WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN THE TENA VALLEY
There are many things one can do and see in the Tena Valley. Wonderful leisure activities are waiting for you; defy gravity on the zip lines installed in the amusement park ‘Biescas Aventura’, or discover all the animal species that have lived in these mountains throughout time in Lacuniacha Fauna Park.
Did you know that some unique animal species inhabit this region? Lacuniacha: Fauna Park is located in Piedrafita de Jaca and it offers you 30 hectares in which you can peek on the lives of Iberian lynx, bison, grizzly bears and reindeers in their natural environment, the forest.
The park is a controlled perimeter where the areas for observation are completely secured and are also extensive enough so that people’s presence doesn’t interfere with animal’s usual dynamics.
Located at 1380 meters ASL, the resort is only 10 km away from Panticosa, one of the sections of the main Ski Resort. There is no excuse to learn more about the nature of the surroundings.
The complete route will take you around three hours; this will allow you to see all the animals while walking on a 4-kilometre mountain path. Then trip can last as long as you wish and even have a picnic —there are picnic areas throughout the facility— while enjoying the views of both animals and landscape.
Some animals, such as the deer, move around in herds and don’t mind being watched. However, others, such as wolves or the lynxes, are more elusive and you need to be patient in order to see them at close range. We recommend you to wear comfortable footwear and, if you’re bringing children, take an off-road stroller.
THE SERRABLO ROUTE
One of the most popular trips in the Tena Valley is The Serrablo Route. The circuit goes around different villages in order to visit 14 churches, built between the 10th and 11th centuries. These churches, despite being unique, have common features that reflect the periods in which they were built. Located on the left bank of the Gállego river in villages such as Lárrede, Isún, Satué, San Juan de Busa, Oliván, San Bartolomé de Gavín...
Church of San Pedro de Lárrede: 7 kilometres away from the entrance to the Tena Valley, close to Senegüé, you’ll find this parish church built to honour San Pedro. Small yet beautiful, the building was constructed in 1050 and declared a National Monument in 1931 which led to the restoration of the building in 1933. It is, without doubt, one of the best examples of Romanesque architecture in the region.
Church of San Bartolomé de Gavín: This beautiful chapel was built in mid-10th century and features both Romanesque and Mozarabic elements. Restored and almost completely rebuilt by the ‘Amigos del Serrablo’ Association it conserves its special attraction, the square-based tower and two bodies, making it one of the most singular churches along this route.
If you ever wanted to have a tree house or to climb onto one, ‘Biescas Aventura’ is the place for you.
In a large forest park you will find vines, walkways, zip lines and climbing walls on treetops. All of them designed for you to have fun outdoors. Suitable for both young and older adventurers it has activities that adapt for everyone willing to live some adventures. It has eight different circuits, all colour marked to designate the level of difficulty.
Having fun on the trees isn’t the only thing you can do there: you can bring your own picnic and enjoy it in the picnic area, visit the bar with an open-air terrace for a light snack, or meal and relax in the tree shade.
VISIT SANTA ELENA TO FIND A FORT, A CHAPEL AND A DOLMEN
Santa Elena’s chapel is considered by many as the gateway to the Tena Valley, an honour that is bestowed because of its highly valued architectural and cultural features. The chapel itself was built on cliff between 1221 and 1484 fusing Mozarabic, Gothic and Baroque styles.
But it’s the legend surrounding Santa Elena what gives the place its magical atmosphere. It is said that the saint, being chased by infidels, hid inside a cave. The entrance of the cave was covered by the spiders that weaved a thick spider web to hide the entrance to the cave in order to save Elena. The legend says that it is above the entrance to the cave, where the chapel was built. And there is a spring, whose flow rises and falls and which some still believe portends the fortunes or misfortunes of the inhabitants of the Tena Valley.
To arrive at the chapel, you cross a military fort built in the times of Philip II of Spain and which was used as a defensive structure over the centuries.
The complex also includes the Santa Elena dolmen, a testimonial to the fact that this site has been a sacred place since prehistoric times.