If you’re looking for a charming corner of Europe that mass tourism hasn’t discovered, you could do far worse than Aragón. Tourists from Great Britain and other countries are few and far between in this vast inland region in northeastern Spain. In fact, you may not see anyone at all – there are some of the most sparsely populated areas in the country.
Larger than Switzerland, this region rewards multiple trips – unless you have at least a month to spare – as there is an immense variety to see and do, from skiing in the Pyrenees to bird watching and canyoning. History and architecture lovers come to the Romanesque churches and Mudejar monuments or just to explore some of the most beautiful villages in Spain. With a distinctive cuisine and some excellent wines, Aragón has a lot to offer to visitors who don’t mind putting a little extra effort into organizing their vacation.
Half of the population of Aragón lives in the capital, Zaragoza, the fifth largest city in Spain. On the banks of the Ebro in the center of the region, it was a strategic Roman city and many archaeological remains are now museums, including the forum, baths and theater. The Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar, the largest baroque building in Spain, contains ceiling frescoes by Goya, who was born in nearby Fuendetodos. See his paintings in the Museo Goya and other museums in the city. One of the great treasures of Aragon is the La Alfajería Palace, parts of which date from the 11th century and have exceptional Islamic, Mudejar and Gothic-Renaissance features.