From the campsite we are near the most important monuments of Aragón:
Saragossa (40 min.)
At a distance of just 40 minutes along the motorway, the city of Expo 2008 offers a thousand and one attractions in a modern growing urbanisation in full flow. The Aljafería, the cathedrals of the Seo and the Pilar, the grounds of Expo 2008 with its original pavilions (Water tower, Bridge Pavilion, Third Millennium Bridge, Spain Pavilion, Aragón Pavilion, River Aquarium, etc) the Mudejar churches, the Roman monuments. The city possesses an endless list of treasured monuments from its 200 years plus years of history.
On the Ranillas meander of the river Ebro, next to the grounds of the International Exposition, the Water Park stretches out to cover some 120 hectares. It is a new concept in urban parks that combines extensive and varied green areas with hostelry services and leisure activities for all. To be highlighted above all are the riverbank beaches, the pitch and putt public golf course, the white water rapids for rafting (with a route of 350 metres long and a drop of 6 metres), the kayak trips along the River Ebro canals, the botanical garden and the water wheel, built by Syrian craftsmen for the Expo. The whole park can be covered on the tourist train.
Boat trips along the River Ebro (40 minutes distance)
Some of the most characteristic monuments in Saragossa, such as the Pilar Basilisk and the Stone Bridge, not to mention the grounds of the Expo and the bridges and gangplanks that the event has left can only really be seen from the river. The companies Ebronautas and Gozarte offer us the chance to get to know the city in an original way, going up the river on a theatrical visit accompanied by different characters - washerwomen from the beginning of the twentieth century, Nymphs and gods of the river, fishermen - allowing us to discover the relationship that the city has with its city in a light-hearted and fun way. And if we want to go it alone, we can also hire canoes and kayaks to roam the river at our own whim.
Saragossa boasts the largest fresh water aquarium in Europe with some 5,000 examples of 300 species of fish, reptiles and insects shared out among 60 fish tanks and terrariums. The route introduces us to the fauna of five great rivers of the planet (The Nile, Mekong, Amazon, Darling Murray and The Ebro) connected together by the River of the World, a huge central tank of water that symbolises the origin of the world and establishes the relationship among the five continents in their origins: Pangaea. From the spectacular crocodiles of the Nile to the dangerous piranhas of the Amazon, the aquarium offers us, among other species, the placid sight of the cat fish, elephant fish, moray eels, flying fish, monitor lizards, long necked turtles, chameleons, barbels, bala sharks, clown loaches, sheat fish sharks, fresh water moray eels, water dragons, leaf turtles, pacus, globe fish...
Just 30 minutes by car. The magic of the water combines perfectly with the magic of the estate. It is a former Cistercian Monastery surrounded by a magnificent natural park full of waterfalls, water flows, lakes and plant life that makes it a real paradise. There are various museums with a collection of monuments that make it a visit not to be missed. This is the first place in Europe where chocolate was made and here there is a wine museum in its old cellars. There is a fish farm and a park with birds of prey.
In the neighbouring region of Aranda, everything has traditionally revolved around the river. So much so, that it gave its name to the region and to one of its most emblematic towns: Aranda de Moncayo. In this town we can find a most attractive spot for its beauty and for its recreational and sporting use. We are of course talking about the Maidevera Reservoir, built in the seventies of the last century.
The place is perfect if you are looking for peaceful walking trips along the banks of the river to take in the perfect peace. The water provides the chance to practise activities such as canoeing or winsurfing, but, what it is really known for is its fishing reserve where the prize catch is the rainbow trout.
Leaving behind the impressive waterfalls, straits and backwaters that form the River Piedra in the domain of its former Cistercian Monastery, and arriving at the confluence with the River Mesa and its gorges, we find the Tranquera Dam. This is a paradisiacal place, perfect for fishing and other water sports built in 1960.
