Discover what to do in Huesca Province in Aragon Spain. Huesca Province is one of the prettiest in Spain, but also one of the less well known. It is bordered by the Pyrenees and France and has a mix of landscapes and activities for all styles of travellers.
Hiking and mountain biking are popular outdoor activities in Huesca Province. This beautiful area of Aragon also has some of the most picturesque hilltop villages, historic castles and monasteries. Head off the beaten path and discover some of the best things to do in Spain.
If you’d like to explore more of Aragon I have two blog post on the Zaragoza area.
What To Do In Huesca Province
Hilltop Villages In Aragon
Aragon has some of the prettiest villages in Spain. Many are on hilltops, harking back to the days when a view was more about life and death than scenery. Many still retain their historic charm and either date back to the Moors or even the Romans. Any of the villages are worth a visit, but the three I’ve listed below are rated as the most beautiful villages in Spain.
Aínsa is one of the most beautiful villages in Spain. It is also an amazing base to visit a lot of the other things to do in Huesca Province. Begin with the castle at the very top of the hill, this is also where the parking is. From the castle, you can easily walk to the village main square.
The rest of Aínsa village is tiny and quite easy to see. If you’re up for some hikes there are also a number that start from Aínsa, which you can find more information on in my easy hikes near Aínsa blog.
Roda de Isábena
Roda de Isábena is another gorgeous hilltop village in Huesca in Aragon. Isábena is smaller than Aínsa and Alquezar and is semi-ruined. It’s most famous for its cathedral, San Vicente. The inside of the cathedral has a beautiful courtyard lined by pillars. The rest of the town is easy to see and there are several historic landmarks.
Alquézar is one of the best towns to visit in Aragon, as well as one of the prettiest villages in Spain. The village is larger than Aínsa and Isábena but still has the same medieval charm and history. Alquézar is famous for its massive Moorish citadel on the hill above it and the Rio Vero Canyon below it. If you enjoy history, good food, or adventure activities then make sure you visit Alquézar.
Hiking In Huesca Province
The hiking in Huesca Province is some of the best in Spain. There are many short hikes for different levels of proficiency. I’ve listed my favourites in this blog post on Easy Hikes Near Aínsa.
Huesca province has many longer hikes in the Pyrenees and hosts a part of the Camino de Santiago. The mountains, turquoise lakes and rivers, and alpine forests make it a beautiful area to explore on foot or by mountain bike.
San Victorian Monastery
The San Victorian Monastery is one of the oldest monasteries on the Iberian peninsula, and one of the best things to do in Aragon. You can drive there and use the parking lot right at the door, or hike from further away from near Fosado.
The San Victorian monastery has been semi-restored. You can now enter the main building and learn about the history of the monastery. The other half is still ruined.
From the monastery, you can do two other hikes. One heads up to a castle and another to La Espelunga, a chapel at the foothills of the mountains. The area has a lot of natural beauty; the mountains are awe-inspiring, and in spring the meadows are full of wildflowers.
The Mediano Tower is part of an old Spanish village that was submerged by a reservoir back in 1974. The village of Mediano was purposefully flooded to create the Mediano Dam.
Now the Mediano church tower can always be seen poking above the dam. In late summer the water can get so low that you can see the whole tower.
You can see the tower from the Grado Dam wall or kayak out to it with a guided kayak tour. Another great day trip is to do the Entrémon Canyon hike from Grado Dam. You can find more information on this in my Easy Hikes Near Aínsa guide.
Añisclo Canyon is full of natural beauty and is one of the most amazing places to hike in Spain. It’s also one of the best places to visit in Aragon for photos.
There are some great short walks that you can do to see the canyon. There’s also waterfalls, an abandoned watermill, an ancient curved bridge, and a chapel in a cave.
There are two ways to get to the Canyon. The first direction is from Escalona and is only one way. The road follows the canyon and is very picturesque. However, it is no longer maintained and they do warn of rockfalls.
The second way is from the Vio direction. This is a two-way road, in theory, but is very thin with many tight corners. From this direction, you also have a viewpoint that looks out over the Canyon and the incredible mountains that surround it.
Loarre Castle should be on everyone’s list of what to do in Huesca Province. It is one of the oldest castles in Spain, but the outside of it is still well preserved. It is an imposing sight that can be seen from kilometres away.
You can hire an audio guide at the castle information centre and take a self-guided tour. The views over the plains of Aragon are stunning and the castle has been renovated to allow exploration and an understanding of what it was like back in the day.
Jaca Citadel is the only surviving Spanish star fortress in Spain. It is now a museum for model military scenes. The fortress is well preserved, and you have to pay a fee to visit.
The rest of Jaca is a large town near the ski fields of Huesca province. It is also a stop on one of the Caminos de Santiago.
Mallos de Riglos
The Mallos de Riglos are large rock formations located between Loarre and Jaca in Huesca Province. The two large rock formations seem to appear out of the landscape from nowhere. They are huge and reminded me of Uluru in Australia.
There is a medieval town you can visit at the base of one, which is reached by a medieval bridge. The area is famous for outdoor activities like canyoning, mountain biking and hiking. You can visit for a day, or stay in the area and enjoy the many activities.
EXCOSA Artisan Brewery
EXCOSA is an artisan brewery located in the mountains of Huesca Province. A dutch family bought an abandoned hilltop village in 2017 and have been rebuilding it ever since.
They opened their craft beer brewery in 2020 in a renovated old stone building. You can now drink deliciously crafted beer while looking over stunning views of the Aragon Pyrenees.
There is a registered hike that takes you through their village if you want to hike and drink.
Can Franc International Train Station
The Can Franc International Train Station was meant to be the major train station between France and Spain. During the world war, it was one of the busiest in Europe with troops coming and going.
It was opened in 1928 and is a stunning building constructed on a grand scale. The main building has been abandoned since the 1970s. No international trains have arrived in years. There are some domestic services in Spain, but these use a smaller, less grand part of the station.
In recent years they have begun renovating Can Franc International Station. This means you must now book a guided tour if you want to visit the beautiful abandoned building.
Pools of San Martín
The pools of San Martín are located very close to Aínsa and are one of the places you can go swimming in the area. The pools are created from a river forming pools down a rockface. The water is a pale greenish-blue.
There is a hike you can do, which you can find more information on here in my blog post. If you are going to San Martín to swim I would recommend going in Spring. The pools become stagnant if there hasn’t been enough rain recently.
If you’re looking for a place to swim near Aínsa in summer then I’d recommend checking out swimming at the Boltaña bridge.
Muro de Bellos
Muro de Bellos is a ruined hilltop village in the Huesca Province near Aínsa. If you’re into ruins, history, hiking, or just amazing views over the countryside then this is a great place to visit.
To reach the ruined village you can either hike (but it is a steep grade most of the way), or you can drive right to the top. The last inhabitant of the village left in 2002, but most of it is ruined save for one fully renovated house.
The views over the Pyrenees and valley are stunning, and wild roses grow over the abandoned gardens in the old village.