Aragon????

Old Jun 15th, 2024, 08:07 AM
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Aragon????

Since Maribel explained to me about the Telva-ites in Madrid, I've been on the lookout for this fashion magazine and sure enough, snagged a copy at my hotel a few weeks ago. Forget all the gossipy stuff, but there is an ad with a photo that entranced me...it is a photo of the village of Lanuza in Huelva, Aragon. The photo is so beautiful so of course I spent about two hours reading about Aragon and found that I had already saved a few hotels in that region in my "Trips" section of TA.

So: Since I am always thinking three trips ahead, I wonder if this is a region I should consider for a vacation. I think it would mean a lot of driving but the photos looks so beautiful....... I had to look at a map to even see where Aragon is located, but here is the ad from TELVA:




Is this an area suited best for hikers (which we are not) or are there pretty drives and towns, with excellent restaurants?
Maybe I am looking too far off the beaten track here.....never been to Zaragoza, but what would make a good combination with Aragon? I assume this would best be visited in the spring or early fall (?)
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Old Jun 16th, 2024, 07:40 AM
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eks,
I've been to Lanuza on the lake several times. It has several cute B&Bs and hosts a summer music festival on the lake, the "Pirineos Sur". It's one of the many charming villages of the Valle de Tena in the Aragón Pyrenees.

The dramatic Aragón Pyrenees have a great deal of natural beauty, and so we've visited the Valley de Tena, Ainsa, Torla, Monte Perdido (at the Parador) and the Benasque Valley, which I loved, especially our stay at the Swiss ski lodge style Hotel Ciria, with an excellent El Fogaril restaurant.

Although we're not hikers at all, just walkers, we've been attracted to this stunning valley because of its (usually) cool temperatures, its pretty stone and slate villages, including Sallent de Gállego and its simple mountain cuisine, not haute cuisine at all, just hearty mountain fare.

We've visited only in July, precisely to escape the punishing mid and southern Spain heat, but it would be very nice in early fall. This is also a ski area, Formigal-Pantosa nearby. We've stayed at the Privilegio de Tena in Tramacastilla and at the Gran Hotel & spa in Panticosa (the Gran Hotel's restaurant was once supervised by Subijana but he pulled out after a year or so, long ago).

For us, the Aragón and Catalán Pyrenees are the perfect "retreat" spot for a late July, August vacation, while there are so many wonderful places in Spain with truly spectacular fall foliage to enjoy in autumn without needing to retreat "to the hills" to cool off.

I could spend an entire month or even more just traveling and exploring in the Spanish Pyrenees and making forays over to the French side. Our next long late summer road trip...

You can read Telva online. I do for its hotel and restaurant suggestions found under "Estilo de vida".

Last edited by Maribel; Jun 16th, 2024 at 08:34 AM.
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Old Jun 16th, 2024, 10:58 AM
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Make that "Panticosa", misspelling,

From the ski slopes of Formigal one can drive up the A 136, a 30-minute drive, to catch an entertaining train ride on Le Petit Train d'Artouste in the Ossau Valley.
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Old Jun 16th, 2024, 03:41 PM
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I would encourage you to keep looking into Aragon. My experience there is limited to a trip in 2009 when I visited Zaragoza and Teruel, but I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to both. From what I saw of it, Aragon appeared to be a province well worth exploring further, but I felt I had to devote my few subsequent trips to Spain to places I had not yeet seen. I found Teruel to be quite beautiful, but in a different way from Lanuza (to judge from the photo.) There are, I've read, several other beautiful medieval towns in Aragon as well.
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Old Jun 17th, 2024, 08:14 AM
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Beautiful Aragonese villages:
Lanuza, Sallent de Gállego, Benasque, Albarracín, Aínsa, Alquézar, Sos del Rey Católico, Uncastillo, Mirambel, Calaceite.

The Matarraña, in the Teruel province, is often called the Spain's Tuscany, and we've yet to visit its pretty village, Valderrobres there. In the Matarraña I would stay at the Torre del Visco.

Teruel is the city famed for its stunning mudéjar architecture and also of the sad, ill-fated love story of Los Amantes de Teruel ("tonta ella, tonto él"). Look it up eks.

