This unusual, and extended, route from Madrid to Zaragoza is much more interesting than the most direct route by A-2 motorway. You'll find beautiful Castilian villages, impressive castles, cathedrals, Nature parks, eagles and vultures, scenic roads, Romanesque or Mudejar churches, nice hotels, restaurants, wineries, folk festivals, even drawings by Picasso, travelling through some of the less-known landscapes of Spain.
The assistance of a satellite navigator is recommended for detours from the main route.
* Madrid-Torrelaguna. Take the motorway A-1 towards Burgos for 38 kilometers and then exit 50 to Torrelaguna. Road N-320 for 7 kilometers until Torrelaguna.
TORRELAGUNA has a long history dating back to Roman times. It is known that it has stood in the same location since the Middle Ages because of its city walls. Two streams were used as natural moats. Among its treasures, Torrelaguna also boasts the best exponent of the Madrid Gothic style: the beautiful church of Santa María Magdalena. The influence of the Renaissance can be seen in its décor on one of its doors, and in the choir, the pulpits and the tombs of its chapels. The altarpieces are Baroque and Plateresque. Also worth visiting are the 15th century hospital buildings of the Santísima Trinidad, which took advantage of the old mosque and synagogues, and was later rebuilt in the 17th century. The same thing can be said of the different shrines in the municipality, of which the Virgen de la Soledad stands out as it is the place where the diverse saints which are brought out for processions (such as the Cristo Yaciente, a jewel of the 16th century) are stored. With the arrival of a French army in 1808 Torrelaguna was invaded and its fortresses destroyed.
* Torrelaguna to Patones de Arriba. Road M-102 for 4 km to Patones, then road M-912 for 2 km to Patones de Arriba.
PATONES DE ARRIBA (Upper Patones), a highly atmospheric village of black slate houses clings to the rugged slopes of the Sierra Negra in the mountainous northwest corner of Madrid province, enjoying fine views of the Jarama valley and distant cliff-top township of Uceda just inside the Guadalajara border. Its claims to fame are that it once had its own peasant king (who thought himself the equal of Felipe II) and it was one of the few spots unconquered by the French in the Peninsular War. After decades of abandon it has reemerged in recent years as a favorite getaway spot for Madrileños, dotted with fine restaurants and tastefully converted houses, and surrounded by off-the-beaten-track walking trails.
Accommodation: Hotel El Tiempo Perdido at Travesía del Ayuntamiento / Restaurant: El Rincón de Patones at calle del Arroyo 16.
* Patones de Arriba to Buitrago del Lozoya. Go back over the A-1 towards Burgos and follow this motorway for 22 km, then exit 74 to Buitrago de Lozoya.
BUITRAGO DEL LOZOYA has preserved the Muslim and Christian walls which surround part of its historic centre and which, in turn, are bordered by the Lozoya river. Although its church of Santa María del Castillo is Gothic, in the 19th century its original structure was transformed into neo-Mudejar style; and much more recently it has become the artistic treasure which houses a museum exhibiting works by the international genius Pablo Picasso. This museum was the work of Eugenio Arias, the hairdresser to the brilliant artist from Malaga. The friendship between the two left behind numerous pieces that Picasso gave as presents to his hairdresser, dated between 1948 and 1972. Most outstanding are the works with bullfighting-related drawings – this was a passion shared by both friends. At this museum you will also find a beautiful ceramic basin with the silhouettes of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. Admission is free, and you must only take care not to visit on a Monday, when it is closed. But perhaps its flagship monument is the alcázar or castle, which stands to the southeast of the walled enclosure, built in Mudéjar style between the 14th century and the 15th century and is the best preserved fortified enclosure in the autonomous region with a perimeter of almost 800m. One other noteworthy architectural manifestation is the bridge of Arrabal, sometimes called quite simply Puente Viejo, or the Old Bridge, which probably dates back to before the 14th century.
Restaurant: Las Murallas at plaza de la Constitución 3.
* Buitrago del Lozoya to Riaza. A-1 towards Burgos for 26 km and then exit 103 to Riaza. Road N-110 towards Soria for 11 km until Riaza.
