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Footpaths in La Rioja

San Millán footpaths

tipo de documento semantico rtpath

3 footpaths between 1.2 and 4.3 miles long (40 minutes to 2 hours)

Etapas

To reach the beginning of the footpath, take the Pedestrian path to Yuso-Suso from San Millán. This path starts at the Yuso Monastery access square, where there is a sign with the footpaths of the area (Pedestrian path to Yuso-Suso-El Aidillo, Pedestrian path to Yuso-Suso-Labardera), and crosses the road to the cemetery. The itinerary is marked with wood-post signs at the crossroads. Follow the directions towards the Suso Monastery and, in a split in the pine forest, follow the sign to Villar de Torre instead of Suso. After about 100 metres, you will find the itinerary start sign. After the sign, take the route that ascends bordering the pine forest, cross a road and follow a trail that goes up a deforested hillside with some isolated Portuguese oaks, Pyrenean oaks and holm oaks. On the hillsides to the left there are Douglas firs that extend on a wide area. Continue and, after a while, you will be walking under the trees, with the fields to the left and a row of the native Pyrenean oak forest to the right. Reach a crossroads where an arrow indicates that you should continue straight and enter a greater Pyrenean oak forest. Again, after 200 metres, you will find another crossroads where you take the trail that descends smoothly towards the Oncedillo Ravine through the Pyrenean oak forest. Cross the bridge over the stream and then a fence the protects a repopulation on this hillside. After almost a kilometre ascent, the trail ends. Exit the fenced area and take the route that descends among a Pyrenean oak forest with plenty of ivy on the trunks until you reach Valdez Ravine. Follow the hillside footpath that, after a while, flows into a path that you take towards some abandoned pens. The path now goes towards an agricultural area. You can see a great straight line of almost one kilometre. After 100 metres, turn left and go along the edge of a repopulated agricultural plot with Douglas firs. Follow another agricultural path until you reach a turn towards the valley in 500 metres. At this point, take the new path that goes in your direction. It goes towards the hill and cropland area. Go to a new river bed with Pyrenean oaks and cross the Sacavacas Stream. Through an area of low hills you will reach the so-called Camino de la Linde. This will take you among croplands and, after 2 km, you will arrive at Villar de Torre.

3

The route starts in a small square in front of the entrance to the Yuso Monastery. There you will find an informative panel with an aerial photograph of the itineraries you can carry out, as well as several interesting facts about other footpaths in the area. Once you cross the small square and the road, you begin the ascent. Leave the cemetery to the left and pass next to the latest buildings of the village until you reach a route that will lead you to the forest. You will see the first great pines and an isolated Portuguese oak. This tells you about the dominating tree of the forest on the hillside right in front of you. Immediately you will reach the first crossing, without changing direction. A little while after, you will reach another one where you will take the path on the right and ascend a short but steep slope to penetrate in the pine forest. The surrounding landscape is a black pine forest (Pinus nigra) that was planted in the 50s. The environment is inviting and the route twists in a smooth ascent. Down the path it is easy to see the reappearance of oaks. They grow under the protection of the pines to restore the natural vegetation of the area. Another easy steep slope will lead you to a path that crosses the forest. The path to the right leads to the start of another itinerary marked as the path San Millán-Villar de Torre. Continue down the path on the left and slowly exit the pine forest and enter a Portuguese oak wood (Quercus faginea). This oak wood has a well-developed undergrowth where you can find many bush species, such as juniper, spindle and wild privet. There are also other small trees, such as field maple, hazelnut trees and wild cherry trees. There are many Ruscus aculeatus, a small unique bush. Its stems are similar to the evergreen leaves with sharp spikes. In autumn, next to the leaves appear shiny round red fruits. Moss and ivy climb the north part of the strong trunk of the oaks. This indicates you are entering the river bed, which becomes damper. The ascent soon leads you to your objective: the Suso Monastery. After visiting the monument, continue the walk down the paved path that descends and leaves the monastery on the right. From here you can look at the oak wood you have left behind and, over it, among the limestone rock formations, appears a forest of Aleppo pines. These oaks live on soils that are poorer and more difficult to settle on for other species that are less coarse than this one. On the back part of the monastery, you will approach another river bed completely covered by great trees. The return to Yuso will be through this forest; but before, it is worth to take a detour on a path that starts on the right and that, immediately, leads you to a clear fresh water fountain where you can cool off during summer. A narrow pass on the fence that limits the hill so that the livestock does not enter the monastic area takes you to a wide forest trail. A little after starting the trail, you will find a sign that will give you two alternatives to descend. Follow the trail and choose the longest route through the Labardera path. This takes you through an oak wood and a well-developed pine forest. In the upper part of the forest, the black pines make way for the Scots pines, whose salmon coloured bark is easily distinguished from the rest of the pines. The trail, almost at the same level, reaches the fire lane that you will also find below. At this point, the landscape provides a beautiful view of the valley with the tower of Yuso showing among the trees and the village of Estollo in the distance. From here, you will enter a sunnier area where the pine forest dominates but the trees are smaller. There are also some scattered cypresses and holm oaks. After a small river bed, in which you can see some disperse Portuguese oaks, you will arrive at the descent point.

