|OFF the BEATEN TRACK|
Nowhere in Spain has been untouched by tourism, but beautiful Las Hurdes in mountainous northern Extremadura comes close. Time has not quite stood still, but it has certainly slowed right down, and many people still live in the traditional stone houses that are unique to this corner of Spain. It's an area of picturesque hamlets, waterfalls and fine walks, but you'll need a car to explore it properly.
Located in the deep south of Aragón, Teruel has maintained an atmosphere all of its own. It is best known for its Mudéjar architecture and the flavour left by the many centuries of Moorish domination. Teruel has four magnificent Mudéjar towers: the cathedral of Santa María and the Terre de San Salvador (13th century), Torre de San Martín and Iglesia de San Pedro (14th century). Note the inlaid stones and colourful tiles which are so typical of the style. The Museo Provincial de Teruel has a fascinating archaeological collection going back to the days of Homo erectus.
Zaragoza, capital of Aragón, is often said to be the most Spanish city in Spain. The city's appeal lies in the fact that it has been left relatively untouched by tourism: most travellers know it only as a train station on the way from Barcelona to Madrid. Those who take the time to get off the train are rarely disappointed. The old town is full of authentic Spanish restaurants, and Aragonese cooking is superb. Attractions include the Aljafería, the greatest Moorish edifice outside Andalucía, the Roman Forum of ancient Caesaraugusta, and the Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar.
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