RIAZA. Located on the north side of the Guadarrama, its popular Plaza Mayor is oval shaped and colonnaded. It was built in the 19th century with three levels, in the lowest of which the famous bullfights take place. Also of great interest are: the Parroquial church and the Hermitages of San Roque and San Juan. A walk around Riaza through its traditional streets admiring the harmony of granite houses with wide corridors and projecting cornices of tremendous plasticity is a must. The most outstanding of these is la Casa de los Vélez de Guevara (16th century).
Accommodation: Hotel Casaquemada** at calle Isidoro Rodríguez 18 / Restaurant: La Taurina at plaza Mayor 6.
- Around Riaza: The area around Riaza is worth visiting for the splendour of its nature, which is especially attractive in autumn, when the reddish hues of oaks and beech trees mingle with the colourfulness of the heather. A fine example of this landscape is the beech-tree grove at La Pedrosa, on the way up to the mountain pass of la Quesera. The charm of its villages can also be enjoyed: the so-called 'red villages' due to the colour of their lands and buildings --Alquitém, Villacorta and Madriguera-- or the 'black villages' reflecting their slate buildings, Becerril, El Muyo and El Negredo.
* Riaza to Ayllón. Road N-110 towards Soria for 20 km until Ayllón.
AYLLÓN. Located at the spur of the Central Mountain Range, it is of medieval origin and was head of the domain of Don Álvaro de Luna, lord of the manor. It was declared a Historic-Artistic site in 1973. After crossing the Roman bridge, it is worth entering Ayllón through the only gate still conserved in its fortified wall. At the other side of the Gothic arch stands the late 15th century Palace of los Contreras, whose façade is framed in a Franciscan cordon like a kind of alfiz and three shields. Inside are rich coffered ceilings. In the porticoed Plaza Mayor stands the 16th century Town hall, the original Palace of the Marquis of Villena, the Romanesque Church of San Miguel, inside of which several tombs are conserved, and the Church of Santa María la Mayor (completed in the 18th century) the steeple of which is of special interest. Walking through the beautiful streets of Ayllón one can admire palaces and ancestral homes such as the Palace of Bishop Velosillo, the Casa de la Torre, the house of Águila, the ruins of the Romanesque church of San Juan and of the convent of San Francisco. On the hill that overlooks Ayllón a circular tower of the old Muralla (rampart) still stands affording a breathtaking view of the town and the surrounding lands. On the outskirts of the town, also atop a hill is perched the Romanesque church of Santa María de Riaza. Like many other churches in Segovia, it has a porticoed gallery and its only nave is covered with Mudéjar coffering, which is probably 15th century. It has a font that is a superb example of 10th century Visigothic.
Restaurant: Pemar at plaza Mayor 4. Speciality: perdiz (partridge).
- Around Ayllón: Maderuelo. Road CL-114 for 17 km.
MADERUELO. Perched on a rocky hill in the shape of a buttress, at the foot of which flows the Riaza River. Like the Alcazar in Segovia, it has been compared to the prow of a ship, as it rises defiant over the Linares reservoir which hides deep in its waters the town of Linares del Arroyo. When the water level is low, the church steeple sometimes peers up like a ghost and the eyes of the Roman bridge can be made out. Due to its fortifications, it represented together with Cuellar, Coca, Fuentidueña and Sepúlveda, the defensive line of the south of the Duero River during the Reconquest. It still conserves a good part of its ramparts as well as a castle at its eastern end. It has somewhat of an uneven layout, which is adapted to the terrain. The interior is reached by the so-called “Arco de la villa“ which today still conserves a good part of the 15th century armour plating and locks. Passing under the arch leads to the small Plaza de San Miguel surrounded by buildings that have a medieval flavour to them. A walk through the side streets leads to the Plaza de Santa María, home to the parish of the same name that looks out onto the cliff. Its porticoed inner courtyard, a former charnel house is currently a spectacular vantage point. The most important monument in Maderuelo is the Templar Hermitage of Vera Cruz built on a Visigothic church. It housed one of the most outstanding ensembles of paintings of Castilian Romanesque which had to be moved to the Prado Museum when the Linares reservoir was built. Landscape in which wild nature such as the Riaza River Gorge blends with the action of man in the form of the Linares reservoir can also be enjoyed in Maderuelo. The Riaza River flows 12 km along canyons and ravines, home to a reserve of over three hundred species of animals, most important among which are the Griffon vulture, golden eagle and the booted eagle, all protected species. Its flora abounds in savins, junipers and fragrant thickets. Man has also left his mark as evidenced by the remains of cave paintings in the gorges, the Hermitage of el Casuar, at the bottom of the narrow pass and the Linares Reservoir that stretches from Maderuelo to the gorge of the Riaza River.