2

The route starts in a small square in front of the entrance to the Yuso Monastery. There you will find an informative panel with an aerial photograph of the itineraries you can carry out, as well as several interesting facts about other footpaths in the area. Once you cross the small square and the road, you begin the ascent. Leave the cemetery to the left and pass next to the latest buildings of the village until you reach a route that will lead you to the forest. You will see the first great pines and an isolated Portuguese oak. This tells you about the dominating tree of the forest on the hillside right in front of you. Immediately you will reach the first crossing, without changing direction. A little while after, you will reach another one where you will take the path on the right and ascend a short but steep slope to penetrate in the pine forest. The surrounding landscape is a black pine forest (Pinus nigra) that was planted in the 50s. The environment is inviting and the route twists in a smooth ascent. Down the path it is easy to see the reappearance of oaks. They grow under the protection of the pines to restore the natural vegetation of the area. Another easy steep slope will lead you to a path that crosses the forest. The path to the right leads to the start of another itinerary marked as the path San Millán-Villar de Torre. Continue down the path on the left and slowly exit the pine forest and enter a Portuguese oak wood (Quercus faginea). This oak wood has a well-developed undergrowth where you can find many bush species, such as juniper, spindle and wild privet. There are also other small trees, such as field maple, hazelnut trees and wild cherry trees. There are many Ruscus aculeatus, a small unique bush. Its stems are similar to the evergreen leaves with sharp spikes. In autumn, next to the leaves appear shiny round red fruits. Moss and ivy climb the north part of the strong trunk of the oaks. This indicates you are entering the river bed, which becomes damper. The ascent soon leads you to your objective: the Suso Monastery. After visiting the monument, continue the walk down the paved path that descends and leaves the monastery on the right. From here you can look at the oak wood you have left behind and, over it, among the limestone rock formations, appears a forest of Aleppo pines. These oaks live on soils that are poorer and more difficult to settle on for other species that are less coarse than this one. On the back part of the monastery, you will approach another river bed completely covered by great trees. The return to Yuso will be through this forest; but before, it is worth to take a detour on a path that starts on the right and that, immediately, leads you to a clear fresh water fountain where you can cool off during summer. A narrow pass on the fence that limits the hill so that the livestock does not enter the monastic area takes you to a wide forest trail. A little after starting the trail you will find a sign that will give you two alternatives to descend: straight on, the Labardera path; to the left, the El Aidillo path. Take the second one, which descends quicker and takes you through a lush oak wood where you can also find young beeches, cherry trees, maple trees and hazelnut trees that in autumn add their reddish and yellowish tones to the ochre of the oaks. In the underbrush it is amazing to see the abundance of Ruscus aculeatus. Upon reaching a fire lane, the path joins the other detour. Continue through the forest and, a little bit after, leave it to take a curve on the right that will take you to the first crossing found on the way up and, 5 minutes later, to the small square of the Yuso Monastery.

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