What to see and do in the idyllic Hecho Valley
Charming villages in the Aragonese Pyrenees, breathtaking wonders of nature, welcoming people, unique traditions, and a culture, with its artistic expressions, that go back for centuries. And, of course, many outdoor activities, unique festivals, and cuisine to die for. The idyllic Hecho Valley (Huesca), also known as the Valley of Colours, is one of the corners of the Aragonese Pyrenees that’s well worth a tourist getaway.
As well as having a splendid natural setting with animals such as the brown bear and the bearded vulture, the Hecho Valley has many attractions in all the municipalities that form part of it: Hecho, Embún, Urdués, Santa Lucía, and Siresa, which border the Pyrenean valley of Ansó. And its inhabitants have managed to safeguard their traditions and culture, as well as the local language, Cheso. Here we guide you through the essential places to visit in this beautiful area of the province of Huesca:
- Selva de Oza
- Ibón de Acherito
- Valle de Aguas Tuertas
- Barranco de la Boca del Infierno
- Pueblo de Hecho
- Monasterio de San Pedro
- Rutas por el Valle de Hecho
La Selva de Oza
Rivers, waterfalls, ravines, beech forests… The Selva de Oza is a gift of nature at its purest. You can find it in the Valles Occidentales Natural Park at La Jacetanía and is a paradisical destination for sporting activities, such as hiking, climbing, trekking, mountain biking, and paragliding. During the winter season, you can practise cross-country skiing, ski mountaineering, snowshoeing, and off-piste skiing. It’s also an ideal place for family tourism in the heart of nature. It’s surrounded by peaks of between 2,300 and 2,700 metres high: Peña Forca (2,390 m.), Punta Agüerri (2,540 m.), and Castillo de Acher (2,384 m.).
In what is known as the Bosque de Oza, you can go with the children (or on your own) to test your fitness with balancing games and zip lines in the trees. There are eight routes for all ages, with varying difficulty levels, which are next to the river.
The impressive Ibón de Acherito
Climbing up to the Ibón de Acherito is one of the most popular excursions for travellers who come to the Hecho Valley. This stunningly beautiful lake, one of the few remaining natural lakes in the Pyrenees, is surrounded by the stone walls of mountains such as the Larraille peak or Arraya de Las Foyas. It’s at an altitude of 1,875 metres and its views are truly picture perfect.
The whimsical Aguas Tuertas valley
Located in the heart of the Valles Occidentales, the Aguas Tuertas Valley collects the spring waters of the Aragón Subordán river and meanders in a seemingly random way, giving rise to an original and spectacular landscape. In addition, a number of mysterious megalithic structures can be found here, including dolmens, cromlechs, sepulchres, underground tunnels, and burial mounds. The famous Dolmen de Aguas Tuertas stands out among them all. It’s said to be inhabited by a little goblin who chooses the travellers who come to this beautiful enclave, so he annoys the visitors he believes to be unwanted.
Boca del Infierno Ravine
It’s in the Valles Occidentales Natural Park, of which the valleys of Hecho and Ansó form part. More specifically, at the entrance to the Selva de Oza. It’s a deep gorge 1.5 kilometres long that descends to a drop of approximately 60 metres formed by the Aragón Subordán river. It’s made up of countless rocks lapped by waterfalls and is very attractive for lovers of extreme sports and adrenaline junkies.
The village of Hecho
Regarded as one of the most beautiful villages in Huesca, Hecho (Aragón), alongside its unique architectural beauty, has many popular traditions and a long history. One of Hecho’s great attractions, in the Pyrenees, is the open-air Modern Sculpture Museum. It also has a monumental Romanesque parish church with a semicircular apse, and a well-kept Ethnological Museum with everyday tools and a valuable collection of traditional costumes. And, of course, there are restaurants where you can enjoy the typical food of Huesca.
Monastery of San Pedro, in Siresa
You must visit this spectacular monastery, possibly the oldest in Aragon, on your getaway to the Hecho Valley. Its origins date back to the 9th century, although experts believe that there may have been an earlier monastery from the Visigothic period. The church of San Pedro, where Alfonso I ‘the Battler’ is said to have been baptised, will impress you with its beauty and simplicity. It was declared a National Monument in 1931 and there are no sculptures inside.
Routes through the Hecho Valley
The City Council of the Hecho Valley and the Provincial Council of Huesca have designed a selection of routes, most of them circular, to get to know this delightful destination. These routes have been divided into four categories, according to the time it takes to complete them and the physical effort involved. There are walks, half-day excursions, one-day excursions and, lastly, hiking and technical routes, which include high mountain routes.
If you’re thinking of going to the area with children, we recommend a nice walk in the direction of the hermitage of Virgen de Catarecha or the Fayanás ravine. You can also go along the Aragón Subordán river or go into the forest of the shady area of La Cuesta, which is very close to the open-air sculpture museum. Other options for a nice walk are the Praderío de Siresa, the Espata ravine or the Gitanos waterfalls in the area around Guarrinza.