Let me introduce you to a small village that was recently added to the “Most-beautiful-villages-in-Spain” list: Sos del Rey Católico.
If you’ve read the section “Hi, It’s Laura” you should know that I’m half “maña”. Well, my background dates back to this nice village in the northwest of Aragón, the last village on the border with Navarra. Sos del Rey Católico is a small medieval village in the “Cinco Villas” region which has about 600 habitants and where tourism has been growing a lot over the last few years.
Some interesting facts about Sos del Rey Católico:
- The town was named after Ferando II de Aragón and V de de Castilla (Fernando el Católico) was born the 10th of March 1452.
- Sos del Rey Católico was declared “Historic-Artistic Grouping” by Decree the 6th of June 1988.
- In 2004, the current King and Queen of Spain stopped there for their honeymoon.
- The movie “La Vaquilla” of Luis García Berlanga was filmed there.
- The advertisement of the Christmas lottery in 2007 was filmed there. You can check it here. From the minute 0:53 onwards
- In 2016 it was included in the “Most beautiful villages in Spain” list.
If you’re not getting itchy feet after all this, don’t worry, I’ll show you all the holidays and events that are being held in Sos and when the best ones are if you want to visit the village.
Hogueras de San Sebastián
Date: 20th of January
This event is not one of the most popular ones (if I’m honest I hadn’t heard about it before) but its origin is very old (over 680), so it’s amazing how the people from Sos have kept this tradition.
The 19th of January at night all habitants meet in their neighborhoods to light fires. Usually, each person brings food and drinks to share with everyone and have a good time together. If it’s during the weekend it’s very common to celebrate this event the whole weekend, sometimes they even make hot chocolate for the children. You can find this fires in some neighborhoods like “el Mercado”, “la Tejería”, “la Tahona” and “la Plaza de la Sartén”.
DO I RECOMMEND IT? This event is not too touristic and usually the people from the village are the ones who celebrate it but, of course, you’ll be more than welcome if you want to join them. I’m sure they’ll invite you to drink and eat whatever they’ll be cooking at that moment (barbecued ribs, chistorra, migas and good wine). So if you want to visit the village when it’s quiet and there aren’t many tourists, don’t hesitate to go those days.
Date: Around 10th of March
Fernando II el Católico was born in this small village, so it’s not a surprise that the people from Sos celebrate his birth. If you go to Sos around the 10th of March you’ll see a lot of people organizing all kinds of events, like performances, concerts, medieval market, gastronomic events and activities for children, all related to the Medieval age. There’s also a medieval tapas competition.
They had been celebrating the King’s birthday for years but it was in 2009 when they started celebrating it as a kind of event in the village, with activities, shows, etc. It was declared “Fiesta de interés turístico” in Aragón.
TO KNOW: During the weekend it’s possible to rent or buy a typical medieval dress in the City Hall. The people who organize the event encourage people to wear this dresses to make the event more realistic.
DO I RECOMMEND IT? This event is becoming more and more popular, so it’s possible that you’ll find lot of people during the weekend. But during the week days there are also some acts and performances and there will be less people and the village will be quieter.
Semana Santa (Easter Holiday)
Date: It’s different every year. Upcoming dates:
2017 –> From Sunday 9th to Monday 17th of April
2018 –> From Sunday 25th of March to Monday 2nd of April
Easter holiday is one of the most popular events in Sos del Rey Católico and more and more people are going there for these dates. The celebration begins on Palm Sunday with the Palm’s blessing at 12:00 in the square in front of the City Hall. On Maundy Thursday morning some people are going around the village doing el Canto de la Pasion. Finally, on Friday at 12:00 you can see the Rompida de la Hora with drums and the same day at 8 or 9 in the evening you can enjoy the procession.
DO I RECOMMEND IT? It’s one of the celebrations where you’ll find a lot of people, so if you want to relax and disconnect from the world, I don’t recommend you to come for Easter. But if you want to see the village full of people, with a good atmosphere and you want to see the procession, don’t hesitate to come this date.
