13th – 19th September 2016
Image : Albarracín
Throughout the last 10 years Spain has expanded its enviable network of motorways and high-speed rail. The unique and wonderful, but isolated, Province of Teruel has lobbied for its inclusion in the New Spain under the battle-cry ‘Teruel Exists!’. This cry has yet to be answered; perhaps visitors and lovers of Teruel are not too concerned as its status as one of Spain’s last wildernesses remains unthreatened.
The Province of Teruel lies between Cuenca and the Mediterranean coast around Valencia. It is landlocked, mountainous, outrageously picturesque and full of charming towns and villages. It is under-populated, barely visited by tourists and an ideal location to experience still ‘The Real Spain’.
This major new tour explores many of the corners of this fascinating Province. In a recent series of articles, the Spanish daily ‘El Pais’ identified the Most Beautiful Villages in Spain. No fewer than four of the top twenty are in Teruel. We visit all of them.
DAY 1: Flying to Madrid we set out for the Province of Teruel, passing the north of Castile-La Mancha and the Mountains of Cuenca. Our goal is Albarracín, an astonishingly beautiful town, founded by Romans and developed as an intractable fortress town by the Spanish Moors; many hundreds of metres of perfectly preserved medieval walls survive to testify to the town’s Golden Age.
Our home in Albarracin is an impeccably equipped hotel on the edge of the old quarter ranked by most commentators as the best in town.
DAYS 2 & 3: This Tour combines the culture and architecture of the historic towns of Teruel with its glorious landscapes. During our two days in Albarracin we explore the extensive heritage of a town which is a National Monument and on the waiting-list for UNESCO World Heritage status. We travel out of town into the incomparable scenery of the Montes Universales.
During the 1930’s Albarracin found itself in the front line during the Spanish Civil War: a theme we shall further explore in the Provincial capital.
DAY 4: Leaving Albarracin we travel the short distance to the UNESCO World Heritage city of Teruel where we spend most of the day. From the beauty of its Mudejar Cathedral and churches, through the romance of its medieval legends, to the stark reality of the most hideous battles of the Civil War, Teruel offers its visitors a varied and rewarding day.
Late afternoon we set out for Calaceite, our home for the second part of the Tour. This is one of El Pais’s ‘most beautiful villages’.
DAYS 5, 6: Our two days in the east of the Province are spent among the incomparable beauty of three wonderful places: Calaceite, Valderrobre and Puertomingavo. Don’t worry. Very few Spanish people have heard of them either, but these villages are quintessential examples of the charm and beauty of life in rural Spain as well as having a distinguished ancient history from Pre-history, through Roman times, Moorish Spain into the Baroque era and on to modern times all of which have left their mark on these unique places.
Our home for the second part of the Tour is the lovely Hotel del Sitjar, located in the Plaza Mayor with views of the surrounding countryside.
Tour dates : 13th – 19th September 2016
Number of days : 7
Price : £1925 (per person based on 2 sharing a twin or double room)
Single supplement : £190
Fully inclusive : Flights, transfers, accommodation and meals are all included.
Number in party : 12 – 18