advertisement

Nuévalos's major attraction is the Monasterio de Piedra (tel. 97-684-90-11; www.monasteriopiedra.com), dubbed "the garden district" of Aragón. Though piedra means "rock" in Spanish, the district is a virtual Garden of Eden -- it even has a 60m (197-ft.) waterfall. It was here in 1194 that Cistercian monks built a charterhouse on the banks of the Piedra River. The monks departed in 1835, but their former quarters are now a hotel.

Two pathways, marked in blue or red, meander through the grounds, and views are offered from any number of levels. Tunnels and stairways dating from the 19th century are the work of Juan Federico Mutadas, who created the park. Slippery steps lead down to an iris grotto, just one of many quiet, secluded retreats. It is said the original monks inhabited the site because they wanted a "foretaste of paradise." To be honest, they were escaping the court intrigues at the powerful Monestir de Poblet in Tarragona province. The monastery at Piedra is only 3km (2 miles) from the hillside village of Nuévalos. You can wander through the grounds daily April to October 10am to 1:15pm and 3 to 7pm. During the rest of the year daily hours are 10am to 1pm and 3 to 6pm. Admission is 13€ adults, 9€ children.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.