An hour's drive southwest of Zaragoza brings you to the Cistercian Monasterio de Piedra, a lush oasis on the arid Aragonese meseta (plain). Founded in 1195 by Alfonso II of Aragón and named for the nearby Río Piedra (Stone River, named for the calcified limestone deposits along its banks), the monastery has a 16th-century Renaissance section that is now a private hotel (62 rooms at €98 to €136), with rooms that are still somewhat monastic and austere. Even
if you don't stay for the night, come to visit the 12th-century cloister, wine museum, and park—the caves, waterfalls, and walkways suspended over the riverbed are spectacular.
Rte. C202, 113 km (70 miles) southwest of Zaragoza via A2, Nuévalos, 50210, Spain