There are many kinds of tourism, including two that are always present, experience tourism and sightseeing tourism. In Teruel you can enjoy both, because it offers options that are very different to the standard ones. If you like the inland, the authentic rural life and activities in nature, then this is the place you have to visit.
The province of Teruel is the southernmost of the three provinces of Aragón and lies between the valley of the Ebro, the land of the Levante, Catalonia and the centre of Spain. This location makes Teruel a holiday destination that’s nearby and easy to reach, perfect for a short trip and a break from the daily routine of the city.
Heritage and landscapes
If you want to discover the province, then is it a good idea to take the Sierra de Albarracín mountains as a starting point. This region, with centuries of history, masterfully combines the cultural heritage with the beautiful and unique landscapes.
The wonderful scenery is the result of the mountainous character of the territory that is responsible for the unique and remarkable places such as Montes Universales with the scree and the moor of Orihuela and the excellent examples of karst morphology, such as the remarkable fields of sinkholes in the northern and western mountains.
Here you will enjoy ecology and scenery of the first order, such as the sources of the rivers Tajo and Guadalaviar or the cascades of Calomarde and San Pedro. It’s worth stopping to contemplate the beautiful canyons at the watercourse above and below the town of Calomarde.
The historical festivals are also an indispensable heritage of the province of Teruel. The most renowned legends are Zaida of Cella, the Subida a la Encomienda of Alfambra, and of course Semana Santa in the town Teruel, which is declared of National Tourist Interest.
Levantine stone age
To all these environmental values must be added a rich cultural heritage, especially the sites of cave paintings, which were declared World Heritage by Unesco. In the province of Teruel there are more than 70 locations of this kind of artistic expression dated between 6000 a.C. – 1500 a.C.
Hiking is one of the most uplifting activities you can practice with the whole family. The Sierra de Alabarracín offers a complete network of trails, both in the Parque Cultural de Albarracín as well as in the whole region. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy the many natural spaces of this area and a perfect excuse to enjoy the scenery with your family.
The prettiest village
Since you are in the town of Albarracín after a visit to the museum, there’s nothing better than enjoying the urban environment. Albarracín is popularly considered the prettiest village in Spain. Its location on a rocky foothill, surrounded almost completely by the Guadalaviar River, leaves only limited space for the village, which is why the configuration of the streets is intrícate and somehow charmingly chaotic.
Don’t miss the architectural treasures hidden in the village, both in the religious and civil buildings, as well as in the popular architecture, transforming the Albarracín village into a unique example of medieval urban planning of Islamic origin.
The gastronomy of Albarracín consists mainly of strong but simple dishes. Ham with eggs, garlic or toast soup, venison or cheeses made of sheep’s milk are typical dishes. Dessert lovers will enjoy the delicious almohábanas, a kind of cheesecake with a historical past, which stimulate the appetite.
After a few days in the Sierra de Albarracín you can visit one of the most important wetlands in southern Europe, the lagoon Laguna del Cañizar in Villarquemado, 25 km from Teruel. This area stands out not only because of its ecological value but also for being an example of cooperation, because of the efforts of all the social partners, the consolidation of a unique project in Spain was made possible.
To know the history of Laguna de Cañizar you have to go back to the year 1729 when the works started to drain the 10 km² on which the wetland extended. In 2006 the environmental restoration process was started that recovered 400 hectares, 300 of them floodable.
In the area of Cella, and on the way to Teruel, just 17 km from the town, the large artesian well Fuente de Cella, built in the 12th century and decorated between 1729 and 1731, is worth a visit. This artesian well is one of the biggest and deepest in Europe.
Your stay in the region isn’t complete without a visit to enjoy the town Teruel. The capital of the province is a very important place of Moorish art. In 1986, Unesco declared World Heritage the roofing of the Cathedral de Santa María and the bell towers of the cathedral and of the churches of San Pedro, el Salvador and San Martín.
This medieval and Moorish heritage leads you to the world famous romantic story of the Amantes de Teruel (cit. Lovers of Teruel). The legend has given rise to a historical, cultural and artistic legacy, which is displayed, preserved and enhanced thanks to the Fundación Amantes Foundation. Perhaps most interesting is the visit to the mausoleum where the remains of the lovers rest.
Although the moorish art is characteristic of Teruel it’s not the only one. You can also admire its modernist architecture, that arose from a burgeoning bourgeoisie in the 19th century. The final impulse this architecture needed was given by the architect Pablo Monguió, who worked in Teruel from 1897 to approximately 1923. His work reaches its peak in three buildings, which are popularly called Casa Ferrán, La adrileña and El Torico, built from 1910 to 1912.
The agricultural and food heritage of Teruel is rich and varied. The ham of Teruel is famous and the first to receive the designation of origin in Spain. The Ternasco (Lamb) of Aragón is a classic recipe from Teruel, using native breeds perfectly adapted to the environmental demands. And regarding pastries, you will enjoy the delights of the pastelitos de amantes (cit. Lovers Tartlets) or the besos of Teruel (cit. Kisses of Teruel).
After bathing in history and culture you deserve some activity. Andatela is designed for those who love to enjoy the scenery while walking. There are 60 hiking trails that run through all the towns and natural spaces of interest in the region.
We recommend two of them, although there are many others that are very tempting, the Estrechos del Río Ebrón (El Cuervo Tormón) and the circular trail of the Cascadas de Amanaderos (Riodeva). Both of them are clearly signposted and you can see two of the most outstanding natural environments in the region. The middle course of the river Ebrón offers a varied flora and fauna and the karst landscapes of the river Riodeva offer 11 cascades or waterfalls.
A very easy route you can take with the kids is the one along the river Guadalaviar. This route follows the river, meandering through spectacular terrain and ending at the Arquillo reservoir. It’s a nice and quiet place, ideal for a picnic under the blue sky.
Dino Experience proposes a fascinating paleontological heritage in places like Teruel, Galve, Libros or Riodeva. The most famous is without a doubt Territorio Dinópolis, a scientific and leisure park with headquarters in Teruel. The park combines play and science so that visitors can learn many interesting things about the world of the dinosaur in an entertaining way.
To achieve this objective this unique park in Europe offers a journey of 4.5 billion years through thematic itineraries, such as El viaje en el tiempo (cit. Time travel), El último minuto (cit. The last minute), the virtual simulator 4D Terra Colossus, La Paleasenda (cit. The paleopath), the 3D cinema, the Sauriopark and fascinating shows.
The interpretation centre also includes a spectacular paleontological museum that displays 500 original fossils, most of which were found in the province of Teruel.
Although Territorio Dinópolis’ most important interpretation centre is in Teruel, there are other interpretation centres all over the province forming a route that passes through all the places where this rich heritage was found.
In Galve you can also visit a paleontological museum and with the help of their guides you can discover some of the places where dinosaur footprints were found.
You can’t finish the tour through the province of Teruel without visiting the mining areas. The geologic history of this land led to a mining tradition that is today one of the most great attractions of the region. Mining headgear, old mining districts, all kinds of infrastructure related to coal mining…countless examples of the rich industrial heritage left to us by this activity.
About 50 km from the town lies the region Cuencas Mineras. The museum Museo Minero de Escucha is well known and a visit to this museum is an amazing experience. The museum is in an authentic coal mine, which is the first surprise because it’s the only one in Spain!
Also, don’t miss a visit to the spectacular Parque Geológico de Aliaga or the Parque Cultural del Río Martín, where the cave art is once again the main attraction of Alacón.
More information at: