It sounds like the name of a building, but it’s a park. The name of the Monasterio de Piedra (Stone Monastery), in Zaragoza, can be confusing, especially because behind the misleading moniker is a monument that is actually a work of nature. The Monasterio de Piedra Natural Park is greatly unknown. Yet it is a spectacular, leafy expanse of green that offers us an interesting excursion from Madrid. For those who enjoy putting on their hiking boots and walking along roads far from “the madding crowd”, the park is an ideal escape. Between trails, waterfalls, streams, lakes and caves, the park is truly a marvel of nature.
This wondrous green space of Zaragoza is located in the municipality of Nuévalos, in the region of Calatayud. About two hours by car from Madrid, it is the perfect weekend getaway with friends. Such a picturesque natural landscape is an invitation to do many things, all active: just start walking and follow the trails that run through the park and its places of interest.
One of the most striking photo ops you’ll encounter on your trek is the Cola del Caballo (Horse’s Tail) waterfall, which is an impressive more than 50 meters (over 164 feet) high. El Lago del Espejo (Mirror Lake) is another must-see. But really, no matter where you look the views are spectacular, so you’ll end up taking a thousand photos. And to top it off, it turns out that the price of admission includes a guided tour of the nearby monastery, so what more can you ask for? Although the outing is not free, a good tip to save money is to bring your own food, since the park has designated areas where you can enjoy a picnic with friends.
In conclusion, the Monasterio de Piedra Natural Park is one of the wonders of Aragón and, being an Erasmus student in Spain, it’s one you should cross off the list of places to visit. Iberia Joven offers discounts and special fares on flights to Madrid for people under 30. So what are you waiting for?
Photo | Txemi López