The Area

We live about seven kilometres outside of Matarraña’s most populated village, Valderrobres, with its approximately 2,500 inhabitants. Incidentally, Valderrobres has been declared one of Spain’s most beautiful villages, with its 7th-century intact castle and its old city’s picturesque narrow cobblestone streets. Matarraña is a local administrative region (know as a comarca) that is part of the province of Teruel, which is then part of Aragon — one of Spain’s 17 autonomous communities. Valderrobes is about a three-hour drive from either Barcelona or Valencia, and about a 4 ½-hour drive east of Madrid.

Our farmhouse is situated up a winding paved and well-laid dirt road that twists around olive and almond orchards. We like to think of ourselves as “hidden” because we really are quite far from any other property, and our farmhouse is set low and almost hidden from sight by an enormous, fantastically beautiful serpentine-like pine tree.

What To Do in the area

You can simply relax and take walks around our farm, or perhaps over to Torre del Compte (the closest village with a meagre 150 inhabitants), or you can explore the area — with its hilltop villages, the relatively unchartered Els Ports mountains, horseback riding trails, emerald-green water holes, undulating rivers and …

Visit Valderrobres

Valderrobres is surrounded by extensive pine forests that border small farms dotted around the mountains. The old town in Valderrobres is full of quaint, narrow, cobbled streets that lead you up to a well preserved Gothic Castle and the Santa Maria church. Then for a glass of wine and local tapas, head back down to the plaza and sit outside the Renaissance town hall.

The Rivers

There are different river sites where you can go for a swim, dip your toes in the water, lay on the boulders and catch some sun, or enjoy a picnic under a tree. Just outside either Beceite or Horta de San Joan, you’ll find the river spots.

El Pantano

If you’d rather picnic by a lake, there’s the Pantano de Pena, which is a manmade lake surrounded by pine forest. You can have a swim, or eat lunch at one of the picnic tables. For more information in Spanish, click here

El Parrizal

Outside Beceite, you can take a beautiful 3-hour round-trip hike along the Parrizal, which leads you through valleys and along a river, all through the Puertos de Beceite. In some areas, you’ll have to teeter over a wooden plank across the river, and in other places you’ll find yourself looking up at 60-meter towering rock walls. It’s a worthwhile visit, and there are picnic tables where you can enjo9y a snack before or after your hike. For information in Spanish, click here. 

Villages

Matarraña is full of quaint, hilltop villages where you can wander around the centuries old cobblestone streets and rest your feet at an outdoor cafe and taste the delicious local tapas — boquerones (vinegar-soaked anchovies topped with olive oil and parsely); local sheep cheese; the infamous Teruel jamon (ham or pancetta); pan Catalan (toasted bread rubbed with tomatoes, garlic and olive oil; local black and green olives.

Matarraña Aventura

A small family business, the folks at Matarraña Aventura offer sports adventures —  a variety of fun athletic ways to experience nature in the area, including biking along the magnificent Via Verde (link), mountain biking, 4×4 routes, hiking, archery and paintball.  For more information in Spanish, click here

Motorland Aragon

Motorland is a 5,344 kilometer motorsport race track near Alcañiz, which is about 40 kilometres from our farmhouse. The track includes a technology park, a sports area and a leisure and culture area. For more information in Spanish, click here

Horseback Riding

If you’d like to go for a trail ride, head over to our friend’s lovely stable, and she’ll take you out on her beautiful horses for an hour’s ride or more. You’ll ride through olive and almond orchards and experience incredible views of the Els Ports mountain range. For more information, click here

La Via Verde

La Via Verde, or the Greenway, is an old railway line that’s been converted into walking and biking paths. Throughout Spain, there are over 2,400 kilometres of these refurbished and updated paths. The Via Verde is mostly flat, winding around and through forest, olive and almond orchards, and at some points, takes you through long tunnels blasted out of mountains (we can provide you with headlamps, as the tunnels can be very dark), as well as over plunging valleys. The views are at times spectacular, stunning, pastoral and simply idyllic. Along the way, there are picnic spots, and the paths are well marked. From our farmhouse, you can cycle to the Via Verde, although it’s a bit of a rough ride, albeit downhill most of the way. We can, however, drive you and your bicycles all the way to the Via Verde, where you can choose which way to cycle, in the direction towards Catalonia or towards the Pyrenees. We can point you in the direction for renting bikes, and if you’d like more information on the Via Verde, click here

Walking Tours

Walking is a fantastic way to visit the Els Ports National Park, an enormous rugged sandstone mountain range, which stretches over 60,000 hectares between Aragon, Catalonia, and Valencia. We can set up a day for you to visit the Ports with a pair of fantastic knowledgeable guides, who will drive you to the Ports, then you’ll all set out on foot into the mountains, where you’ll walk among abrupt cliff faces, forests, valleys, and hopefully catch a glimpse of the indigenous ibex (mountain goats), wild boar, badgers, foxes, wild cats, Griffon vultures, eagles and various bird species. The hikes are custom-made for you, depending on your desires, and you’ll enjoy a delicious well-deserved lunch in the middle of pure nature. You can more read about the Els Ports National Park here

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