Steppe landscape next to Zaragoza

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Posted July 16, 2016 by zaragozaturismo in Routes

Zaragoza has many green spaces and other not so green. We previously mentioned the riparian forests and today we are going to talk about the steppe, another ecosystem that you can visit in the Zaragoza municipality.

To know the steppe we approached to Torrecilla de Valmadrid. This rural neighbourhood is located at 17 km from Zaragoza, has 18 inhabitants and an incredible environment.

Here you will find an authentic desert landscape due to the low annual rainfall. Formed by mountains of steppe origin, they become its characteristic soil of gypsum in a unique space and great value that is found only here and in a small area of Afghanistan.

Due to the extreme conditions of high temperatures and little rain, there are few plants that survive here. camino de la estepaThe most common are the rosemary, thyme, esparto or albada. Plants that have the ability to retain water for times of drought as the month of August. In terms of tree species highlights the ailanto, species that has managed to thrive in the middle of the steppe without just water and catching a high altitude compared to the rest.

But despite this extreme environment, we can find small oasis. One of the main points of interest is the Balsa de Torrecilla. On this rafts we find the largest population of amphibians in the area (with 5 different toad species). Plants like cattail, which only lives in wetlands, survives here without any problem.

Thanks to clay terrain, rain water is collected and may retain for 4 or 5 days in a natural way. Only one of the rafts has been artificially waterproofed, retaining water for longer. At nightfall, several animal species, mostly mammals, come here to drink.

estepa zaragozanaAnother great point to highlight is its spectacular lunar landscape seen from the height of the steppe mount (it can be accessed by a signposted road). In addition, there are astronomical Saturdays (the next on 12 August and 10 September). Some days and marches night to observe the star since it more high of the landscape.

For those who like hiking and biking, it is recommended to be accompanied by someone who knows the terrain. Valmadrid, is a village that we are within walking distance of Torrecilla de Valmadrid, has 200 inhabitants ant it is worth approaching also views where you can see all the natural forest of pine trees.

Don’t miss these spectacular landscapes around the city!


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