Route around the meander at El Estajao
- 1 h 15 min
- 4.2 km
Start at the picnic area of Estajao, where there is a parking area for cars, tables and the only fountain in the area. From here, take the path towards the grove until you reach the retaining wall that runs parallel to the Ebro river bank. If you take the path on the left, you can visit the bird observatory, where there are great views of Soto La Nava, the Ebro River and the waterbirds. If you take the path to the right, you will go towards Soto del Escajao and, a little after, you will reach a route that goes down to the grove. This route, as well as the path of the retaining wall, leads to the same place. If there are no floods, the route below brings you closer to the river groves, but keep in mind that it might be muddy at certain times of the year. A little before reaching the curve of the Estajao Meander, the route below returns to the retaining wall. At this point there is a path that, in 100 metres, leads us to the gravel beach of Estajao. Returning to the path of the retaining wall, the itinerary is surrounded by natural groves on the right, and black poplars and fruit trees on the left. After a kilometre and a half, turn 90°, and leave on the right a footpath that reaches the Alhama River in 100 metres and then ends. Your path follows the other option and after 100 metres, instead of going straight, take the road on the left. From here you will find two more detours. You must always follow the one on the right. This stretch runs through an old meander of the Ebro River. The soil slope that the river dug can be seen on the right. This scarp will accompany you more than one kilometre, until a last crossroads where the path on the right allows you to return to the Estajao picnic area.
Former meander bed
- Path signage
Banks at the Ebro River with traditional vegetable plots, poplar groves and remnants of well-preserved natural copses, with willows, poplars, aspens and ashes. This route includes significant spots such as Soto de El Estajao and Soto Máquinas. Riverbank copses are the habitat of two animals which are included in the Regional Catalogue of Endangered Species: the European mink and the freshwater blenny. Apart from being a Natural Reserve, this area is included within the land under the Natura 2000 network (Ebro copses and riverbanks), designated as a SCI (Site of Community Importance) with the same denomination.
Interpretative Centre for the Sotos de Alfaro Natural Reserve
Plaza de España (s/n). Alfaro (La Rioja), Spain. Phone and fax: 941 182 999.
Summer (from 9 June to 30 September). Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 9.30 p.m. Sundays and holidays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Rest of the year (from 1 October to 8 June). Wednesdays to Sundays, including holidays: from 9:30 a.m. to 2.30 p.m.
Alfaro Tourist Office
Plaza de España 1. Alfaro (La Rioja), Spain. Phone: 941 180 133.
Schedule: Tuesdays to Saturdays: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays and holidays: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Closed on Mondays.
Find information about where to stay and eat out in www.lariojaturismo.com