Aragon

Aragon (Spanish: Aragón, Aragonese: Aragón, Catalan: Aragó) is a region in the north of Spain. Despite seeing limited tourist traffic compared to other regions, it holds a wealth of unique sights, with villages and towns rich in architectural history picturesquely extending on the hillsides and in the valleys in the midst of the barren, mountainous countryside

Map of Aragon (with provinces)

Cities

Towns and villages

Other destinations

The small village of Moros, with less than 500 inhabitants, extends on a hillside

Understand

Aragon is the heart of what was in the Middle Ages the Crown of Aragon, which also included regions like Valencia, Murcia, Catalonia, the Balearic Islands, Venice, the South of Italy, Sicily and some Greek colonies. In the 15th its King Ferdinand married Isabel of Castile and formed the Kingdom of Spain. Although it used to have its own language, Aragonese, and laws, over the centuries most of them were lost and it became more like Castile.

Nowadays, Aragon, despite its large size, has a population of only 1 million, making it largely uninhabited, with the capital, Zaragoza, holding over half the population.

Herd of horses on summer mountain pasture in the Pyrenees

Nature

Some interesting plants even for a non-biologist are:

Talk

Spanish is spoken in Aragon by the whole population.

Aragonese (Aragonese or Castilian: aragonés, also known as fabla), is spoken in the north, but is not recognized as an official language. This language is similar to Catalan and Castilian with some Basque and Occitan influences. Catalan is also spoken in the East of the region (Catalan: 'Franja de Ponent, literally West Strip, being West of Catalunya), though it has no official status.

Get in

Aragon is connected to France by roads and tunnels (Somport) but not by train. It has no coast, so it's not accessible by boat.

There is an airport in Zaragoza, served by low-fare carriers offering flights to secondary airports in some European countries, as well as domestic flights. As the Madrid-Barcelona high-speed railway line runs through Aragon, you can also use the airports in Madrid and Barcelona, which offer many more international and intercontinental connections.

Get around

By car

Roads are really good in the region and its towns. Even if you go canyoning or other active sports, typically you don't need a 4x4, as you always leave car on a parking near starting point of activities.

By bike

Cycling is very popular sports in the region, and the roads are really good.

See

Cathedral of Teruel, an example of Mudéjar architecture
Monte Perdido
Detail view of Los Aguarales de Valpalmas, a rare, fragile and dynamic geological phenomena near Valpalmas

Do

Whitewater rafting: Multiple operators and a kayaking school can be found in the town of Campo; some rafting can be found in Murillo de Gallego.

Rock climbing: Los Mallos for serious climbers.

Hydrospeed: Ideal time is April-May, as it requires much water in the rivers.

Canyoning: According to outdoor activities operators, Aragon canyons are the best in Europe (most long and intensive) and third in the world--and there are up to 150 canyons available in the region. In summer, about 16 canyons are in active use. May is ideal time for experienced canyoners: almost every canyon have just enough water, and water is warm enough. June-July and September is good for well-fit canyoners. August is a peak season for non-experienced canyoners looking for fun with minimal effort.

Canyons are both in Sierra de Guara and Pireneus. In the whole region, there's no places for horizontal abseiling (like moving over a rope above a river from one side of canyon to another). Most canyons were originally discovered and gone through in 1970s. Alquezar is the main starting point for canyons in Aragon.

Equipment to bring for commercial canyoning specific for this region: shoes for slippery stones.

Canyons

Plaza del Torico in Teruel

Eat

Borraja:

Ternasco:

Trenza de Almudevar y Huesca:

Longaniza:

Drink

Excellent wines of the region: Somontano, Cariñena, Borja, Paniza, Calatayud, Lecera and Valle de Jalón.

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, November 07, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.