The walkways to discover the canyon of the Vero River, in the Sierra de Guara

Canyoning is not for everyone.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
31 March 2024 Sunday 10:32
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The walkways to discover the canyon of the Vero River, in the Sierra de Guara

Canyoning is not for everyone. A priori an absolutely safe activity if carried out with the appropriate equipment and accompanied by expert guides, it does, however, require dips and jumps through narrow passages. There are those who cannot overcome the vertigo and the feeling of claustrophobia. For them, a good alternative in the Sierra de Guara are the Alquézar walkways.

Nailed to the vertical rock wall of the last stretch of the Vero River canyon, this itinerary allows those who do not dare to take a dip to experience the incredible sensation of traveling through one of the most captivating landscapes of the Huesca Pre-Pyrenees.

It is a route three kilometers long and with a gradient that is close to 180 meters. This means that you have to be minimally fit, but you don't have to be a trained athlete to do it. Of course, you have to wear good shoes to walk on a surface of metal bars that can be wet – early in the morning in some months, frozen.

The great advantage is that you start from the very center of the town of Alquézar – a wonder in itself – to descend through the Fuente ravine. Perhaps it is the most demanding section, as it is a direct and abrupt descent. There is help from wooden railings and steps, but they can be slippery in shady areas. Then the path stabilizes and “flies over” the Vero riverbed, at a height that varies between 5 and 10 meters. The glass-green pools alternate with the transparency of the water when it runs, and make hikers think if it would not have been better to dive directly into the ravine.

The last walkway will be a test for those who suffer from vertigo, as it goes over the cliff about 25 meters from the ground, although it can be avoided by taking a detour that ascends towards the forest. It is a path that converges with those who carry out the entire “air” section. From then on, you return to Alquézar along a pleasant terraced path with traditional olive and almond tree crops.

In shady areas and in certain months the environment can be very cold, you must be well dressed. On the contrary, in the good weather season the return to the town is done through a poorly protected section, so you will have to bring sunscreen, a hat and plenty of water to drink.

Even with the excitement they cause to the general public, no one is spared criticism for having incorporated an artificial installation into such a beautiful place. It is the sacrifice of the landscape so that a greater number of people can enjoy a canyon that, otherwise, would be reserved for athletes in good shape, say the defenders of the initiative.

The journey along the Alquézar walkways is subject to a mandatory toll. It is 5 euros per person, and the proceeds are used to improve the facilities and waste collection.

Because it is a canyon with very narrow passages, sudden channel changes due to downpours and storms can significantly alter traffic conditions. It is important to check the weather conditions and the official website of the walkways before starting.

Alquézar is located at the southwestern end of the Sierra y Cañones de Guara natural park. By road, it is 53 kilometers from the city of Huesca.