Accommodation: Casa Rural Maderolum at calle Santa María 10 / Restaurant: Alfoz de Maderuelo at calle Escuelas 5 / Shopping: Harness crafts
* Ayllón to San Esteban de Gormaz. Road N-110 for 27 km towards Soria until San Esteban de Gormaz.
SAN ESTEBAN DE GORMAZ. An impressive Medieval bridge, which has been endlessly restored throughout history, greets the Duero as it flows into the village. The bridge was a natural frontier that separated Moors from Christians and there was no other choice but to cross it when heading north or south. Such was its importance that it was known as the 'Puerta de Castilla' (the Bridge of Castile). No less important was the Castillo de San Esteban de Gormaz. This was one of the most important strongholds during the Middle Ages and served as a defence for the river Duero. From the castle, a magnificent view of the area kept fertile by the river can be taken in. The castle and the striking Romanesque Iglesia de San Miguel and the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de Rivero are a good example of this village's cultural and artistic heritage.
Accommodation: Posada Real Convento San Esteban at calle Convento / Restaurant: behind a not terribly attractive look El Bomba at avenida Valladolid 131 is a decent restaurant.
- Around San Esteban de Gormaz: winery in Atauta. Road SO-P-4003 for 5 kilometers until Atauta. Winery: 'Dominio de Atauta' from Ribera de Duero (Protected Designation of Origin).
* San Esteban de Gormaz to El Burgo de Osma. Road N-110 for 3km and take the N-122/A-11 towards Soria for 5 km. Exit 218 to El Burgo de Osma and road SO-P-4027 crossing Ciudad de Osma until El Burgo de Osma.
EL BURGO DE OSMA, an historic-artistic monumental city, has one of the richest legacies of the province. Main street, with arcades, shows the first meeting between art and architecture. The square is full of bars and terraces. On the left, we can see the town hall and on the right the Barroque San Agustín Hospital which today is the Tourism Office and cultural centre. And if you continue walking through those castilian arcades and noble buildings you will come to a beautiful and irregular square, surrounded by porched houses, a fountain and walls. The cathedral presides over the square with its delicious mixture of Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque and Neoclasic. Get into the late-Gothic cloister, where there are still few Romanesque remains. Go up to the tomb of the saint who founded the cathedral. In the museum you will enjoy the choir books, codexes, incunabulum, gold and silver works and sacred objects from around the region. There is also the Renaissance staircase, the Romanesque and Gothic carvings, the capricious light through the stained-glass window. Leave the place and go to San Miguel's Gate, where you will find the convent of Carmen and a park that houses more than forty vegetable species. Further on, where the Ucero and Abion rivers meet, you will see the Tenerias Jewish quarter. Walk through all those streets, with their taverns and restaurants -in winter you may take part in the ritual of hog butchering. There are still monuments to be visited, such as the Neoclassical Seminar, the Plateresque façade of the University of Santa Catalina, the ancient Hospice with 365 windows.
Accommodation: Hotel II Virrey**** at calle Mayor 2 - Hotel Posada del Canónigo*** at calle San Pedro de Osma 19 / Restaurant: El Asador del Burgo at calle Mayor 71 / Festival: Bull fights on Aug 14 to 19.
- Around El Burgo de Osma: Gormaz and Berlanga de Duero. Road SO-160 for 15km until Gormaz and then roads SO-P-4140, CL-116 and SO-152 until Berlanga de Duero (18 km).
