Such as the oak trees (called cajicos in this area) in Laguarta, or a route to visit the many unique trees along the Yebra de Basa road (the oak trees at Isún, and the evergreen oaks at Ralla Espata and Fanlillo).
Of course you must be planning on taking a hike through the mountain – or alpine – meadows, above the treeline. The scenery is spectacular and transmits the sensations you feel when you are in an open space, such as freedom and peacefulness. But remember, these highland meadows are where traditional livestock like to graze, and certainly for thousands of years livestock has contributed significantly to the maintenance of the landscape and its rich biological diversity. We know this because according to scientists within European ecology these meadows are one of the ecosystems with the most biodiversity.
Other scenery to enjoy during your visit is the natural pinewoods, such as the high-altitude fields with groves of mountain pine, a setting that definitely you will want to spend some time in. These pine trees are at the limit of where trees can survive, and so are almost bonsais, surrounded by meadows and a multitude of flowers. And don’t forget the thickets, or riverbank forests, in Oliván and Caldearenas that shelter herons, woodpeckers, golden orioles and otters.
To end this section, let’s consider the most important environment, the environment that is seen the most and that you value the most: the one that comes about as a result of the understanding between humankind and nature. This environment has been shaped by people for thousands of years through the sensible exploitation of the natural resources available, by livestock farming, agriculture, vegetable plots, hayfields, the hedgerows in the small fields, the groves nearby, the shepherds’ huts and finally the villages. This is the humanised landscape that we often abuse, and now is a museum for these urban times of how we survived before industrialisation.