Geoparque Unesco

What is Sobrarbe Like?

The physical environment is defined by its height and its rough terrain: 62% of the region is higher than 1000m above sea level, 31% lies between 601m and 1000m above sea level, and only 6% of the region lies between 401m and 600m above sea level.

Another defining feature of this county is its continentality, caused by the isolation of the valleys from the influence of the sea and by the influence of the valley of the Ebro River and of the outer mountain ranges. The temperature range is very wide, with average annual temperatures ranging from 10ºC (50ºF) down to -12ºC (10ºF) at the highest summits. The cold season lasts up to 200 days per year at 1800m above sea level (Urdiceto Lake), but it does not last more than 100 days per year below 800m above sea level (Boltaña).

Average rainfall reaches 2000mm on the Axial Pyrenees, while it scarcely reaches 1000mm in the outer mountain ranges, and 700-800mm in the Intra-Pyrenean valleys. Besides, there is a drop in humidity in a W-E direction, as a consequence of the gradual loss of Atlantic influence. Overall, most rain falls in autumn, winters are very wet and with heavy snowfalls, especially from November to February.

Besides an important number of tourists, the Geopark is visited every season by students, from primary school to University, and also by petroleum industry professionals, who have found an excellent analogous pattern here for current crude oil production systems in the ancient Eocene sea basin.

Several geology professionals visiting the Geopark

Since the second half of the 20thC., several Spanish Universities have been working in this area, such as Saragossa, Oviedo or Barcelona University, and also foreign Universities such as Leiden, London, Cardiff, Tübingen, Liverpool, Parma, Rennes and Austin (Texas) University, among others. A remarkable number of Petroleum Companies hold their training courses for professionals in this county lasting more than 15 days every year, such as REPSOL YPF, TOTAL, NORSK HYDRO, ESTATOIL, AGIP, PETROBRAS, SHELL, EXXON, and other independent companies; as well as crude oil companies and training consortiums such as PETROSKILLS and NAUTILUS among others.

All of them profit from the concentration of diverse geological environments within a small region that is easily accessible and has a mild climate allowing fieldwork all year round accompanied by the kind hospitality of the residents who offer a high quality and extensive tourist infrastructure.

Sites legally protected in Sobrarbe.

More than 50% of the area in Sobrarbe has been declared legally protected, especially outstanding are its glaciers on Monte Perdido, the the Posets-Maladeta National Park, the the Sierra and Cañones de Guara Nature Reserve and particularly,the Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Park (declared a World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO). In addition there are more than 25 areas of the NATURA 2000 Network.

Avda. Ordesa 79. 22340 Boltaña. Huesca. 974 518 025.