Santa María de Media Villa

Teruel: A Hidden Gem in the north of Spain

Published: 23-11-2019

Teruel is a small town in a municipality and province all called Teruel, which lies in a region called Aragón. With millions of tourists visiting Spain every year. Some do a city break to one of Spain’s amazing cities, but most go to ‘the Costas’ to, well, lie on the beach. It’s hard to imagine there are undiscovered places by tourists with so many tourists pouring in every year. Teruel, however, is one of those places where not many tourists venture. We ended up in Teruel on our road trip through the north of Spain. The city is probably not on your itinerary when visiting Spain, but if you’re in the area, Teruel is well worth a visit!

Information about Teruel

The region Aragón is one of the most desolate regions in Spain, so no wonder it is lesser known among foreign visitors. Driving to Teruel takes about 90 minutes from the neighboring cities of Valencia and Zaragoza. Also from the Costa Blanca it’s not difficult to reach Teruel. It’s a longer drive, but the scenery on the way there is amazing! On the way over, be sure to make a stop at Guadalest, which is a nice stop. With ‘only’ 35.000 inhabitants, Teruel is many things, except a metropolis. The city used to be home to Moors, a collective name for North-African Berbers and Arabs who used to live on the Iberian peninsula and Mediterranean islands in medieval times. The Moors were Muslim which resulted in an unique architectural style: the Mudéjar style. This style is based on Islamic and Christian architecture.

Street sign in Teruel. Calle de Santh Teresa de Jesus
Gorgeous building in Mudéjar style

Things to do in Teruel

Because the city is reasonably small, the most important places of interest in Teruel can be visited within a few hours. If you want to experience Teruel in its fullest, we recommend to stay overnight. Especially in the evening the city center becomes lively with locals hitting the pubs to socialize, eat and drink. We stayed in Hotel Isabel de Segura, about a 10 minute walk from the city center. The hotel basic but clean and some small restaurants and a supermarket are nearby.

Santa María de Media Villa Cathedral

The cathedral is definitely one of the most beautiful buildings of Teruel. Decorated Mudéjar style makes it truly a unique building. Definitely not what you would expect of a ‘standard’ cathedral. Entrance is free.

Santa María de Media Villa
Closeup of Santa María de Media Villa

Torre de el Salvador

Another building inspired by the Moors is the Torre de el Salvador. This huge tower is the eye catcher of Teruel because of its height and its beauty. In high season (summer) the tower is open for public. The views are supposed to be really good. Too bad we were there off season.

Torre de el Salvador

Escalinata del Óvalo

Another Mudéjar style structure which you can’t miss visiting Teruel is the Escalinata del Óvalo. The symmetry and the patterns make it breathtakingly beautiful. I surely hope you can find a window of opportunity to take a picture without people on it because the locals also love these stairs. At the bottom of the sairs you’ll find a small park where you can relax or wait for that window of opportunity;)

Escalinata de Teruel
Escalinata de Teruel from the top

Plaza del Torico and Fuente del Torico

Surrounded by dozens of cute restaurants and bars you’ll find the Plaze del Torico (Bull Square) and the Fuente del Torico (Bull Fountain). This is the place to be after a hard days work. Check the last paragraph to find our favourite place to eat in Teruel.

Plaza del Torico

Acueducto de Teruel

Back in the day when water didn’t run through all kinds of pipes, this aqueduct connected to parts of Teruel to ensure everyone had access to water. Impressive how this structure survived the centuries.

Acueducto de Teruel. Closeup
Acueducto de Teruel
Acueducto de Teruel. Walkway through the aqueduct

Food & drinks in Teruel

Just like everywhere else in Spain, delicious food is an important part of life. Just off the Plaza del Torico you’ll find Pura Cepa Vermú, a pinchos bar with amazing food and reasonable prices. It’s pretty tiny, so you have to be lucky to find a seat. Especially at lunch the place is packed. It’s well worth the wait, if you have to. Check the map at the start of the article to find the place.

Punchos, a sangria and a beer at Pura Cepa Vermú
Pura Cepa Vermú, a lovely little restaurant in Teruel

Do you know more hidden gems in Spain? Or did you visit Teruel? Let everyone know your addition to our article! Check out all our articles about Spain

Erick - When your girlfriend (Kirsten) has the travel virus, it doesn't take long before you are infected as well. Traveling has become a big part of my life, just as Travelaar has. Web developer and translator for Travelaar.com and it's Dutch counterpart Travelaar.nl. Photo and video editing are also my tasks. My motto: Don't take life too seriously