Zaragoza: a journey through the land of Goya
Hundreds of travellers flock to this province of Aragón to wander around abandoned villages, follow routes with wines that are yet to be tasted and see how the water sculpts the landscapes. This is where Francisco de Goya was born and the place where one of the best local festivals in the country is held every year.
Zaragoza has a lot to say for itself and we have the coordinates to enable you to learn more about it. We’ll provide them at the Sercotel Hotel Oriente. We’re in the old part of the city, five minutes from the famous Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar.
This is where the Pilarica “sleeps” and where you can gaze at Goya’s frescoes and enjoy the sunset from one of its towers. It can be seen close up from the Plaza del Pilar. However, the perfect frame for your photos isn’t here.
You’ll get the ideal frame from the Stone Bridge, where the Ebro flows surrounded by silence. Always, except for a few days in October when the city celebrates its local festival.
If you come to the Fiestas del Pilar, we’ll tell you what time the concerts start and where to buy the best Pilar cobblestones and we’ll show you how to put on a cachirulo, a traditional handkerchief. We promise.
Utebo, one of the largest towns in the province, is a 15-minute drive from the city of Zaragoza.
They’re proud, very proud, of the Mudejar tower of their church and boast that a reproduction can be seen in the Spanish Village in Barcelona. We’ll explain how to pay a visit at the reception of the Sercotel Hotel Las Ventas.
Our location, next to the main express roads in Zaragoza, will enable you to continue along your route after a night’s rest with ease.
You won’t be attracted to Borja by the charm of its old town full of mansions. You’ll go to Borja because of its world-famous Ecce Homo. You’re sure to have laughed at the story and now you can visit it at the Sanctuary of Mercy.
You’ve probably heard of Belchite. The ruins of its old town, razed to the ground during the Civil War, are famous. Guided tours are organised to learn more about its history. Choose the ones that are held at night. They’re stunning under a clear sky like few others.
Nearby you’ll come to Fuendetodos, the town where Goya was born. You’ll learn more about his work and his life in the house where he was born and at the Engravings Museum.
The heritage of Calatayud is worth several visits. Sites that will tell stories of when the Romans passed through here, Mudejar World Heritage and a Jewish quarter that you’ll want to wander around without any hurry. Goya gave his personal touch to the Church of San Juan el Real.
Zaragoza, from wonder to wonder
It isn’t possible to refer to Calatayud without mentioning the nearby Monasterio de Piedra. Its cascades, grottoes and waterfalls shape an idyllic setting in which you’ll be able to stroll peacefully while the kids run around at their leisure.
The idea of conquering with water has been fiercely engraved on this province. You can confirm the above when the Sea of Aragón appears before you. Because there was actually a beach in Zaragoza. It came into being in the 1960s, when the reservoirs in Mequinenza and Caspe were built and, with them, 500 kilometres of inland coastline. Go for a bathe and then let us know how it went.
If you prefer to reach out to the sky, you can always climb the peak of San Miguel, the highest point in the Iberian System in Moncayo Natural Park.
And we can think of no better way of bringing this trip to an end than a visit to the wineries on the Cariñena Wine Route. Because the end of a party always tastes better with a toast.