Beaches in aragon
Do you miss the beach? Don't worry! Although there is no sea in Aragon we have awesome places to swim!
Aragon is a land of rivers and lakes, full of places to bath but there are some special places where nature becomes amazing. Also, all over the mountains there are many of "Ibones" (melted snow lakes) where you can swim but since most of them are a bit hard to get to and water is cold I won't focus on them.
So instead I will talk about awesome places you can get by car!! You can check the route there checking them in the Aragon Attractions Map under the category of Other/Alternative with the swimming logo.
This awesome rettery lately has become famous, and the reason for it is obvious. Beautiful water and a nice rock to jump from makes this place so cool! In addition, there is a castle nearby, the Sibiriana towers.
In Yesa reservoir there is an abandoned village where people bath every summer... But why there? Because in summer, when the reservoir level is low, it reveals the ruins of a former thermal water springs pool... with healing properties!
Gradas de Soaso
These curious geometric pools are in Ordesa and Monteperdido National Park, halfway of the Cola de Caballo route. It's really a unique place because its geometric shapes in the middle of a glacier valley.
Salto del Bierge
Near the village of Bierge there is this beautiful artificial river pool that over the time became full of nature! So, you can bath under a moss covered waterfall.
balneario de panticosa
As I wrote in another article, this is one of the best spots for hiking, but if you just want to refresh yourself in summer, with just 30-minute walk you can get to the place of the picture, with outstanding views. There are several river pools like that on the early route towards Bachimaña lake.
parrizal de beceite
In the south of Aragon there is an amazing hike place: Parrizal de Beceite, where apart from trekking through an impressive canyon you can bath on its crystal-clear waters!
Near Alquezar (and literally under the village) there is this amazing river canyon, where you can hike over it through the "Ruta de las pasarelas" but you can also bath here and enjoy its clear waters!
All over the Pyrenees there are countless lakes made out of melted snow, as there are many I will just show you some of the most beautiful ones. Usually you don’t come here just for the water (because it is ice-cold) but as the end of a hiking route, since a fresh bath is a nice reward.
HIKING IN ARAGON
Do you love walking in the nature? Aragon has a real treasure in walking trails!!
As you know, Pyrenees (high mountains) are in the northern part of the region, with a lot of places to see, but there are many other amazing hiking routes in other parts of Aragon!
Here I will put some of my favourites, but if you want to know all of them, check www.senderosturisticos.turismodearagon.com, because they went through a huge effort in order to map all of them with every little detail and special landmark in the route.
In the Aragon Attractions Map I marked many of them, check it out by clicking here!
COLA DE CABALLO / oRDESA NATIONAL PARK
This is the classic hike in Aragon, a quite easy 4-5h walk towards a glacier valley along a really beautiful river with many incredible waterfalls, but the one from which the place gets the name is the last one, Cola de Caballo! You can get here through Torla, about 2h from Zaragoza.
CAMI DE MONTFALCO
A new and breath-taking hike! They made the platforms in 2012 and now you fight your fears walking this "flying" path along the canyon! Located about 2h and half from Zaragoza
There are several routes here, you can hike for 1h or keep walking for several hours until you reach Urdiceto lakes. It's nice due to the incredible amount of different nature you can find there. There is a parking and a bar in the beginning so you can get in the trail immediately. It is located near Sallent, about 2h from Zaragoza.
RAMBLA DE BARRACHINA
If you are looking for a different kind of trail, this is the one! It will take you to the Far West! It's very easy and nice for pictures! It takes about 3h to do the circular route! Located 10 minutes from Teruel.
BALNEARIO DE PANTICOSA
I wrote more information about it in another guide, but let me tell you again: This is one of the best starting points for hiking, there are many routes, with many different lengths and difficulty levels, and many things to see along the way! It's 2h and 15 minutes from Zaragoza.
aguas tuertas / sELVA DE OZA
Near the village of Hecho you can enjoy one of the most impressive hikes in Aragon, the valley with Aguas Tuertas river! Also in this valley there is the Selva de Oza (an incredible forest) as well as a prehistoric dolmen. Excursion takes about 2h or 6h depending from where you start!
Located 2 h from Zaragoza
Located in the border with Soria, this is a historical mountain for Aragon, and also the highest in that area. It takes about several hours to complete it and, except the last part, it's prepared for the average tourist, just take care if there is snow. Located about 1h from Zaragoza.