GORMAZ. The ruined Castle of Gormaz is strategically situated on a high promontory overlooking the small Castilian village and the Duero River with its expansive flatlands. It was constructed in 956 to further fortify Moorish territory and as a base for military offenses into northern territories. The oldest and largest citadel in Western Europe, it measures 300 meters in length and up to 60 meters in width. Its most prominent detail is its original entrance that features a double horseshoe arch. After being repeatedly sacked by both Arab and Christian armies throughout its early history, it now remains unused and in the property of the local municipality.
BERLANGA DE DUERO. In this extraordinarily beautiful village the river Duero took on a strategically important role throughout history. In the Middle Ages it separated the Moors from the Christians and at a later date the Castilians from the Aragonese. The historic Puerta de Aguilera, is the village's reminder of the walls that once enclosed Berlanga de Duero. The palatial castle also found in the village hearkens back to the noble Duques de Frías. The Gothic juridictional column, the 16th century hospital with a Baroque chapel and the Colegiata de Santa María del Mercado, along with the calle Real where noble coats-of-arms can still be found decorating the street, all call to mind the village's past nobility. The castle was built on a long gradual slope cut by a deep ravine. Along with the castles of Gormaz, Osma, and San Esteban, it formed one of the "gateways" to Castile during the medieval period, securing communications along the river Duero. The present structure is a combination of separate buildings. The first is based on an old Arab fortress, reinforced after the Christian conquest. The square principal tower belongs to this first campaign, although it has later additions. In the sixteenth century, a square palace-fortress was built around this earlier construction, with bulging round towers on the corners containing embrasures for artillery. The area probably remained virtually uninhabited until it was repopulated in the twelfth century, perhaps to prevent an invasion from Aragon. The sons of the French king, Francis I, were held hostage here. The present state of the castle is not very good, although the walls of both enclosures are preserved in a rather mutilated state, as are parts of the wall that enclosed the city. Accommodation: Hotel Fray Tomás** / Great restaurant: Casa de Vacas at calle Real 16. Specialities: Caza (game) and setas (wild mushrooms) / Shopping: forge crafts ans pottery.
PARQUE NATURAL DEL CAÑÓN DEL RIO LOBOS (Wolves River Canyon Nature Park). From Burgo de Osma road SO-920 for 16km until Ucero. Past Ucero, you will see the Nature Awareness Centre of the National Park (permit requests) and near the centre there is a road which runs into the protected area as far as the Hermitage of San Bartolomé. From there, you must go on foot. The road between Santa María de los Hoyos and San Leonardo de Yagüe crosses the canyon over the bridge of the Seven Eyes (siete ojos), from where a path leads into the ravine. El Parque Natural del Cañón del Río Lobos is a singular space, structured around a deep canyon of crag escarpments. It contains, in addition to extensive juniper and Austrian pine woods, a great variety of animal species, most notably, over a 100 pairs of Griffon vultures. There are also golden eagles, Egyptian vultures, falcons and buzzards. The mammals include roe deers, wild boars, squirrels, otters, badgers and wild cats. El Cañón del Río Lobos, declared Natural Park, was one of the first protected zones in Castilla y León. This protection includes the canyon's 20 kilometres and its surrounding area. Its spectacular relief is considered one of the most beautiful spots in Spain. Accommodation & restaurant: Posada Real Los Templarios*** at calle La Iglesia, Ucero.
* El Burgo de Osma to Calatañazor. Road A-11/N-122 towards Soria for 28 km until Calatañazor.
CALATAÑAZOR. Battle of Calatañazor was a decisive battle that took place in Spain in July 1002 between the invading Muslim forces under Almanzor and the forces of the Christian armies of Castile and León. The Muslim armies were crushed by the superior forces of the Christians in a battle which would lead to Almanzor's death from his battle wounds. The Battle of Calatañazor marked beginning the decline and eventual downfall of the Caliphate of Córdoba. Calatañazor will greet you with houses of stone, adobe and wood. Its balconies open onto the arcades, while time stops on the cobblestones. The village, declared an historic-artistic monument, has a road where Roman remains of the orignal may still be seen, but the magic that wafts through the conical chimneys has a Medieval taste. Go to the Romanesque church with Gothic nuances, then to the square and to the rollo, a kind of round column, and end up in the remains of the castle. Visit the bars, inns, restaurants and lodges. Just one comment on cinema: Orson Welles filmed 'Chimes at Midnight' in this scenary.
