Montalbán Circular Route

Route:From Calamocha (Teruel) to Calamocha (Teruel)
Journeys:2 days
Cabecera mapa Cicloturista Anillo-de-Montalbán
Click image to enlarge
  • Monforte de Moyuela castle, Teruel / ALC.
  • El Cid's arrival, a popular fiesta in the village of Monforte de Moyuela, province of Teruel.
  • Castle of Huesa del Común, province of Teruel / ALC.
  • Gothic bridge in Huesa del Común, province of Teruel.
  • Huesa del Común, Teruel / ALC.
  • Landscape in Huesa del Común, Teruel / ALC.
  • The village of Huesa del Común, province of Teruel / ALC.
  • Tower in La Hoz de la Vieja, Teruel / ALC.
  • Gate of Daroca, in the village of Montalbán, province of Teruel / ALC.
  • Church of Santiago el Mayor in the village of Montalbán (Teruel) / ALC.
  • Protected Natural Area of San Martín, province of Teruel / ALC.
  • The river Martín as it passes through the municipality of Martín del Río, in the province of Teruel / José Ignacio Gómez Marco.
  • Sunset in Torrecilla del Rebollar, Teruel / ALC.
  • Huesa del Común, province of Teruel / ALC.


Road cycling tourism around the Montalbán Circular Route (Anillo de Montalbán): retrace the footsteps of El Cid and his feats in Huesa and Montalbán

  • Route: Circular, starts and ends in Calamocha.
  • Provinces: Teruel.
  • Kilometres: Approx. 145 km.
  • Days recommended: 2 days (1 night).
  • Difficulty: medium.


Information you can download on this page

Remember that you can obtain more information about each route at the tourist information offices on the Way of El Cid, including brochures and the Letter of safe conduct.

Download our travel app free of charge

We recommend that you download our mobile travel app, available for iOs and Android. With this app you can find all our routes, you’ll never get lost because you’ll always know exactly where you are, and you can view information about 4,500 georeferenced places (sites connected with El Cid, things to see, accommodation, places where you can have your letter of safe conduct stamped, etc.)The app is free, is updated daily and does not require registration. It also works in places without a signal and therefore, when it is being installed and used for the first time, it may take some time to become active, depending on your internet connection. Be patient because it’s worth it!

For more information about the Camino del Cid travel app, click here

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The Plot

According to the Poem of the Cid, on his journey to Valencia, Rodrigo set up various camps in the region that is today known as Aragón, from where he raided and pillaged the Moorish towns in order to subjugate the Muslims and especially to obtain provisions and goods to pay his men. The Poem situates the most famous of these camps in El Poyo del Cid, 6 km outside Calamocha. El Cid had previously gathered his troops in Allucant, a place which remains an enigma to us, but which some scholars associate with Gallocanta, 22 km outside Calamocha.

From there he launched a ten day raid on Monforte de MoyuelaHuesa del Común and Montalbán. El Cid must have maintained a constant presence in the area, as after moving to El Poyo del Cid, the Poem tells us that he “set the whole valley of the River Martín under tribute”.


The Journey

The route begins in Calamocha, where the historic El Cid camped in 1088 with a powerful army, before running along quiet roads as far as Monforte de Moyuela, site of the three major castles to be admired on this circular route. The second is 11 km away, in Huesa del Común, an eye-catching castle perched on a flat-topped hill that is ideal for free climbing. Huesa is a small village that is well worth taking the time to visit: the castle is accessed via a steep slope leading up to what is unquestionably the perfect site for a fortress.

The route continues through small villages such as Plou – whose abandoned cattle shelters almost give it the appearance of a ghost town – and La Hoz de la Vieja, which offers breathtaking panoramic views.

Montalbán, lying some 15 km away, marks the halfway stage of this route and is a monumental town. The visitor’s eye is immediately drawn to its narrow streets, magnificent views, the ruined castle and the Church of Santiago, an imposing construction built in the Gothic-Mudejar style and seat of the Order of the Sword of Saint James.

Montalbán is located inside the Río Martín Culture Park, a nature reserve with a landscape of ravines and precipices that extends towards the north-east, following the course of the River Martín. It is therefore also the ideal starting point for other excursions in the area known as Cuencas Mineras, which owes its names to the mining areas located there.

The River Martín is mentioned in the Poem, which claims that the entire valley paid tribute to El Cid. It is unclear which towns the poet is alluding to; possibly those situated beyond Montalbán, but it is now time to return to Calamocha, passing through Martín del Río, where the source of this river is located, as well as other towns scattered around the natural landscapes of the Fonfría Mountain Range and the gypsum hills of Barrachina and Cutanda.

We urge history lovers and those eager to explore sites that have gone down in history to take a 2.5 km detour from the route just after the village of Barrachina to visit Cutanda. Today it looks just like any other town, but in 1120 it was the site of the battle between Alphonse I of Aragon, the Warrior King, and the Almoravid general Ibn Yussuf, who would fall in defeat. This victory of the Aragonese troops would lead to the eventual surrender of the Almoravid fortresses in the valleys of Jalón and Jiloca.

Those wishing to complete the route in accordance with the narrative sequence can start in the town of Gallocanta (Zaragoza), which certain scholars of the Poem believe is the site of the base camp from which El Cid launched his attacks on these lands.


Tips and recommendations

  • Length of the stages: it is best for each one to decide their own stages according to their strengths and personal preferences. Some people place the emphasis on doing exercise, others on the cultural side of the route and others on the simple pleasure of taking in the countryside and locations. The stages we suggest are a combination of all three and have been designed for average tourists cycling under stable weather conditions to enjoy the route without too much stress.
  • Travel safely and unhurriedly: take the tracks and route guide with you.
  • Food and spares. One of the main advantages of the Way of El Cid is that it runs through very attractive places with few inhabitants: many of the villages are very small and they do not have food stores. Unless you have planned to eat in a bar or restaurant, it is very important to take some food with you (sandwiches, nuts, energy bars, etc.) in case you can't find anywhere to eat or buy food. Also remember to take water with you. In most of the villages, there are drinking fountains: remember to refill your water bottles before setting off again. The same applies for spare parts: remember to take a repair kit with you and the more complete it is, the greater your peace of mind will be. Welcome to the Middle Ages.
  • Book your accommodation in advance. You are about to travel through one of the areas with the lowest population density in Europe. Some villages are very small and have limited infrastructures. Book your accommodation at the end of the stage in advance and if you change where you plan to finish the route, check that there is accommodation available there.
  • Check our cartographic viewerthe Alerts on Route shows you the most important incidents you can find on the way: tall vegetation, interrupted steps, road works, fallen or missing signs and any other obstacle from which you need to be warned about.
  • Don't forget your helmet: it is compulsory for adults to wear helmets on roads outside cities and for under 16s it is compulsory at all times. 
  • Get your Letter of safe conduct. The Letter of Safe Conduct is a personalised 'passport' you can have stamped at many towns and villages on the Way of El Cid. You can use it to get discounts of at least 10% in more than 200 places of accommodation and benefit from special offers. It is free and you can apply for it at any of the more than 70 tourist information offices on the route or at the Way of El Cid Consortium.
  • Your literary guide. You might think it's unnecessary weight, but for many it is essential: don't forget to take with you a copy of the Poem of The Cid; you will be able to recreate some of its passages on site.


How to get there... and get back

To find out how to get to Calamocha, click on the information about this municipality.

Rev. ALC: 05.10.18

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