Formigal ski resort is also a nice attraction in summer! The upper part of Anayet hides this amazing valley with a big lake and outstanding views, if you are an expert, you can climb to the top of Anayet peak! Located about 2 h and 25 minutes from Zaragoza.
mallos de riglos
A nice and original route is circling these wonderful rock formations! It takes about 2h to complete and it's located near Loarre Castle, so you can see both in same day! About hour and half from Zaragoza.
Are you bored in Zaragoza and you need an interesting daytrip? Huesca is the perfect option with a full day for around 15€!!
Huesca it's the second biggest city in Aragon, located 70 Km from Zaragoza and with a population of 52.000, but it's a really compact city and will take you just 10 minutes to go from one side to another!
So this is the price breakdown Around 15€
The best way to get there is by car, since there is a 40 min drive through free highway and tons of parking spots train, but if you dont have it, then take the train (www.renfe.com) going at 8:55 from Zaragoza Goya station and coming back from 18:20. It cost 5,7€ each way (book go/return ticket in same payment!)
Guided visit is a must! It just cost 2.5€ for students!! And it's made by professional guides that speak several languages, and you can visit places closed for public and also separated entry tickets to monuments cost more than that, you can book it in the Tourist Info or by internet by clicking here.
After guided tour you can have lunch in almost any place (depending how much are you willing to spend, you have from Sandwich bars to Michelin star restaurant).
After lunch and until 4:30 you have free time to visit the other incredible sights of the city (like the Modernist Casino) as well as the alternative places (graffiti/hipster areas, old historical buildings, original parks...) all those places are indicated in this interactive map, that will work offline if you load it before! Click here to see the interactive map.
From 4:30 the Bendita Ruina bar opens, let me tell you, this is not a normal bar, it's an experience!, with an incredible hipster/alternative atmosphere! Just let me tell you that it's located over a 2000 years old roman theatre and has the old roman/muslim walls as part of the structure! The friendly owner will explain you more about it. But don't order beer here, try the local Vermú (a kind of alcohol similar to wine) and don't worry about prices, it's 1€ for the draft one and 2€ for a glass of white one. They also have special free events certain day, check their FB page for more info!
Be around train station around 18.10 and be ready to board the train since it will just make a short stop.
As you see, it's a nice and intense option for a daytrip!
Do you know than one of the oldest castles in Europe is just 1h from Zaragoza? Travel back 1000 years in Loarre!
Loarre Castle is the pearl of Aragon, a well preserved present from the past, linked to the history of this land. It was build by the early Christians that started Reconquista in Aragon more than a thousand years ago! Build in Romanic style like many ancient churches in the Pyrenees, beign some of the oldest Christian fortifications in Spain.
It's also the biggest and best kept castle in Romanic style (XIX century) and thats why it has appeared in movies like "The Heavens Kingdom".
It's 1h from Zaragoza, well connected route with highway until Huesca and just 15 minutes of double lane countryroad. Prices are 3-5 euro depending on Student discount.
Near Loarre there is also Ainies Chapel, hidden in the mountains and that can be a great continuation of your journey, as well as Mallos de Riglos.
Formigal ski Resort
Do you like skiing? If you answer “yes” - you are lucky! The biggest ski resort of Spain is in Aragon!
Formigal is one of the most famous ski resorts in the country, and it's pretty good since it combines a big extension with a fair amount of people (queues are acceptable).
It's located 2 h by car from Zaragoza, but you can get there also by bus, directly from the city centre every dawn (takes around 3h), Click here to know the prices
Formigal (combined now with Panticosa) has 176 skiable Km and 37 ropeways, and slopes for every level (including a fair amount of really hard ones). If you like Freeride, this place is your paradise, with tons of trails available with a bus pick up in the end (best made in February-March)
But Formigal is not just skiing! It’s also partying!! The "Apres Ski" is made in Marchica, a disco-bar with national top DJs (same ones as Ibiza) and in Formigal Village party continues with night in discos like Tralala.
There is also a wide option of accommodation in the village, with offers and discounts for skiing.
Tena Valley Zipline
This time I'm going to show you one of the coolest things you can do in Aragon: The longest Zipline in Europe!
Located in Tena Valley, the central valley of the Aragonese Pyrenees, there is a village named Hoz de Jaca, that is situated on a cliff overlooking a lake, with such incredible views. It takes about 2 hours from Zaragoza to get to here, but you can come faster if you sleep in some other place in the Pyrenees.