Last edited by Maribel; Jun 17th, 2024 at 08:29 AM.
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Old Jun 17th, 2024, 08:20 AM
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This is all excellent information. The only issue is the time of year, but September would be ok for us...I will do some more reading....would I combine Aragon with Zaragoza?
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Old Jun 17th, 2024, 08:23 AM
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Yes, with Zaragoza, the capital of Aragón and with Teruel, the capital of the Aragonese province of Teruel.
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Old Jun 17th, 2024, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Maribel
Yes, with Zaragoza, the capital of Aragón and with Teruel, the capital of the Aragonese province of Teruel.
I visited Zaragoza on a day trip for Madrid, I was sorry I didn’t spend more time in the city.
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Old Jun 17th, 2024, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by ekscrunchy
This is all excellent information. The only issue is the time of year, but September would be ok for us...I will do some more reading....would I combine Aragon with Zaragoza?
Zaragoza is the capital of Aragon. If you can shift your plans to October, you can experience Fiestas del Pilar where a huge pyramid is built in the main square and covered in flowers. And there are processions with gorgeous costumes. It is something to see.

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Old Jun 17th, 2024, 11:41 AM
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Here is the village as it appeared from the other side of the lake in 1985

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Old Jun 18th, 2024, 06:01 AM
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Ditto to what rialtogrl has told you about the Fiesta del Pilar. Aragón's big celebration in its capital city. The flower offering is beautiful, like the flower offering to the Virgen de los Desamparados at the Plaça de la Verge during Valencia's las Fallas.

There will be concerts, fireworks, parade of the "Giants & Bigheads", like during the Sanfermines, a daily corridas. It's been declared a Festival of International Tourist Merit.
https://www.spain.info/es/agenda/fiestas-pilar/
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Old Jun 18th, 2024, 06:11 AM
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Good to know, since October is better for me than September. Since it's nice in the NY area we usually stay near home from mid-June through mid-September.
I will do some more reading..thank you all so much!!
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Old Jun 18th, 2024, 07:19 AM
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Yes, Aragón can be combined easily with Navarra as they're neighboring autonomous communities.
remember that you had thought about a couple of nights in Pamplona at some point from a gastro perspective.
We'll be there soon, once again, for 8 nights, and in this very lively-at-night city, you'll find wonderful pintxos bars and restaurants, both contemporary and traditional and one really fine French bistro, Les Amis, which we love. We already have our dining all lined up (actually long ago, since we'll be there for the Sanfermines), including a trip up to Hondarribia for a group lunch at our favorite La Hermandad de Pescadores, the fishermen's guild.

Speaking of the fall in Navarra---it's actually the most beautiful time to be there as the foliage in the Irati forest is just spectacular, really breathtaking. And it's the beginning of mushroom and truffle season! We have a reservation at El Molino de Urdániz in the Esteribar valley as an escape from the fiesta crowds. One Michelin star.

We'll be staying at the former Hotel Alma, now just called the Eurostars Pamplona (they just bought it).

Last edited by Maribel; Jun 18th, 2024 at 07:25 AM.
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Old Jun 19th, 2024, 11:43 AM
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Maribel that is a perfect idea for next (2025!) fall.....(inshallah) ..I will do some reading. Our next trip is in September to Sicily and then not long after, to Valencia and around. And then, me alone to my beloved Andalucia!!! Not a bad future if all goes well!!



I am not so happy when I do not have trips to research so this is wonderful!!! Maybe even fit in part of Basque region as we "spoke" about last year (??). After I ate at MANDUCA DE AZAGRA in Madrid ( moderate-high moderate price--highly recommended by Maribel and now by me) I got a notion to explore Navarra, and also had read your tips on Pamplona for many years........ then read about Bardenas Reales, but will leave all that for later on....(I think Tudela is out, for now..but for now, other trips to think about....). almost time to book hotels in Valencia, Denia, etc.

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Old Jun 19th, 2024, 12:06 PM
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Yes, eks, it´s almost time to book hotels in Valencia, Dènia and Alicante.

Navarra is at its very best, food wise, in October and November when it´s truffle and mushroom season!! And the fall foliage is glorious!!!
Have you read the Dolores Redondo trilogy that is centered around the Baztán valley? We've seen the 3 movies on Netflix. The 3 books are available in English on amazon.com
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Old Jun 23rd, 2024, 10:57 AM
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eks,
On your wish list and mine, the Torre del Visco in Aragón, a Relais & Châteaux hotel.
https://torredelvisco.com/?lang=es
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Old Jun 23rd, 2024, 06:29 PM
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Maribel I'm going nutty with all these options for next year!!!

