The taifas (Muslim kingdoms on the Iberian Peninsula) of Toledo, Zaragoza and Albarracín were inhospitable territories in the Middle Ages. That is, until El Cid – a Castilian knight and warlord – and his army defeated 3,000 horsemen from Valencia at Alcocer. El Cid pursued one of the Muslim generals as far as Ateca. According to the El Cantar de mio Cid (The Song of my Cid), after this victory, his army was able to move more freely through the rugged territories of these three taifas, especially through Molina de Aragón, governed by his ally Avengalbón. This Collection covers the third segment of the complete itinerary of El Camino del Cid.
I invite you to ride your bike and follow in the footsteps of El Cid through the three taifas. Conquer the Jiloca valley, the Alto Tajo natural park, the Montes de Picaza, the Tremedales de Orihuela, the Sabinar de Monterde de Albarracín and the Pinares de Ródeno. Along these paths, you can admire cereal plains and forests of pines, as well as oaks and junipers. On the cliffs, you can observe birds of prey and see deer and roe deer running.
This Collection presents the most demanding landscape of the itinerary; its inhospitable mountain ranges and vast uninhabited expanses. Each stage is an enormous conquest. You cover 294 kilometres (183 km) over the five routes.
The best time to undertake this route is between April and October. Although it’s best to avoid the hottest or coldest days. In Ateca and the Jiloca Valley, temperatures on colder days are more pleasant, but the altitude in the Alto Tajo natural park and the Albarracín mountain range will cause them to plummet. Likewise, the cooler days at higher altitudes are very warm at lower altitudes.
A rigid bicycle with 29-inch wheels is ideal for this adventure. Although the route is mostly on dirt tracks, at higher elevations these roads may be less well-maintained. As far as clothing is concerned, it’s highly recommended to bring several layers that allow you to keep warm in the early and late hours of the day. And, on the other hand, to stay cool in the central hours when the sun is strong. Quality sunscreen is essential
The route starts in Ateca and ends in Cella, two towns in Aragon that are well connected by motorway and railway. In all the towns where the stages end, there are various options for accommodation and food and drink.
It only remains for me to wish you a good journey. I hope you enjoy the conquest of The Three Taifas on your bicycle.
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Last updated: February 28, 2023
Plan your own version of this adventure in the multi-day planner based on the stages suggested in this Collection.
At the gates of Ateca, the Cid himself arrived in pursuit of one of the Muslim generals who commanded 3,000 horsemen who rode from Valencia to the Jalón basin to make war with the champion in Alcocer. Here, among Mudejar towers, also begins the first stage of this Collection of the Three Taifas by BTT…
The second stage runs entirely through the Jiloca plain. The course of the river is a natural corridor that has historically served to connect Levante with the plateau and the Ebro valley. The Valencian horsemen who intended to devastate the Cid's army rode through here to Ateca. This basin is intensively…
Get recommendations on the best single tracks, peaks, & plenty of other exciting outdoor places.
This day is a walk through the immense cereal fields of the Castilian plateau irrigated by the waters of the Gallo River. More than 42 of the 61 kilometers of the stage run along dirt tracks that link small towns with a marked rural accent. Today's route accumulates only 700 meters of positive unevenness…
You are facing the most demanding stage of this Collection. The path continues its ascent and on this day 1,380 meters are climbed in the almost 66 kilometers of the journey. Of course, the entire Route immerses you in the impressive landscapes of the natural spaces of Montes de Picaza and the Alto Tajo…
The fifth and last stage is mostly downhill. Even so, in its almost 57 kilometers there are 760 meters uphill, but in return you will descend 1220 meters. This day you go, little by little, leaving the Alto Tajo area in the direction of Teruel. The route is mainly on dirt forest tracks and the landscape…
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