Last summer, they made the longest zipline in Europe, that goes from the top of the cliff to the forest near the dam, going over the lake.
If you feel brave enough you can book online here! Price is 15 Euros and they will pick you from the end of the zipline and return you to the village by an off-road for free. Its definitely worths it.
Have you ever seen an intense red fortress carved and build in the rock? In Teruel, you can!
Ovelooking the small village of Peracense there is this amazing castle with the same name. A big red fortification from medieval times in the top of a mountain!
It takes about one hour and half to get here, road is pretty easy, highway towards Teruel or Valencia but leaving it at Villafranca del Campo, after it, there is a 20 minute drive in a narrow but scenic road.
The castle comes from the X century, and it takes its color from the red stone mine over it is located, habited since Bronce age, after that it was a castle used by Muslims and later Christians, since it was the border of the Aragon Kingdom, after the union with Castille, it became a prison. There is an outdoor parking and ticket only cost 3 euros!! Castle has undergone some restorations in the last decades and now is finally ready for tourism. The visit can be both guided or not, allowing you to reach every corner of the castle! Official info here.
Also inside the castle walls there are some siege machines brought from Trebuchet Park. Those machines are real and same made replicas of the old siege weapons, featuring Muslim, Christian and Roman ones.
You can complete your trip traveling somewhere nearby, check the map for your next adventure!
PILAR 2016 GUIDE
Many foreigners are asking me what the Fiestas del Pilar are about... Don't worry! I will explain it here in a basic and easy way!
So, in order to make it easier, I will difference between traditions, everyday events, concerts and party and extras! Of course, you can check the full program clicking here!
Technically, the Fiestas del Pilar is a Christian Catholic tradition, we celebrate the appearance of the Virgin Mary over a pillar long time ago (that's why the Basilica has the same name).
We pay respect to her covering her statue and the pillar with a big ammount of flowers, brought by thousands of people from all over the world, since it's also the Virgin for Latin America! On day 12 of October, the Ofrenda de Flores takes place!
Obviously, a week long holiday attracts a lot of bussiners and handcrafters... thats why we have several permanent markets and activities!
concerts & party
2016 Fiestas del Pilar has more than 60 different concerts (and many more artist!), most are obviously in Spanish, but there are a lot for international people! Check some of them below!
The 3 main concert areas are: Plaza del Pilar (free concerts), RiverSound festival and Interpeñas, all info in the official program
There is also less known things, but funny too!
The website www.SoydeZaragoza.es , which gives the best information about Fiestas del Pilar has made an app for you not to miss anything! Download it here!
Finally, I did a very simple chart for all of those who are still lost with the program, you can download it below
I hope you enjoy this Fiestas del Pilar and you have an incredible time in Zaragoza!
ARAGON ATTRACTIONS MAP
As I did with the Erasmus Zaragoza Map, I will add all cool places of my region in this map! So you can discover them in few minutes without browsing hundreds of webs!
In this map I will mark every place that I think could be attractive for a tourist or Erasmus student.
Map will be in constant update as everyday I find new places to go. Every place has custom image and description or the one by default provided by Google Maps.
Some places have extended info in this website such as: Alquezar, Balneario de Panticosa, Canfranc Station and Galachos de Juslibol
In the map, I have included:
Open to suggestions in comments!
balneario de panticosa
Hidden in the high mountains exist a place in Aragon that combines XIX century glamour with modern architecture!
I'm speaking about Balneario de Panticosa or Panticosa Baths!
This place it's not a village but a classical recreational place, in the past it featured thermal baths, casinos, hotels... And now those things became modernized, all surrounded by incredibly high peaks (like Garmo Negro with 3064 metres) and outstanding nature!
This place it's far, about 2 hours by car from Zaragoza, so it's better to start your journey to here from a nearby village or town like Jaca or Formigal.
Until the 90s, this place was one of Spain's most beautiful hidden beauties, with late XIX century buildings that best of those years and gave the place an Austrian feeling (somehow like Grand Hotel Budapest).
But in the 2000s a massive tourism project changed the place forever, ruining many old buildings to make a huge spa center. Nowadays, some parts of the new project are unfinished, but the Spa and hotel are operational!
But this place is also great because its excursions and hikes. Thanks to the starting height (1.600 metres), you can get to upper mountains much faster! In about 1 hour walk you can get to tree-free landscape! And the scenery its outstanding, you can see it in the pictures!
In this section you can learn about the beautiful places that are on my region!