A Former Cistercian Monastery in Nuevalos
1. Monasterio De Piedra
2. Long hallways inside hotel
3. Allan in preserve with cascades
4. Dee in preserve beside waterfall
On Friday, March 12, 1999. we left Barcelona and headed to Nuevalos to reach the famed nature preserve and the hotel where we would stay that night. This was not just any hotel; it was a former Cistercian monaster. Thus, the hotel is massive; it is called Monasterio de Piedra. We loved all the architectural styles of Mudejar, Romanesque, Renaissance, Gothic, and Baroque.
Our room was quite large with a balcony that overlooked gardens. It was clean, rather plain, and, oh so comfortable. Except, because of its size [even the halls are enormous], it was rather cool.
It is famous for its wonderful restaurant where we ate that evening.
It has 61 rooms, private parking, a swimming pool, gardens, and terraces. All rooms have private baths.
It also had a bar which we visited before our dinner. Also before dinner, we took an hour guided tour of the monastery and winery, which was educational, interesting, and quite informative. What is so wonderful about Monasterio de Piedra is its location right in the nature preserve. That afternoon, we took a two hour walk in the park. It's an island of green with a thick river-side woods, caves, waterfalls, ponds, cascades, grottos, and mountains in the distance!
A small warning: you have to be in pretty good shape because of the steep climbs. I lost my sweater and backtracked..one of the climbs was 180 steps up and then back down.
I highly recommend Monasterio de Piedra, its restaurant, and the nature preserve.
In the sunny mornings you can...
In the sunny mornings you can go to the 'Parque Primo de Rivera' and take a relaxing walk between trees, water and flowers. Stop in a terrace and drink something.
If you have more spare time, plain a one day trip to visit El Monasterio de Piedra (100 km.away from the city) and you will find there more than 50 water falls in a real Paradise of trees, mountains and water surronded by desertic landscape.
If you prefer culture, remember that you have in Zaragoza downtown several museums and Roman ruins( including the river port, the theatre and the walls).You can see Goya paintings in La Cartuja and Muel and a complete collection of 'mudejar' towers in the city.
Aragon is located in the north of the country,in the old days all this region it was the Kingdom of Aragon.Now its capital and largest city is ZARAGOZA.
I've visited Aragon twice,the first time I just visited the beautiful city of Zaragoza,that it was founded by Roman emperor Augustus and I enjoyed very much my visit to this city,specially the time I spent seeing the most important place to see here The Basilic del Pilar.On my second trip to the region I went visiting the city of Huesca andsome small towns located in the Pyrynees Mountains and visiting a small part of a National Park,unfortunatelly I didn't have good pictures of this trip.Also I liked very much the Natural Park of Monasterio de Piedra,see my Nuevalos page to see some pictures taken there.
Aragon has three provinces: ZARAGOZA,HUESCA AND TERUEL.
MAJOR ATTRACTIONS: Zaragoza,Huesca,Teruel,National Park of Ordesa y Monte Perdido,Monasterio de Piedra.
PICTURE: National Park of Ordesa y Monte Perdido.
Local Cusine At Its Finest
While staying at the Monastery, we ate in the restaurant run by the Monks of the Cistercian.
It was quite an unique experience.
There is a small bar on the second floor of the hotel for before dinner drinks. The restaurant itself has swords, guns, shields on the wall. There exists lots of massive wood and wrought iron pieces of furniture and trimming. The service is outstanding.
But, it's the food that makes this restaurant one of the best.
Known for their game meats and Lamb dishes, we decided to try them, and we were most pleased.
It was a two-hour meal filled with good food, excellent wine, and delightful atmosphere. Wetried the local specialties.
Allan, Sandy and I had the following:
Leg of Lamb
Local Wine, which was super
Wonderful hot bread
It was a night to remember, and I remember it often. Allan and I talk about the delicious cuisine and long to eat such food again.
Where I lived for many years...
