The Guadalaviar River runs through the southern and western part of the province of Teruel, a territory full of special places. Some of them are renowned, such as the town of Albarracín or the city of Teruel itself.
However, this river also runs through other less well-known territories, such as the Universal Mountains area integrated into the Iberian System. These are landscapes that will leave us speechless for their natural value and undoubted beauty.
The Guadalaviar River and the Turia
As we mentioned previously, the Guadalaviar River is the first section of the Turia River in Teruel. This is the same river that, after almost 300 kilometers of travel, flows into the Mediterranean Sea, at the height of the beautiful city of Valencia.
Yes, the Guadalaviar is the Turia, but that name only takes it once it has crossed the city of Teruel, where its waters merge with those of the Alfambra, which comes from the other area of the province.
The source of the Guadalaviar and other rivers
The Guadalaviar river is born in the foothills of the Universal Mountains. Specifically, it originates in the area of Muela de San Juan, within the municipality of the same name, Guadalaviar.
Actually, so far nothing unusual, a river that rises in the mountains. However, what is truly curious is that in this area of the Iberian System several rivers are born that later go very far.
Relatively close to the source of the Guadalaviar or Turia, in the same Teruel province, the longest river in the Iberian Peninsula, the Tagus, is born, which carries its waters for more than 1000 kilometers until it flows into the Atlantic Ocean irrigating the city of Lisbon.
In addition, very close to here, but now in the neighboring provincial territory of Cuenca, in Castilla La Mancha, another interesting river emerges: the Júcar. This, like the Guadalaviar, also ends up draining into the Mediterranean, although this time a little further south, in the tourist and beachy Valencian town of Cullera.
First section of this famous river
Let’s return to the riverbed of the Guadalaviar and simulate the itinerary that its waters make. As we have said, it was born in the town of the same name, where we can visit a very curious museum.
We are talking about the museum dedicated to transhumance, a livestock practice that consisted of taking the herds to the pastures of Andalusia in winter so that they would not suffer from the harsh cold of these mountains. It is a practice that is still done by certain pastors.
Subsequently, the river continues its course receiving contributions from various mountain streams, and also passes through small towns such as Villar del Cobo, Tramacastilla or Torres de Albarracín. However, it is nearing a very important section in its journey: Albarracín.
This Aragonese town is a regular in the lists of the most beautiful towns in Spain. Albarracín offers us a mixture of history and spectacular art, as well as some wonderful natural landscapes. In this sense, we can name not only the banks of the Guadalaviar, but also its rodeno pine forests or the areas of its rock shelters.
However, the Guadalaviar continues and a few kilometers later it reaches Gea, a town where one marvels at the remains of an ancient Roman aqueduct. This is an archaeological gem of Roman engineering that can be partially explored.
Where the Guadalaviar becomes Turia
Finally, we reach the last section, the one that has become the Guadalaviar River Nature Trail between the Arquillo reservoir in the San Blas neighborhood, already on the outskirts of Teruel.
This section is perfectly signposted and equipped for hiking, so it is an ideal end of the route. Beyond this, no one can miss a final walk through the streets of the city of Teruel, with its Plaza del Torico and its Mudejar architecture, as well as the place where the two rivers, the Guadalaviar and the Alfambra, meet.
These two streams together create the Turia and continue to the Mediterranean Sea. However, we must not forget that, before, these waters have supplied some of the most beautiful towns and landscapes of the Teruel province. A luxury for the senses!