ALBARRACÍN

Albarracín with your dog

Albarracín  captivates the traveller – not in vain does it belong to that group of towns known as the “most beautiful in Spain”. Tourists who come to this corner of Teruel are aware of the fact that there are myriad plans they can make in the area, like visiting the dog-friendly Castle of Peracense.

Albarracín is said to be one of the most beautiful towns in Spain. I was there in October 2018 and can confirm this to be true. Wandering around its streets and getting lost among its hidden corners is a luxury to behold.  

Albarracín is located at a height of 1,182 metres, and is very cold winter and very pleasant in summer. Contained within huge walls, it’s worth climbing up to the Andador Tower, and there is also a whole series of viewpoints. 

The best way of getting to Albarracín is by private car, because there’s only one bus leaving Teruel and we mutts are not allowed to travel on it. A visit to Albarracín is a good option for a weekend or, depending on how far you’re coming from, to spend the day. 

I stayed at the Hotel Mesón del Gallo, a small place just below the town which has been completely renovated, although there are other accommodation options that accept dogs (see list on this page).  

A 17th CENTURY STATELY HOME

To learn about all Albarracín’s secrets, my human companion and I joined a guided tour arranged by El AndadorThis involves a stroll around of a little over an hour that reveals all the town’s hidden corners and secrets, and also allows you to enter the stately home of the Pérez and Toyuela family – a historic house museum dating from the 17th century whose bedrooms, coal-fired kitchen, stable and wine cellar dug out of rock remain intact, and where furniture and fittings from the era can be seen. We dogs can go in as far as the hall, where we have to wait for humans to finish their visit to several rooms. 

Lunchtime can be a problem for tourists visiting Aragón with their pet, because regional regulations don’t allow dogs to enter restaurants. So if you’re heading there with your family, you’ll have to find a place with a terrace (like the ones in the main square of Albarracín). I was allowed to enter the bar of a hotel because there were no customers there at the time, although this is not the ideal arrangement. It would be good if Aragon modified these regulations to bring them in line with those of more forward-thinking regions so as not to contradict bylaws existing in Aragonese cities that do allow bars and restaurants to be dog-friendly, like Zaragoza.

Ah! By the way, you should be aware that there are a lot of cats living in the streets of Albarracín, and so, like always, dogs need to be on a leash so as not to cause any accident.

If you get the time, you’ll be able to enjoy the  footpaths starting from the town. Among them, I should mention the one leading to the Pinares de Rodeno, a protected landscape around three kilometres away. This place is home to caves with prehistoric paintings (human figures hunting and cooking, as well as animals), among which of special interest are the Prado del Navazo, Doña Clotilde and the Cocinilla del Obispo. The caves are protected by railings and there are explanatory texts about the paintings.

A CASTLE STRAIGHT OUT OF A FILM SET 30 MINUTES AWAY FROM ALBARRACÍN

The Castle of Peracense is 30 minutes away from Albarracín, perched on its promontory. It was built in the 14thcentury high up on a rocky escarpment where it blends into the reddish rock. Imagine the views you get from here! The stone that was used to build the fortress is reddish in appearance and is even more striking at sunset (you can see it on my video of Aragon, on this same page). Please note, however, that the upper terrace is not suitable for those suffering from vertigo. Of course, we well-behaved doggies are welcome and are allowed to enter regardless of size  (we have to be on a leash so as not to bother other visitors). 

You really have to go there – I strongly recommend it. What I liked the most – and I’m sure all your human companions are going to love it too – was the amazing exhibition of reproductions of life-size medieval weapons in one of the inner courtyards. There you’ll be able to learn what the battles were like and how the fortress was besieged.  The Castle of Peracense makes the perfect plan for a family with kids and pets.

WHERE TO SLEEP:

HOTEL MESÓN DEL GALLO

HOTEL ARABIA