Teruel is a place unknown to many Spaniards but which holds natural and heritage secrets that have earned it a place at the top of many rankings. The city of Teruel alone is famous for its Mudejar ensemble, declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco. But in the province of Teruel there is much more than the city, its airport and Dinópolis.
Seven villages in Teruel are included in the list of the Most Beautiful Villages in Spain: Valderrobres, Calaceite, Albarracín, Rubielos de Mora, Puertomingalvo, Cantavieja and Mirambel. Would you like to discover the province of Teruel through its 7 most beautiful villages? Come on a trip to Teruel with Go Aragón.
Valderrobres is located in the Matarraña region, an hour and a half from Zaragoza and less than three hours from Barcelona. This village has an architectural heritage of uncountable historical and patrimonial value. A stroll through the old quarter will take you back to medieval times and allow you to enjoy buildings such as the castle and the Gothic-style church, the only ones of their kind in Aragon.
The parish church of Santa María la Mayor was declared a Historic Monument during the Second Spanish Republic; and in 2004 the church itself, the Town Hall, the Archbishop’s Castle and the whole Historic Site were listed as a Site of Cultural Interest by the Government of Aragon. Other iconic buildings in the town are the stone bridge and the arch of San Roque, one of the seven entrance gates through the walls, as well as some houses, such as the Torreón de Valentinet, the Palau, the Hospital and the Fonda de la Plaza… To get to know Valderrobres and its surroundings better, there are many outdoor activities, such as hiking, climbing, mountain biking routes, as well as cultural and gastronomic activities.
Very close to Valderrobres, also in the Matarraña region of Teruel, is Calaceite, another of the most beautiful villages in Spain. It is the cultural capital of the Matarraña region and was declared a Historic-Artistic Site in 1973.
From its main square, historical routes weave their way through its streets, dominated by stone ancestral homes decorated with wrought iron balconies, churches and squares such as Los Artistas. The Plaza de España, the Town Hall (from 1609) and the Parish Church of La Asunción are the main architectural attractions.
The town centre is full of references to the Mediterranean influence of this town, which has always lived from the production of wine and olive oil, elements that can be seen throughout the town. Its oil has the Designation of Origin Bajo Aragón and its gastronomy, with typical dishes such as cassolada, fesols en sardina or coc en primentró, is another reason to visit this place.
At an altitude of 1,182 metres, just 35 kilometres from Teruel, Albarracín stands out strategically. The region, hard hit by depopulation, finds in Albarracín a tourist attraction to show the history of this place, which served as a defensive focus thanks to its wall. It was declared a Historic-Artistic Site in 1961, and is proposed by UNESCO to be declared a World Heritage Site.
The charm of Albarracín lies in the layout of its streets, adapted to the topography of the terrain, with stairways and passageways, and in its farmhouse complex of irregular, reddish-coloured walls, with timber framing, in a difficult balance, with eaves that touch each other. All the details of the village, from the door knockers, the lace curtains and the wrought iron and wooden balconies are worthy of admiration.
Rubielos de Mora
In the region of Gúdar-Javalambre, Rubielos de Mora offers natural beauty with historical and heritage value. A geographical, cultural and economic crossroads that opens up like a great viewpoint over the high plateau of Teruel. The town was home to so many nobles in the 16th and 17th centuries that it came to be known as “Corte de la Sierra”. The ancestral homes of that period are worth seeing, as well as the Excolegiata Santa María la Mayor and the great international Gothic altarpiece from the 15th century that it houses inside. The Casa Consistorial (Town Hall) is a Renaissance work worthy of a visit.
The town of Rubielos is one of the eight Spanish towns included in the Network of Municipalities for the quality of life “Cittaslow”, created in Italy in 1999; and it is a stamping place on the renowned Camino del Cid. In addition, you can enjoy nature with different activities such as skiing, with nearby ski resorts such as Valdelinares and Javalambre.
In Puertomingalvo the streets are narrow and full of buildings of popular architecture, with a town hall dating from the 14th century, the best example of civil Gothic architecture in the province. The castle dates back to the 13th century and presides over the whole town centre, creating a picturesque atmosphere, seconded by the surrounding area, as just 6 kilometres from the town you will find stunning natural beauty with the Arquero waterfall.
Also included in the Camino del Cid as Rubielos de Mora, Cantavieja is another unique town located in the Maestrazgo region of Teruel on a limestone crag at an altitude of 1,300 metres, which has marked its history and development. The reflection of Cantavieja’s history can be sensed as you wander through its streets and medieval layout to the Plaza Porticada square, where you will find the solemn Church of La Asunción, a must-see in the town, as well as the Church Tower, the Town Hall and the Castle. Don’t leave the area without trying the Teruel ham or the seasonal mushrooms.
In this town located in the Maestrazgo region of Teruel, time seems to have stood still. In 1980 Mirambel was declared a Historic-Artistic Site for being “a town steeped in history, preserving the walled enclosure and the remarkable buildings in their entirety, without altering the medieval image and atmosphere”.
Its historic quarter was awarded the Europa Nostra Prize for conservation. This medieval complex, which belonged to the Military Order of St. John, perfectly preserves its walled perimeter. The lattices of the Portal de las Monjas and other buildings such as the convent of the Augustinian nuns, the church of Santa Margarita, the Lonja or the Renaissance Town Hall stand out.
Mirambel has been an inspiration for writers and artists and has been the setting for several films, the most famous of which was in 1994, with the filming of Ken Loach’s film Tierra y Libertad (Land and Freedom). Nowadays you can walk through the scenes of the film thanks to a route. Mirambel is also part of the Maestrazgo Cultural Park.
Would you like to discover the best castles in Aragon? Some of them can be found in these villages in Teruel.