Aragon is a quiet and very unspoilt region of Spain. Surrounded by mountains with the Pyrenees in the north, and notably the Ordesa National Park, and the Montes Universales and the Sierra de Guidar and El Maestrazgo to the south. Aragon is made up of three regions; Huesca, Teruel and Zaragoza.
Aragon was once a powerful kingdom with territories stretching far and wide across the Mediterranean. It was later conquered by the Muslims. After the victory of Spaniards over the Muslims with the Reconquest this area remained tolerant to the muslims who remained and this tolerance has led to a legacy of architecture in the beautiful Mudejar style. The capital of Aragon Zaragoza is home to the spectacular Aljeferia Palace. Teruel, Tarazona and Calatayud also have beautiful Mudejar buildings.
Northern Aragon, the Aragon Pyrenees and Huesca
The Pyrenees dominate the Huesca region of Aragon. The Ordesa National Park contains fantastic scenery, probably the best Pyrenean scenery on the Spanish side but lots is only accesible on foot. Candanchu, Panticosa, Astun, Formigal, Javalambre and Cerler offer cheap skiing. Even cheaper skiing can be found in the south of Aragon near Teruel.
Mid Aragon, the Zaragoza region
This part of Aragon is much flatter and drier. The city of Zaragoza is the capital of Aragon and (despite being relatively unheard of) is Spain's fifth largest city. Zaragoza city contains some spectacular Mudejar style buildings including the Aljaferia castle. Other Mudejar architecture can be found in this area.
South Aragon, Teruel region
Teruel region is a mixture of small mountain ranges , wooded hills and is largely unfound and very unspoilt as a holiday destination. It is a harsh place to live and so is the least populated region of the whole of Spain but once the harsh winter has past it contains a lot of beautiful countryside, Mudejar style architecture and medieval villages.
Cities and Places to Visit in Aragon
Albarracin, a beautiful town which won an international award for historical preservation.
Alcaniz, the castle, now a parador, rises above the town.
Aguero, sited at the foot of the Los Mollos mountains which are more of a big rounded cliff than traditional mountain. Home of two Romanesque churches with excellent carvings.
Ainsa, an attractive medieval town with an arcaded main square. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful towns of Spain.
Alquezar, situated above the Rio Vero canyon the combination of great views and moorish architecture makes this village well worth a visit.
Anso, a village enjoying a revival which sits in the beautiful valley of Anso (with Echo one of the most beautiful in Argon).
Benasque, a village with a beautiful old centre and magnificent views of the Pyrenees. A popular skiing centre and close to Cerler a popular ski resort. Also very popular with hikers.
Cantavieja, this village sits high up on the edge of an escarpment, its Plaza Major is lovely.
Castillo de Loarre, a magnificent fortress built against the side of a mountain and with fabulous views.
Calatayud, a Moorish town with impressive Mudejar towers.
Daroca, medieval battlements and towers make this a very interesting town to visit.
Echo, a beautiful whitewashed village in the valley of Echo, one of the loveliest in Aragon.
Fraga, a medieval town in the Aragonese Pyrenees.
Fuendetodos, birthplace of Goya. It is possible to visit the cottage he lived in.
Graus, town houses covered in frescoes make the town's Plaza de Espana a real treat.
Huesca, the regions capital until 1118 is now a pleasant town.
Jaca, one of the bigger towns in the area and has a historic past figuring Romans and Moors. Its main sight are its sixteenth century citadel and its cathedral.
Mora de Rubielos, with a very well preserved castle and an attractive fortified church, this is an attractive medieval village.
Morella, built on a steep rock with a castle built at the top.
Rubielos de Mora, another very attractive village.
Roda de Isabena, an attractive hill village with a splendid cathedral.
Sos del Rey Catolico, birthplace of Fernando of Aragon who united Spain. A pleasant town in a beautiful setting.
Teruel, Teruel cathedral is a treat and the town boasts five Mudejar towers. A must for anyone interested in Mudejar architecture.
Tarazona, lots of Moorish architecture including a cathedral which is a mix of gothic and mudejar style architecture.
Valderrobres, an attractive town with a lovely old quarter.
Zaragoza, called Saragossa in English, is the capital of Aragon, fifth biggest town in Spain and an important centre of beautiful Mudejar buildings.
Parks and Countryside
Ordesa National Park was one of Spain's first National Parks. The region contains spectacular Pyrenean scenery. Full of limestone cliffs, waterfalls, glacial canyons, and lots of wildlife. It is virtually inaccessible in autumn and winter but full of hikers and climbers in the summer. The Ordesa gorge, Escuain canyon and Anisclo canyon are well worth a visit.
Puerto de Somport, the Somport Pass - just across from France this pass was a key crossing point for pilgrims walking the route to Santiago de Compostela. This area is very popular now with skiers. The Panticosa gorge is very attractive.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Aragon
The city of Zaragoza, one of the most beautiful in Spain, and the area surrounding it contains several UNESCO Heritage sights. The La Seo Cathedral with a Gothic-Mudejar style is one of these.
The Mudejar Architecture of Aragon was inscribed to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1986.
Pyrenees Mont Perdu (in conjunction with France) - the UNESCO listing is in danger of being removed as sufficient care is not being taken to protect this beautiful area.
Route of the Santiago de Compostela
Rock Art of the Mediterranean Basin on the Iberian Peninsula
Museum Arqueologico Provincial, excellent museum with archaeological finds and Gothic frescoes, Huesca
Casa Museo de Goya, Fuendetodos -the cottage where Goya lived.
Provincial museum, Teruel - housed in a mansion this is one of the best museums in Aragon.
The Alfajeria palace, Zaragoza, an incredible Moorish palace of the 11th century.
Museum Camon Aznar, Zaragoza, art collection including a collection of etchings by Goya.
Museum Pablo Gargallo, Zaragoza, sculptures by Pablo Gargallo.
Museum of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, with lots of paintings and archaeological remains.
San Juan de la Pena Monastery. This monastery is built from under a bulging rock and is reputed to have housed the Holy Grail.
Piedra monastery, much of the monastery has been rebuilt following damage in the 19th century but some 13th century buildings remain. There is now a hotel in part of the monastery buildings and lovely grounds.
Veruela monastery, a lovely building with a very attractive entrance tower and a massive abbey church in a mix of Romanesque and Gothic styles. One of Spain's most important monasteries
Map of Aragon & places nearby