Is this Spain’s most beautiful town?
Set on a slender, foot-shaped bend where the canyon of the Guadalaviar River carves through the hilly badlands of southern Aragón, the town of Albarracín is a place seemingly bypassed by the centuries. Houses of dusky-pink stone with wooden galleries press close together under sturdy fortress walls that march uphill. Step into one of the town squares and you half expect to hear a film director shout, ‘And... action!’ to the extras of a Don Quixote remake. Albarracín is a two-hour drive from Valencia in a region that’s untouristy by Spanish standards, and it’s well worth visiting in spring, before the mercury rises towards the ‘uncomfortable’ mark. Much of the appeal comes from exploring at your own pace, deciding whether the town deserves its reputation as Spain’s most beautiful settlement. Strolls should be interupted by regular stops in Albarracín’s restaurants, to sample the likes of suckling kid and jamón. Book a stay at La Casa del Tío Americano (from £70), and you’ll get to sample more local hams and cheeses on a terrace with views of Albarracín’s blushing rooftops. elandadoralbarracin.es; lacasadeltioamericano.com