Flix on the River Ebro
The River Ebro is Spain’s largest river running for over 500 miles (around 800km). From its humble source in Fontibre, south of Santander in the province of Cantabria it swells to a mighty river flowing through Zaragoza and entering the Mediterranean Sea at Amposta, south of Tarragona, Cataluña.
Whilst perusing Ryanair’s in flight magazine an article on the Sebes and Flix wildlife nature reserve located on the river Ebro seemed an ideal location for some serious exploration. Flix, pronounced Fleesh, is a small town approximately sixty kilometres inland from the Ebro’s delta at Amposta. Due to its geographical location on the Ebro, although only a small town, it is very well known for its walking, fishing and being the scene of one of the last major battles of the Spanish civil war.
I stayed at the River Ebro Guesthouse, which borders on the river, who apart from offering fishing holidays along with boat and tackle hire also offer guided walking holidays amongst their many other activities. A friend flew over from England and was met at the local Reus airport by Paul who owns the guesthouse along with his wife Beverley.
Paul, apart from being an expert on the local fishing, leads the walks in the surrounding area and he is happy to tailor them to each guests requirements. He has built up an interesting itinerary of walks and one of the first is along a disused railway line along what is designated as a Via Verde (green way) good walking through very scenic countryside incorporating the old railway tunnels. However, do not worry, as they are quite short, lit (via solar power), and of course no need to be wary of trains. Excellent packed lunches are included in the price, which we ate in a shady spot before completing the enjoyable days walk, on which you can see the world’s largest railway ticket.
The Sebes Natural Park, the entrance is only a few hundred meters from the guesthouse, is a beautiful area situated alongside the river where you can see storks perched up on their nests amongst the trees and man-made nesting sites. The visitor centre staff made us very welcome and shared their knowledge of the park. In addition, we were invited to watch a short video in the nearby interpretation centre on the history of the river. The park has one of the largest reed beds, 40 hectares, in Cataluña and is host to many types of birds, which can be viewed from the many hides. The highlight for me was the storks that we do not see nesting in my region of Valencia.
Another highlight was walking through a rocky valley alongside mountain streams to visit the cave of Picasso. It is claimed he lived there a short while before becoming rich and famous. We did this on a Sunday and so saw many locals relaxing in the picnic areas and making good use of the built in BBQ facilities available free in the parks.
Some of the other walks take in areas where heavy fighting took place during the Spanish civil war including the village of Corbera where you can walk around the bombed out remains, left as a monument to those that fell.
The town of Flix offers a range of local bars and restaurants for those that have the energy or wish to explore in the evenings although you are welcome to stay in the guesthouse and enjoy the river views from the terrace area or the lounge.
Whether you just fancy a simple sightseeing tour or getting those walking boots out and tackling some of the longer distances this area is a perfect location for a great variety of pursuits.
The town of Flix is located on the C12 leaving the AP7 Alicante – Barcelona motorway at Amposta/Tortosa.
Accommodation and holidays http://www.riverebroguesthouse.com
Sebes Natural Park http://www.reservanaturalsebes.org/ (available in English)
More photos here https://picasaweb.google.com/Robi1305