The previous section of the Way of the Cid (you can find the Collection here: komoot.com/Collection/1809741) ran through the borderlands of medieval Spain, but the third part leads through ancient Muslim lands. As its name suggests, this route covers the landscapes and cities of three taifas: Zaragoza, Toledo and Albarracín. What is a taifa, you ask? In 1009, the Caliphate of Córdoba fell and, as a result, independent kingdoms emerged, ruled by different clans. The taifas are each of these kingdoms.
Following in the footsteps of El Cid for 300 kilometres (186 mi), you’ll discover the Islamic legacy in the provinces of Zaragoza, Guadalajara and Teruel. This important historical heritage lives on in the form of impressive fortifications, such as in Daroca, Molina de Aragón and Albarracín, as well as in the region’s Mudejar architectural style.
When it comes to nature, there’s plenty to discover too. You'll start by riding along gentle terrain through the beautiful Jiloca river valley. Then, from the third stage onwards, the gradient increases and the lanscapes become more diverse. In total, you cross five protected natural areas: the Alto Tajo Natural Park, Montes de Picaza, Tremedales de Orihuela, the savine forest of Monterde de Albarracín and the Pinares de Rodeno. From your saddle, you’ll admire spectacular canyons and gorges, oak and pine forests, red, rocky hillsides, rivers of stone and other amazing karst landscapes.
The Three Taifas route is divided into six stages with an average of 50 kilometres (30 mi) per day. You set off from Calatayud, in the province of Zaragoza (unless you follow the previous Collection and arrive on foot). Trains and buses run to Calatayud but don’t forget to pack your bike if you travel on Automóviles Zaragoza’s buses. Zaragoza airport is 80 kilometres (49 mi) from Calatayud. Your final stop is Cella in Teruel province where you can catch a Renfe train to Teruel with your bike (for an extra fee).
The route mainly runs on secondary roads that are ideal for cycling. Sometimes, you have to ride on national roads, the N-234 and N-211, but they have hard shoulders and the traffic isn’t heavy. There’s no unpaved terrain, so any cycle touring bike is suitable for the route. However, the fourth stage is very steep, so you’ll need to be fit!
As in the previous sections, all the stages end in towns with various types of accommodation, restaurants, bars and shops. En route, you’ll pass through some small villages, but they don’t have shops so always carry some food in your panniers. As for water, you can refill your water bottles at the many public fountains. You can do this route at any time of the year, but spring and autumn are the best seasons as they avoid the most extreme temperatures.
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Last updated: November 29, 2022
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The first stage of the third section of the Camino del Cid starts from Calatayud, in the province of Zaragoza.
The route runs through the beautiful valley of the Jiloca River, through the lands that once formed part of the Taifa of Zaragoza. It is not surprising, then, the number of Muslim vestiges that…
The Jiloca River continues to be your travel companion throughout this stage. Continuing through the valley, this section has a fairly smooth profile.
The towns located on the banks of the river are the protagonists of this day. These towns steeped in history are ideal for making a stop, wandering around…
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Monreal del Campo marks the point where you leave the Jiloca River to enter the province of Guadalajara. This stage has a medium slope, but as a reward, at the end of the day an impressive medieval walled complex awaits you.
The day begins with a climb, which although it is not very steep, does not let…
Although this is a hard stage due to the unevenness that it accumulates, the landscapes that it crosses are of spectacular beauty. This section takes you into the wonderful Alto Tajo Natural Park, a natural environment characterized by its deep canyons and gorges created by the passage of the Tagus River…
The penultimate stage of Las Tres Taifas takes you back to Teruel and, although the unevenness does not give up, the beauty of the landscapes is not far behind either.
The route points out ways from the beginning, as it crosses the natural area of Tremedales de Orihuela, a high mountain area where peat…
After several intense stages in terms of unevenness and mileage, the last section of Las Tres Taifas is much shorter and simpler, although no less beautiful for that.
After leaving Albarracín behind, you will enter one of the most interesting protected landscapes of this section of the Camino del Cid…
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