A majestic natural gate for the Pyrenees
The Mallos de Riglos are huge natural sculptures that draw an astonishing mountain landscape. They consist in a group of vertical structures of conglomerate rock that reach up to 300 metres, and define a clear and impressive physical border between this part of the pre-pyrenees mountain range and the Ebro Valley area.
The beauty of Riglos is due to its singularity, but also to the contrast between the extremely vertical shape of its Mallos and the rather flat environment that they are facing.
Despite of its beauty and easy access by road, Riglos area has no big tourist infrastructures and its villages are still living according to rather traditional economical and social patterns. Back in 11th century this area became for few years an independent Kingdom, as Aragon King Pedro I offered it as a dowry to his wife Berta. That’s why the area is still known as “el Reino de los Mallos”: the kingdom of Mallos.
There are many ways to enjoy and discover the Mallos de Riglos. There are great hiking routes between the cliffs, rafting on the Rio Gallego below, or – if you have the necessary skills and equipment – climb on the vertical walls of one of the Mallos. For the less energetic simply chill out on a nice bar terrace of the peaceful and untouched villages of Riglos and Murillo de Gallego watching the world go by and the crazy climbers high above!
The wildlife of the area is excellent and the cliffs are home to a huge colony of griffon vultures that ride on the thermals created by these huge south facing cliffs.
Rock climbing in Riglos
Rock climbing can actually be considered as part of traditional life in Riglos, where there is a strong integration between the climbing activity and day-to-day local community life. Indeed, you can reach some of the climbing routes starts in only 5 min walk from the Riglos Church.
The first ascents of the highest Mallos where realised in 1935. And the climbers that contributed the most to develop Riglos as a climbing area were the intrepid Alberto Rabadá and Ernesto Navarro, that first climbed together in Riglos in 1959 and both died in 1963 in the ascent of Eiger north-face, in the Suisse Alps.
Climbing in Riglos has an international fame, not so much for its difficulty but rather for its unusual style, characterized by a mix of pumpy harms and feet endurance climbing, due to the unique combination of conglomerate rock and long vertical routes.
Best time to visit
Although you are at almost 700m high, the summer is hot in this area that has a mixed continental and Mediterranean climate. So best time for visits is early spring and late autumn. Sun set is the best moment of the day to admire Riglos landscape and take pictures, when the Mallos take a strong red colour, coming from the gravel and sand that conglomerate the big pebbles which represent the main material of the Mallos.