Accommodation: Hotel Casa del Cura de Calatañazor*** at calle Real 25 / Restaurant: El Palomar. Specialties: fried bread crumbs and lamb roast in an oven from the 18th century.
- Around Calatañazor: el Sabinar y la Fuentona. Road SO-P-5026 for 6 km until Muriel de la Fuente.
EL SABINAR. You will find a bit farther a forest of sabine trees over 20 metres high and two metres wide; they are next to the road leading to Muriel de la Fuente. This centenarian forest, designated a Natural Area, grows on the plain and watches over an itinerary, whose next turn off leads to Avioncillo. This hamlet currently has a didactic centre of resources, laboratories, kitchens and a traditional oven, an ethnographic museum, a chicken coop, a vegetable garden, a forge, etc. Courses and pedagogical activities have brought this village-school rebuilt by a group of teachers in the 80's back to life. The reconstruction has made it possible to recover the architecture of the installations that were once semidemolished.
LA FUENTONA. In the natural place of Spring water in Muriel de La Fuente springs up an aquifer which constitutes the Abion River´s Source. A lot of people have tried to reach the botton of the cave. Professional skindiver only got to reach -100m in 2001. Beautiful place and transparent water. Restaurant: Piscifactoría: Speciality: trucha (trout).
* Calatañazor to Soria. Road N-122 for 32 km until Soria.
SORIA is the capital of the least populous of all of Spain's provinces- in fact it is one of the lowest populated provinces in the European Union. Amazingly the province of Soria includes perhaps the biggest concentration of medieval castle remains in Europe, from the biggest castle of the continent to the small Arabic watching towers.
The Church of San Juan de Rabanera: Beginning with this National Monument as an overture, Romanesque Soria will not disappoint you. Take the time to gaze upon the apse and the beautiful façade of this church. The Church of Santo Domingo: After passing by a gate called Puertas de Pro and row of buildings attached to part of the remains of the city wall, we come upon this fabulous church. Gaze at the beautifull Roussillon that reigns on the façade. So this is your second encounter with a National Monument, paradigm of the style of the whole region. You might stop here: you are just before one of the most exceptional Romanesque monuments on the peninsula. You may hear the sacred music of the Convents of the Clarisas, which is beside the church. By the way: the nuns sell home-made pastries that are almost celestial! Palace of the Condes de Gómara: It is today's Provincial Court and masterpiece of civil architecture in Soria. This National Monument, a Renaissance masterpiece, stands out in the old part of the city. Arches of San Juan de Duero: It is not only one of the most original Romanesque National Monuments in Spain but also one of the most visited monuments in Castilla y León. A church of the twelveth-century and a wonderful cloister with mixed influences are the only remains of the former monastery of San Juan de Acre. The arches, all of them different, show a mixture of Romanesque, Mudejar and Arabic influences, setting off even more its beauty. The monument can be divided in four arcades, depending on the style. The Hermitage of San Saturio: This hermitage, dedicated to the patron saint of Soria, reflects over the Duero one of the most wonderful images of this capital with poets. Erected over a rock, in the eighteenth century, this temple, of octagonal design, tells the living story of a dark hermit that the legend turns into a noble Visigoth's son who decided to renounce the world to live in a cave beside the river. Museo numantino: After having visited the Site, which is 7 kilometres far from Soria, you may also visit this museum. It shows in great detail the stages the province has gone through: from the Palaeolithic Era findings to modern times, with special emphais on the Celtic-Roman towns of Uxama, Tiermes and Numancia
Accommodation: Parador de Soria**** at Parque del Castillo. Modern building but splendid panorama - Hostería Solar de Tejada** at calle Claustrilla / Restaurant: Iruña at plaza San Clemente 2. Specialities: arroz caldoso (soupy rice), pichón (pigeon) / Tapas: Zeus at Calle Marqués de Vadillo 5. Speciality: broken eggs with cured ham / Shopping: sweet butter at Mantequerías York or salted butter Cañada Real at calle Bajada de la Rumba 15 / Festival: Bull fights on the last Friday and last Saturday of June.
