ALBARRACÍN, 37km west of Teruel, is one of the more accessible targets in rural southern Aragón – and also one of the most picturesque towns in the province, poised above the Río Guadalaviar and retaining, virtually intact, its medieval streets and tall, balconied houses. There’s a historical curiosity here, too, in that from 1165 to 1333, the town formed the centre of a small independent state, the kingdom of the Azagras.

Despite its growing appeal as a tourist destination, Albarracín’s dark, enclosed lanes and ancient buildings adorned with splendid coats of arms still make for an intriguing wander – reminders of past eras. Approaching from Teruel, you may imagine that you’re about to come upon a large town, for the medieval walls swoop back over the hillside – protecting, with the loop of the river, a far greater area than the extent of the town, past or present.

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