Is this Spain’s most beau­ti­ful town?

Lonely Planet (UK) - - Contents -

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

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