The Reservoir covers the areas of Ibdes and Nuévalos almost reaching upto Carenas. The irregular shape of this reservoir is adapted to the uneven ups and downs of the land, occupying what in the past must have been one of the most fertile paradises of the whole of the Calatayud region.
This architectural style can be found in various churches and above all in its towers. It is also the ancient Roman Bilbilis, land of the poet Marcial, and the fortress off Ayub, that conserves one of the best collections Muslim walls of the Peninsula, with its five castles and several kilometres of tapial walls. The home of the "Dolores" who from her restaurant receives the visitor with open arms, is also a city full of history and is well worth a visit. There is a municipal golf course in the city. Many villages from the region have really important Mudejar monuments, like the fortified churches of Tobed, Cervera de la Cañada or Torrijo and the towers at Ateca, Terrer or Belmonte.
Nowadays, golf is one of the most popular participant sports, and near Sabiñán, in Calatayud, we find the Augusta Golf Course, with installations of the highest order for those who partake in this sport. 18 holes in full contact with the countryside, par 72 and 6,200 metres long are the technical characteristics of this course, which also disposes of a practice range and other courts to play alternative sports such as basketball, tennis or swimming in the summer. This is an ideal place to relax and practise your favourite sport.
Standing over the town of Illueca, the Papa Luna Palace Castle rises up. This is where the only Spanish pope came to light Don Pedro Martínez de Luna, who went under the name of Benedict XIII. In 1931 it was declared as a National Monument and in 1985 a site of Cultural Interest.
The rectangular base fortress conserves a typically medieval shape. It originated in 1390 although its present exterior aspect is due to a later reformation as it was used of the Saragossa Renaissance Palace-Houses. On the upper floor, are the golden room and the private bedchamber of Pedro de Luna, both from the XIV century. The fine plaster work and the fantastic Mudejar artwork are the inheritance of this era. The castle has recently been restored. The dwellings house the headquarters of the Aranda Region, an inn and a visitors interpretation centre dedicated to the figure of the Papa Luna.
The majestic castle-fortress of Mesones was commissioned by Don Lope Fernández de Luna, the archbishop of Saragossa in 1370. The construction was not completed by his death however, which means that it has managed to reach the present day in the same state as it was left in its day. It joins together the functions of a military fortress and a nobleman's residence and it has been declared as a National Monument since 1931.
The building surprises us for its dimensions and for the solidness of its towers, among which the homage tower stands out, a rarity in which the Mudejar bricks dominate. Inside, the chapel of Our Lady of the Angels houses a prodigious ceiling of polychromatic wood made up of ninety-six small boards with beautiful figures arranged in a Mudejar framework. The loops that form the wood generate eight and six pointed stars. It is truly a marvellous example of Mudejar decoration.
On the outskirts of Morata de Jalón we find one of the most visited areas of the community by the lovers of climbing. The landscape is the result of the River Jiloca squeezing its way through the Iberian Mountain Range and the rock faces that characterise it are perfectly equipped and "documented" with numerous routes of varying difficulty.
MMorata is also the starting point for interesting walking routes. From here one of the most interesting itineraries covers the Iberian Mountain Range, the GR-90 Land of the Moncayo and the Saragossa Iberian Mountain Range.
The river banks of various rivers such as the Piedra, the Manubles, the Mesa, the Aranda or the Isuela
These affluents of the River Jalón offer spectacular landscapes with hidden corners suitable for bathing or for walking. Limestone walls frame the route of the water, producing evocative nooks on its banks. Some stretches of the river have waterfalls that round off this idyllic scenery. Corners such as the Piedra or Mesa gorges, the waterfall of the Requijada, the Pools of the Chorros and Puntilla, the Tranquera or Maidevera Dam, and some stretches of the riverside with its characteristic forests should be enough for most nature lovers to visit the area. Not to be missed is the spectacle that the Autumn provides for these corners.
