One of the most beautiful towns in all of Spain, you want to make sure you go to Albarracín. Here are a few of my favourite things to do there.
It’s not everyday you feel like you’re arriving on the set of Game of Thrones. But that’s exactly how I felt when I first visited this stunning town. Located 38km west of Teruel, it’s definitely somewhere you should go if you’re in the area and the perfect stop off if you’re traveling from Valencia to Madrid. Ok, maybe it’s a tiny detour from the main motorway between them, but it’s worth it. One of my favourite things about visiting Albarracín is actually arriving there (arriving from neighbouring Gea). You drive through some of the most stunning scenery and just when you’re not sure where you’re going or how the rocky terrain can get any more incredible, the stunning city walls, or Muralla, curve around the sloping hills. Just like that you’ve gone back in time. You almost expect to see Don Quijote coming around the corner on his donkey.
Getting To Albarracín
If you don’t have a donkey, it’s easy to get to Albarracín from Teruel. Driving is probably easiest but there is also a daily bus (that’s really one per day) from Teruel bus station to outside Hotel Arabia in Albarracín. Taxis are another possibility. If you’re travelling from Valencia, it’s about a two hour drive (which is really beautiful – look out for the signs for a ski resort, that’s hardly believable in 30 degree heat)! To Madrid it’s a further three and a half hours. If you can, time the drive from Albarracín to Madrid for August, this’ll mean you’ll have one of the most stunning drives through bright yellow sunflower fields. You’ll also pass through Molina de Aragón, one of Spain’s coldest towns. Although I’ve only ever been in summer, Albarracín is incredibly cold and snowy in Winter – which also has to be beautiful!
Things to do when visiting Albarracín
Once you’ve parked your car, jumped off the bus or de-saddled, head up the steep Cuesta de Teruel towards the Plaza Mayor. From under the low, shady archways of the surrounding buildings, you get some of the most stunning views of the vine covered blush-hued buildings. Make sure to also spot the 16th century City Hall. From here, if you’re a bit peckish, I can definitely recommend La Taberna in the main square. It’s the perfect place to try the local (and some of the best) jamón and cheese. Full of residents having lunch, it’s also the perfect place to have a caña (a little beer) and watch the world go by.
From here, take the north western path past El Portal and enjoy a wander around the hickeldypickeldy streets. Enjoy the tiny doorways, the beautiful colours and the stunning medieval architecture. When your legs need a bit of a rest, head towards the Albarracín Cathedral and to the Mirador (observation deck) for the most incredible views over the walls of the town. I have to admit, when visiting Albarracín, my favourite thing to do is just wander and look at everything. Every time I see something new!
Eating and drinking in Albarracín
One of the best bars in Albarracín is El Molino del Gato, translated as Cat Mill which is a pretty odd name. It’s the perfect place to take refuge from the sun under the vine canopy. If you can, sit downstairs and outside – you’ll be entertained spotting the freshwater crayfish walking along the bottom of the mill. And if jamón, cheese, cañas and wine aren’t enough there is also one of the cutest bakeries I’ve ever been to. Head past El Molino del Gato and walk across the river to Panadería Marconell e Hijos. Blink and you might miss it though. It’s down a little flight of steps, hiding behind a flapping white curtain. It really is just one door and one curtain. Get anything because it is all delicious, but my favourites are the magdalenas.
If you’re driving, make sure to go to Quesos Sierra de Albarracín as you leave. One of the most amazing cheese shops with some of the most delicious cheese. They’ve won a couple of Gold World Cheese Awards (imaging judging that) and the produce all comes from the local herd wandering around! The perfect place to go to get some holiday gifts. But be warned, they have pretty erratic opening times and it’s a bit hit and miss whether you’ll actually be able to get your cheese. Worth an attempt though. Albarracín is one of my favourite towns in Spain and, quite honestly, one of the most beautiful to visit. A night if you’re passing through or a day trip is enough to enjoy this amazing place.
If you’d like to see more beautiful villages in Spain, follow @the.travelling.pot on Instagram.