Aragon, Spain: tourism and attractions in Aragon

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Aragon is a quiet and very unspoilt region of Spain. Surrounded by mountains with the Pyrenees in the north and the mountainous Sistema Iberico area to the south. Aragon is home to some of the finest Mudejar architecture in the world

Aragon tourist sights and places to visit

For a summary of the most popular sights in the region see also Aragon places to visit.

Aragon is situated in the north-east of Spain on the border with France to the north and Catalonia to the east. The regional capital is Zaragoza.

Alcaniz

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 and this tolerance has led to a legacy of architecture in the beautiful Mudejar style.

Below we introduce the three provinces of Aragon and offer suggestions and highlights to help you get the most from your trip.

Huesca - Northern Aragon

The stunning scenery of the Pyrenees covers much of the Huesca province making it popular with skiers and walkers.

Ainsa

The Pyrenees dominate the Huesca region of Aragon. The Ordesa National Park contains fantastic scenery, probably the best Pyrenean scenery on the Spanish side though lots is only accesible on foot. Candanchu, Panticosa, Astun, Formigal, Javalambre and Cerler offer cheap skiing. Benasque is another popular ski resort and has a beautiful old centre and fabulous views over the Pyranees.

The Natural Park of Posets-Madaleta offers stunning views and 13 glaciers and the Los Mallos mountains have a strangely rounded shape giving them the nickname of the 'ninepins'. Visit the village of Aguero nestled beneath the strangely shaped rocks.

Huesca city was the capital of the province and  has a pleasant, historic centre. The capital is now Graus which has a fine main square and some imposing mansions. Visit Jaca for its 16th century citadel and its cathedral, and Barbastro and Montanana for their architecture and also Fantova and Pararrua with their medieval centres. Fraga is another of the larger towns in the area and has a medieval centre.

Alquezar is a Moorish village in a stunning location with prehistoric caves nearby, a gem not to be missed.

Ainsa is considered to be one of the most beautiful towns in Spain whilst Echo and Anso are two of the most beautiful villages in the province, both of which sit in pretty valleys. Roda de Isabena is Spain's smallest village that has a cathedral and it has a 17th century palace, the Palace Roda de Isabena which is now a hotel.

Loarre Castle, near to Huesca city, is an imposing fortress with splendid views over the surrounding countryside.

Zaragoza - mid Aragon

A flatter, drier province popular for its stunning Mudejar architechture. Indeed Aragon has UNESCO World Heritage status for the wealth of its Mudejar architecture.

Tarazona

The superb city of Zaragoza is the capital of Aragon and 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, notably in Tarazona and Calatayud.

The Cinco Villas region - Tauste, Ejea de los Caballeros, Sádaba, Uncastillo and Sos del Rey Católico - offers notable Romanesque and Cistercian architecture. Sos del Rey Catolico is the birthplace of Fernando of Aragon who first united Spain.

Impressive medieval walls and towers dominate the town of Daroca to the south of Zaragoza.

Attractive scenery can be found in the Dehesa del Moncayo Nature Reserve, to the west and the Las Bardenas World Biosphere Reserve which stretches into the Navarre region to the north-west.

Fuendetodos is the birthplace of Goya and it is possible to visit the cottage where he lived.

Teruel - Southern Aragon

Teruel region is a pretty mixture of small mountain ranges, wooded hills and is largely unfound and very unspoilt as a holiday destination. It is also rich in Mudejar style architecture and medieval villages.

Teruel

The city of Teruel is full of the wonderful Mudejar style architecture of the region. The beautiful town of Albarracin should not be missed, nor should the historic town of Alcaniz with its castle/parador.

Cantavieja has a lovely Plaza Major and Rubielos-de-Mora is one of the most beautiful towns in Teruel. It has a well preserved castle and a fortified church.  Valderrobres on the eastern edge of the province is another highlight of the area, noted especially for its fine Gothic buildings and attractive old quarter.

Cheap skiing can be found in the south near Teruel.

Aragon Tourism and Sightseeing

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. The UNESCO site includes the Ordesa National Park.

Route of the Santiago de Compostela

Rock Art of the Mediterranean Basin on the Iberian Peninsula

Museums

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.

Paradors in Aragon

Parador de Alcaniz - Alcaniz

Parador de Bielsa - Bielsa

Parador de Sos del Rey Catolico - Sos del Rey Catolico

Parador de Teluel - Teluel

Monasteries

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

See also:

Map of Aragon and places to visit

Aragon places to visit