I was supposed to spend one year in Zaragoza, but I one year followed another... and finally were near 18 years! Wonderful memories, life-long good friends. Now, I do return from time to time, a part of my heart is still there.
"The old city"
IMO, Zaragoza itself is a "hidden gem". Unknown for many tourists, the old city is lovely, but most visitors only do a short visit to "El Pilar" (a famous basilica, you can see some frescos from Goya and his disciple Bayeu here) and run away. However, next to El Pilar you have a less known church: the cathedral know as "La Seo", one of the most beautiful Gothic buildings in Spain, recently restored. La Seo was build using part of the old Mosque after the Re-conquest, now a beautiful wall can be admired from the street. Zaragoza has as well one of the best preserved Muslim palaces in Spain (Palacio de la Aljaferia, now the regional parliament), some nice museums (Gargallo, Serrano...) In addition, Zaragoza has a vibrant nightlife, and great food: you can try some of the best tapas in Spain there!
"Surroundings and daytrips"
As per daytrips, Zaragoza is a bit in the middle of nowhere, even there are many interesting places not so far away: if you have a few days you can go to the Pyrenees (you can set Jaca as base for many interesting daytrips), or do the "Mudejar route" (Teruel - world heritage site, Albarracin...). Closer to Zaragoza you can visit the "Monasterio de Piedra" (not only a monastery, it's a beautiful natural park), visit the town of Fuendetodos (birthplace of Goya), you can go to Barbastro (Somontano area) doing a wineries tour...
Well... you may google these names, I can speak for hours!
You may have a look at this website:
I did not find the time to write tips about Zaragoza yet...
Monasterio de Piedra Restaurant
Monasterio De Piedra Hotel
Hotel Info + General Tips
I am going for a weekend in Zaragoza with my girlfriend and am looking for some tips. I would like to stay in a comfortable clean but cheap hotel, reasonably close to the city centre. I would prefer a family type 'pension' or bed and breakfast rather than a big chain hotel.
Any reccomendations ? Budget would be around 50€ for a double room per night.
I have heard about Posada de las Almas and Monasterio de Piedra - any good ?
On a general note any tips of what to do are appreciated - I guess at nights tapas and bars ? I want to experience the real Zaragoza and hope to meet some locals.
RE: Hotel Info + General Tips
I was living in Zaragoza for many years, and do have here friends and relatives, so I do not have any direct experience regarding accommodation (I never needed a hotel there). But I can say "Posada de las Almas" is a very well know place. I've been to its restaurant a couple of times, and it seems a basic place but with lots of character.
Monasterio de Piedra is about 100 Km from Zaragoza, close to town of Nuevalos. It's a very nice place and a good daytrip (old monastery surrounded with a nice landscape of the waterfalls of Piedra's river). Maybe you meant a hotel in Zaragoza with this name (don't know if there is any), but if you mean the one on the monastery itself, is too far away (very nice place for a relaxing weekend, but not for enjoying tapas bars and nightlife).
You'll find a vibrant night life, especially around the old town (casco viejo). Here you have a few bars you can try (but you'll se there is plenty of them, Zaragoza is one of the places with more bars per capita :-)
- Casa Dominó (Plaza Santa Marta)
- Los Cabezudos and taberna de Pedro Saputo (calle Antonio Agustín)
- la Bodeguilla and Casa Juanico (calle Santa Cruz)
- Vitorinos (calle Jose de la Hera)
- La Filoxera (calle Cadena, this one is more restaurant than tapas bar)
On the cultural side, I would recommend you to visit "La Seo" (the old cathedral next to El Pilar, which is the most famous church in town). La Seo was built over the old mosque and some parts can be seen after it was restored a few years ago. The old Muslim palace of La Aljaferia is quite interesting too.
RE: RE: Hotel Info + General Tips
many thanks for your info. much appreciated.
the monastery is the one 100km, i was given some wrong information. looks nice but for a different weekend !!