I ordered the first Dolores Redondo book from my local North Fork (Long Island) library and will see the films on Netflix when I am "allowed" to watch our tv (when there are no Yankee games!).

(I usually read, although surprisingly, Jeff (tonight) found a Netflix film about a gang in Galicia that has lots of shots in Cambados, and a few in Madrid.
And it will soon shift to Fuerteventura..incredible! (They smuggle drugs by boat, it seems..)

The name is CLANES..have you, or anyone here, heard of this series and if so, what do you think?

We watched the first two episodes tonight but I truly do not like watching dubbed versions but he does not like to read subtitles..it's so much better when you watch the V.O. but that's ok....the story is just fair so far but the scenery is something else..of course it was sunny when they filmed unlike the Galicia we saw last month!!!! .

You can see that I posted yet another option for next fall......which includes SW France, unusual for me, but would largely be in the Basque region......there is so much to see and as he gets older (I, of course, do not age), I am committed to taking as many trips as we can, while he can go with me......

Some of the hikes in Aragon looks wonderful and I'd love that, if they are very easy..... All I need are a couple of steroid shots for my back!! But if the walking is a major point, it would not make the partner happy.
I'll get a good map and take a real look once the Valencia trip is figured out--I've booked Valencia and Denia hotels so there's not much more to do save for airline tix, El Baret, and the Alicante Hospes......

Now that I think of it, we have nothing planned for next spring, so I wonder if Aragon might be an idea for that time....

I need to intersperse Italy with Spain due to his love for the former ("pasta"----magic word in this household!) but I will figure it out!

Nothing more fun than trip planning!!! And would be a lot less "fun" without your help!

xx. ek

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Old Jun 24th, 2024, 01:07 AM
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eks,
You have too many options!

We'll start the Clanes on Netflix tonight.

We've read the Dolores Redondo trilogy and have seen the 3 films (the books are better, imo, than the films, but I enjoyed them both). Because we've spent a good deal of time in the Baztán valley and in Pamplona, where the series was filmed, we liked it. Although you would think, watching the series, that it never stops raining in the Baztán. Constant torrential rains in these movies. It´s gorgeous in the late fall.

As for Aragón, the hiking has never been the draw for me, as we don't hike, just walk. My hiking days were over when I found myself in a Picos de Europa hiking group of 5 very experienced women hikers, and I had to climb up to the Cabaña Verónica in the Cantabrian Picos, and when just reaching the Cabaña, it started to rain and our guide hustled us down the mountain.

The draw of the Aragonese Pyrenees for me is just the stunning natural beauty and the beauty of the villages I mentioned above. But parts of the Teruel province (not the capital) are depopulated, "la España vacíada", which has launched the political movement, "Teruel Existe".
https://elpais.com/elpais/2019/12/10...16_765107.html
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Old Jun 24th, 2024, 08:29 AM
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Although you would think, watching the series, that it never stops raining in the Baztán. Constant torrential rains in these movies.
That was the impression I got !
The gloomy weather was probably chosen to create the mood for a spooky, dark , unsettling plot line.
I have seen the series twice although I am not a fan of the supernatural. The films are well made and the scenery is captivating.

Last edited by danon; Jun 24th, 2024 at 08:34 AM.
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Old Jun 24th, 2024, 08:32 AM
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Yep, danon, that's exactly it!
The Baztán is also infamous for its witches´ trials. Creepy stuff. One can learn all about it at the witches´caves / museum in Zugarramurdi at the "muga", the border between Spain and France in the Baztán. This area is called Xareta which also includes Sare / Ainhoa in the Pays Basque.

We spent the first 3 days of our honeymoon in a country house hotel just to the north of Elizondo (a gift from our friends) before moving on to Biarritz, and it didn't rain in Elizondo, as summers are usually beautiful. There is a "camino" there, the "camino baztanés, an alternate to the Camino Frances that is less steep, less difficult but with fewer albergues or lodging options. And it´s where I leaned to make talos.
https://baztanturismo.eus/es/productos-de-baztan/talos/

https://www.visitnavarra.es/en/caves-navarra

https://www.xareta.eus/en/


Now, as usual with the correspondence between eks and yours truly, this has nothing to do with Aragón, but we always digress!

Last edited by Maribel; Jun 24th, 2024 at 09:08 AM.
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