The Romans called Cariñena Carae and even in that era, it was known for the quality of its wine. Between the rivers Huerva and Jalón, 14 villages make up the oldest Designation of Origin D.O. in Aragón, constituted in 1932. El soil, the climate and the altitude, -between 400 and 800 metres- come together to provide the territory with a grand aptitude for the winegrowing activity.
Cavas like "Gran Ducay" from San Valero Vineyards, wines like the "Pulchrum Crespiello" from Bioenos, the "Care Xclnt" from the Añadas Vineyard, the "Viña Urbezo" from Solar Urbezo or the liqueur wine from Torrelongares have obtained the highest scores in guides and international competitions. In Cariñena, we can find some of the principal wine cellars of the region. All of these offer us the possibility to visit their installations and sample their wines together with typical products of the region.
The guided tour can start in the House of the Vine / Wine museum of Cariñena, located in an old wone cellar. It houses more than 600 documents and instruments that the past and present have brought us for the Designation of Origin and the growing of the vine in the region. You can carry out a number of activities, in which the tasting and sample must not go amiss.
Daroca is one of the most beautiful medieval cities of Aragón. Its walled compound comprises churches of all styles, palaces, narrow streets and a well conserved hamlet. Nearby lies the Gallocanta Lagoon which is the most important wetland in Aragón: an endorreic lagoon in which thousands of migratory birds gather throughout the year. The most spectacular one is the passing of the cranes twice a year, at the beginning of winter on their way down south and in February on their way back up to the north of Europe. Some 60,000 of these huge birds gather here in this incredible wildlife spectacle.
The Belchite Steppes and the bird-watching reserves of El Planerón and La Lomaza
One of the least known landscapes in Aragón and the most appreciated by nature lovers from the rest of Europe is the Steppe. Near Sabiñan there are various examples of limestone mountains, authentic bare steppes like the Valdehurón mountains in Calatayud, the plains of María on the outskirts of the capital and above all the bird-watching reserves of El Planerón and La Lomaza in Belchite. This is an extensive area where some rare species, above all birds, prepared for the respectful visit of the nature lovers who want to discover the magic of the desert. Not to missed is the spectacle of springtime.
The Moncayo, the highest mountain of the Iberian Mountain Range
With its 2,416m, it sits over the borders between Aragón, Castilla, Navarra and La Rioja. From Aragón it rises up majestically like a guard or a god that hides magnificent forests in which the majority of the Iberian ecosystems are represented stratified according to altitude. Its snowy peaks act as a lighthouse and are visible from many kilometres around. This mountain has been the muse of many a writer and poet from the past. At the foot, as well as the beautiful cities of Tarazona and Borja, capitals of their respective regions, stands the magnificent Veruela Monastery, jewel in the Cistercian crown that draws together its magnificent buildings in privileged surroundings with a wine museum that demonstrates the potential of the Campo de Borja winegrowing region.
The brilliant Aragonese painter Francisco de Goya was born in the tiny village of Fuendetodos, just 35minutes by car from Sabiñán. In his hometown, you can visit the house where he was born, the museum of engravings and other attractions. In the nearby town of Muel there is a magnificent park in which, as well as its natural beauty with the waterfall that the River Huerva produces, you can also visit a Roman dam and a chapel with action paintings by Goya in his youth.
From years gone by, water has been one of the riches of the Calatayud region, where you can find the majority of the Aragonese spas. These three towns bring together nineteenth century hot water bath centres with modern spa installations where you can receive various treatments and relaxing proposals. The thermal lake at Alhama stands out as a place where you can bathe in its hot waters even in the middle of winter, or the swimming pool carved out of the rocky walls of Jaraba.
Sabiñán is an ideal starting point to go on longer excursions that take up the whole day. Within a radius of 200 kilometres it is possible to visit some areas of the Pyrenees to the cities of Huesca, Teruel, Barbastro, Alcañiz or Ejea de los Caballeros. Also within this circle, lie such beautiful spots such as Albarracín, Sos del Rey Católico, Uncastillo, Rubielos de Mora or Alquézar.