Pascua de Valentuñana
Date: It depends on the Easter Holiday. It is fifty days after the Resurrection Sunday. Usually it’s celebrated at the end of May or the beginning of June.
This event is also called “small holidays” and it’s made in honor of the Virgin of Valentuñana, which is the virgin from a small monastery a few kilometres from Sos.
There are different activities during the weekend like disco mobile at night, bouncing castles for the kids during the day, dances, jotas, and you can also eat and drink with the rest of the people in the comida popular. It doesn’t matter what your age is, there are activities for everybody.
DO I RECOMMEND IT? This event is like the “big holidays” in August but smaller, so if you want to enjoy this kind of event but not with a lot of people I recommend you to visit Sos del Rey Católico for this date.
Date: First weekend of August.
For over 20 years, every August the village is going back a few centuries to the medieval ages and the people that live there celebrate the medieval festival. The streets are full of people and stalls where you can see and buy all different kind of handmade products such as soap, leather objects, jewellery, glass, etc.
There are lots of activities and shows during the weekend and you can learn how to ride a horse, how to make pottery objects, you can eat chistorra, migas and there’s also music with typical medieval instruments.
DO I RECOMMEND IT? I think this is a really good time to visit the small village, because there are lots of people that go to spend the whole summer there and the atmosphere is very good. This event is just before the big holidays so there will be less people than two weeks after that.
Fiestas Mayores (Major Festivals)
Date: The third Wednesday of August.
Each year, on the third Wednesday of August at 12:00 all the peñas* from the village are going to the square in front of the City Hall to celebrate the start of the Major Festivals.
To welcome the Major Festivals we do what we call the chupinazo: the mayor makes a speech from the City Hall’s balcony to everybody that is there. After that, he/she shoots some rockets and after the last one everybody starts singing and dancing with the charanga (a group of people playing instruments), throwing water and alcohol to everybody and that means that the Major Festivals have officially started.
During the whole day the “charanga” plays music in the streets and at noon there’s a big meal in a garden where everybody can go and enjoy paella. There’s also a karaoke and other activities during the meal in which you can participate if you want. Every night an orchestra is comes to play all different kind of Spanish and international music and at 3 a.m. there’s a Bingo.
It’s a great event and all the people from there (like me) are waiting for it the whole year. But if you don’t want to find lot of people (specially young and crazy people), I don’t recommend you to come then. You can also come the week before and after this Major Festival, because there are also some people but not that much.
* Peñas: Groups of friends from one town, city or village, that go out together and they choose a name and some colors to make a kind of special group of people. For the Major Festivals they’re wearing the same shirts and trousers with their colors, so there are groups of people with clothes in different colors.
DO I RECOMMEND IT? I think I’m not very objective if I have to recommend you this event because I’m going there every year and, for me, is the best event ever. But I don’t think it will be like that for everyone and if you’re going there for sightseeing I think it’s not a good time to do it. Better to go for another of the events that I’ve already talk about if you want to appreciate how beautiful is this village.
The Rompepiernas is a bike race which has been held for the last 5 years in Sos del Rey Católico. It’s becoming more and more popular and this year there were more than 1000 subscriptions. The event is always held in early May and there are four different routes where you can compete in (from 47km to 194km). You can register for the race in January. Here you can find more information about registration
Where to sleep:
- Albergue de Juventud
- Casa del Infanzón
- Casa del Muro
- Casa Monterde
- El Peirón
- El sueño de Virila
- Ruta del Tiempo
- Hotel Triskel
- Hotel Vinacua
- La Luna
- Las Coronas
- El Parador
Thank you for the photos to:
- Ruta del Tiempo, you can find them in their Blog
- Carmen Compais Esteban, you can check all her amazing photos in her Facebook and her Blog.