- Around Soria: Numancia remains at Garray. Road N-111 towards Logroño for 8 km / Vinuesa and the Laguna Negra. Road N-234 towards Burgos for 15 km until Cidones and then road SO-820 for 15 km until Vinuesa.
NUMANCIA lie on Castro hill also known as Muela hill. They were not discovered until the nineteenth century, when after the first excavations it was noted that three successive towns had indeed once existed on the land: a prehistoric settlement, a Celtic-Iberian town and a Celtic-Iberian-Roman town. Numancia fell to the Romans in the year 133 BC and the houses were destroyed by fire and war. When the city was reconstructed in the era of Augustus, the Roman's retained the original city layout and the streets were paved. Subsequently, the houses were made from stone and covered with tiles. Underground waterways and reservoirs were constructed and sanitary conditions improved dramatically.
VINUESA. Sights: Gothic church Nuestra Señora del Pino, Gothic hermitage La Soledad, Roman bridge, palace of Marqueses de la Vilueña. This village is surrounded by several rivers. To the north of the province lies the 'Picos Urbion' mountain range, often snow capped in winter. This mountain range cradles the awe inspiring glacial lake Laguna Negra (Black Lake), 18km north of Vinuesa, and nearby the mountains give birth to the mighty Rio Duero (River Duero) which eventually ends its course on the coast of Portugal. Accommodation: La Corte de los Pinares** / Restaurant: Alvargonzález at Carretera 20. Speciality: wild mushrooms / Festival: La Pinochada, on August 16th, reminisces a mythical battle.
* Soria to Ágreda. Road N-122 towards Zaragoza for 51 km until Ágreda.
ÁGREDA. During the middle age Ágreda became more significant as a strategic border location between the kingdoms of Castile and Aragon, as well as an important handcraft reference where Christians, Jews and Arab-descendants lived in peace. Ágreda is therefore known as the ville of the three cultures. The unification of the kingdoms of Castile and Aragon in 1492 was the begin of a decadence until middle of the 17th century. Sights: Palacio de los Castejones, Church of San Miguel, the Synagogue.
Accommodation & restaurant: Hostal Doña Juana** at avenida de Soria / Shopping: cold cuts (chorizo, lomo and morcilla) made in Ágreda.
* Ágreda to Tarazona. Road N-122 towards Zaragoza for 19 km until Tarazona.
TARAZONA has been called Mudéjar City; it's unique in that the streets are laid out in tiers above the Queiles River quays. Because it was built at the foot of the Moncayo Mountain, there was little flat land to build upon anyway. Today you can stroll the medieval streets fronted with tall façades in the barrios of the town. Tarazona's Gothic cathedral is its primary attraction. The Mudejar style is very clearly present in the cathedral's belfry and lantern tower. Its dome is quite similar to that of the Zaragoza cathedral. You can also visit the Ayuntamiento, or Town Hall, with its reliefs of Ferdinand and Isabella as they conquered Granada together. This monument is on the Plaza de España on a hill overlooking the river, and if you pause here for a few moments, you can experience its marvelous view. The Ruta Turistica from here will take you to Santa Magdalena church, which has yet another Mujedar tower; this tower is the primary landmark of the skyline, and can be seen for miles. The mirador of the church has a panoramic view. At the top of the hill is La Concepcion, another tower-blessed church. Tarazona also, until the expulsion of the Jews in the 15th century, had a vibrant Jewish population in the old part of town. Today, little remains that is recognizable. The alleys are fronted with Moorish and Spanish buildings, and some, called 'hanging houses', are built on top of natural rock formations, beneath which are caves once used by Tarazona's Jewish population. In the center of the old section of town is a large ruined building with an ornate medieval door that researchers think once was a Talmud Torah in the basement. Another particularly interesting feature of Tarazona is the octagonal bullring, with its walls formed by houses that are still lived in today.
