2016, 5th European Tour, Europe 2016, Spain, Van Travels

2.4 SPAIN – Aguilas to the Pyrenees (Somport)

snow covered peaks near Canfranc

 

MON 17 OCT 2016

We left Aguilas at 9:30 am, heading for the Somport tunnel to cross the Pyrenees, driving back over the mountains to Lorca, joining the A7 to Elche, where we decided to use the ‘scenic route’ to Teruel, via the A31 to Almansa, then N330 via Requena and Utiel, passing some attractive hill towns on the first section, but no stopping places for photos. This route is about an hour longer then continuing on the A7 to Sagunt (N of Valencia) and the A23 to Teruel.

At Teruel we joined the A23 to Zaragoza, which we passed to the E on the ring road, before continuing on the A23 past the flat dry plains to the N of the city, later passing Huesca, which has great views of the Pyrenees to the north, arriving at the Aire in Jaca by 7:00 pm before dark.

IMG_6950IMG_6953We walked up a long flight of stone steps to the historic centre for a look round. The city was busy, with lots of people walking round the shops and drinking outside the bars and restaurants. IMG_6956Old arcades filled with shops, bars and restaurants IMG_6958across a small square from an 11th C cathedral (one of the oldest in Spain), IMG_6960IMG_6961we stopped at an adjacent small restaurant for drinks and tapas, followed by steaks. IMG_6966

There are two winter resorts (Valle de Astun and Candanchu) within a 30 km drive of the city. We were very impressed with the old centre of Jaca, this is a place to return to and spend more time. For example, there is a large 16th C fortification adjacent (to the W) of the historic centre, which we did not see. The Aire was very quiet overnight.

TUE 18 OCT 2016

After leaving the Aire, we drove past an impressive modern swimming pool. IMG_6973After a stop at an Eroski supermarket to buy some Spanish wine to take home, we drove to Canfranc, to have a look at the Aire,

Aire at Canfranc

Aire at Canfranc

mountain peaks, viewed from the Aire

mountain peaks, viewed from the Aire

then through the (free) Somport tunnel to France, heading for the Bearn and French Basque area on the way to the Atlantic coast of France.