The region of Matarraña, in Teruel (Spain), is one of those regions that brings together all the elements that we associate with the good life: tranquility, beautiful medieval villages carved in stone soft hills, flocks of sheep, smell of grass, olive trees in bloom, rivers of crystal clear water, natural areas guarded by imposing mountains, good homemade food, inspired by the traditional cuisine of Lower Aragon … No wonder it is known internationally as the “Spanish Tuscany”.
The Matarraña region is a perfect place to disconnect in a bucolic setting. Moreover, the best way to get to know this picturesque land of wine and oil, is through slow driving, a tourist product in vogue that simulates the route 66 in the Aragonese style. From Go Aragón, we suggest the essential stops on this tour through the Aragonese Tuscany.
Valderrobres, Christmas advertisement village
Declared a Historic Site, the administrative capital of the Matarraña region is characterized by its medieval streets. The church of Santa Maria, one of the greatest exponents of Gothic architecture in Aragon, connects with the treasure of the village, the castle-palace of Valderrobres. Built by the archbishops of Zaragoza between the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, it is the emblem of the town and one of the most spectacular castles in the region.
Seal of quality with the mark of the Most Beautiful Villages of Spain, its dreamy photograph, with the imposing castle in the background, has made it the setting for a Christmas advertisement for the multinational chocolates company Ferrero Rocher. Meet the environment that illuminated the medieval bridge with its famous “hanging houses”, an idyllic stamp with nothing to envy to the Italian Tuscany.
Beceite, nature in its purest form
At 3 kilometers from Beceite, are the pools of La Pesquera, as it is known to the Ulldemó river, a tributary of the Matarraña river. These natural pools that nature has shaped at will become an ideal place for swimming in summer, surrounded by fields of crops and other scenic beauty.
If you go into the nature that treasures this town, do not miss the route of the footbridges of El Parrizal. After 800 meters of walk where you can contemplate the cave paintings of the Fenellassa (3,500 BC), declared World Heritage Site, opens the river itinerary. In this section, walking on crystal clear water is possible. The walk along wooden walkways makes the environment a more idyllic place to breathe tranquility and nature. After walking for an hour, the Estrechos del Parrisal, a canyon of about 200 meters long, whose vertical walls are approximately 60 meters high and which serves as the culmination of the adventure, looms over us.
Calaceite, cultural capital of the region
A Historic-Artistic Site and included in the list of “The Most Beautiful Villages of Spain”, Calaceite plays the role of cultural capital of the Matarraña region. It stands out because of its urban complex, one of the best conversed of the region. Beautiful streets, stately houses, squares, porticoes or historical buildings are the undoubted proof of the beauty of the municipality.
The region of Matarraña (Teruel. Spain)has ideal geographical and climatic conditions for the cultivation of the vine. Recently, quality wines have been produced in towns such as Calaceite, making it the perfect area for wine tourism. Enjoy wine tasting at Bodegas Crial in Lledó (15 minutes by car from Calaceite), the authentic tradition of Matarraña.
Cretas, the starting point of the greenway
This town is the point of origin of many sections of the Greenway Val de Zafán, a route of rails converted into a path in the middle of nature whose access is universally guaranteed and is not subject to age or physical capacity limits. Embark on an adventure where you will enjoy the spectacular views of the Puertos de Beceite, a mountainous massif that separates the Ebro valley from the Mediterranean and extends between the provinces of Tarragona, Castellón and Teruel. From here, you will catch a glimpse of places like the Torre del Compte bell tower and fields of olive and almond trees on the banks of the Matarraña River, where you can take a dip.
La Fresneda, a gastronomic epicenter
One of the most picturesque localities of the region, La Fresneda belonged to the Order of Calatrava. For this reason it has numerous examples of palatial houses such as the Renaissance Consistory, vestiges of an ancient Muslim castle or religious buildings such as the Convent or the Church of Santa María la Mayor.
The olive oil produced in the region of Matarraña is D.O. Bajo Aragón. La Fresneda is an ideal place to taste this ingredient in its exquisite gastronomy. Try the Matarraña restaurant, El Convent 1613, Lo Coscoll or the restaurant La Grancha and enjoy some tasty ternascos de la tierra.
Get to know the Oil Museum in Ráfales
If you visit the Aragonese Tuscany, do not hesitate to stay at the Hotel & SPA Molí de L’Hereu, a charming hotel located in an old oil mill in the town of Ráfales. There you will find the Oil Museum, where the City Council restored the old oil mill and turned it into a tourist attraction that you cannot miss.
The largest zip line in Europe in Fuentespalda
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The main attraction of Fuentespalda is its zip line. If you want to feel adrenaline, fly over the heart of the Matarraña in the largest double zip line in Europe. Live the unique experience through two steel cables of almost two kilometers between two mountains, without intermediate pilasters, at a speed of 100 kilometers per hour. Find out about rates and schedules on their official website.
In the town of Fuentespalda, enjoy a pleasant bath, taste the gastronomy of the area or visit the most important and best preserved palace house in the area.