Museum: Moshe de Portella Jewish Multimedia Center.
Festivals: First Sunday on July, 'Romería del Quililay', pilgrimage and picnic up the mountain. August 27, The 'Cipotegato'. The fiesta begins at midday, when the cipotegato, dressed in jester-like red, green and yellow stripy pyjamas, runs out of the town council and is showered with tomatoes incarnating the people mocking the authorities.
Accomodation: Condes de Visconti*** at calle Visconti 15. Renaissance patio. Restaurant: Mesón O'Cubillar at plaza Nuestra Señora. Tapas: Bar Visconti at Calle Visconti. Speciality: cojonudo (slice of Spanish chorizo with a fried squail egg over a slice of bread).
- Around Tarazona: Moncayo National Park, castle of Trasmoz and the monastery of Veruela.
The Moncayo is the highest in the Iberian mountain range and has diverse landscapes: from glacier remains on the hilltop to deep forests of beech. The park forms a part of the Mountain of Moncayo and acts as a frontier between the communities of Aragon and Castilla-Leon. Is a transition zone between the climate of the sunken area of the Ebro and the Sorian meseta. The fauna in this Park is abundant: rabbit, partridge, fox, wild boar, golden eagle, etc. Info: Centro de Interpretación Agramonte at Santa Cruz de Moncayo. The castle of Trasmoz is a clear example of a castle with a primitive enclosure, constituted by the keep and an oval wall surrounding it, extended in its turn with a second wall. It seems that the castle was a 'temple' of European witchcraft. Numerous myths, fables, heroic deeds and rituals are linked to the castle of Trasmoz. Magic, goblins, witches’ Sabbaths and spells. It has an annual event, on July, to choose the witch of the year. Museum: Museo de Brujería y Supersticiones del Moncayo. The Veruela Monastery, one of Spain's greatest religious houses, is surrounded by crenelleted walls framed by round towers, which give it the air of a fortress. The original Cistercian architecture is hidden by other styles.The façade has a splayed Romanesque portal with five ornamental arches.
How to get there: Take the CP-10 road to Santa Cruz de Moncayo for 4 kilometers and then the CV-610 for 8 kilometers to Trasmoz. From Trasmoz take the CV-610 to Vera de Moncayo for 3 kilometers and then the Z-373 for 2 kilometers to Monasterio de Veruela.
* Tarazona to Borja. Road N-122 towards Zaragoza for 22 km until Borja.
BORJA forms part of the Mudéjar Route in Aragón. The town is built around the old castle. The Collegiate church of Santa María has a mixture of styles dating from different periods. Next to the collegiate church is the Museum of Religious Art. In the museum you can see the religious objects that were kept in the sacristy including the fifteen Gothic panels dating from the 15th century which formed part of the main altarpiece. Outstanding constructions in the town centre include the 16th century Town Hall, the Casa de Aguilar, which was built around 1570, the Casa de las Conchas, the Angulo Palace and the arched market square. The castle remains have reminders of Roman times and the Muslim and Christian fortress.
Restaurant: La Bóveda del Mercado at plaza del Mercado / Tapas: El Volante at Plaza de España. Speciality: battered prawns / Wine shopping: 'Borsao 3 Picos' at Bodegas Borsao.
- Around Borja: La Estanca lagoon, a reserve for migratory birds (4 km far). SANTUARIO DE LA VIRGEN DE MISERICORDIA: Road CV-606 for 5 km. Situated at the foot of the mount 'Muela Alta', in the last foothills of the Sierra del Moncayo was constructed in the late 16th century in a very peaceful and beautiful area. The views over the Huecha valley and the Moncayo are amazing.
* Borja to Magallón. Road N-122 for 6 km until Magallón.
MAGALLÓN. Late Gothic church of San Lorenzo and Mudéjar church of Santa María de Huerta. Wineries from Campo de Borja (Protected Designation of Origin).
* Magallón to Zaragoza. Road N-122 for 7 km and then toll motorway AP-68 for 51 km until Plaza de Europa or Coso to reach downtown Zaragoza.