The “Parque Natural del Monasterio de Piedra” is a place that does not leave you indifferent.
The 7th of August 2016, Guille and I decided to spend the weekend in that natural park. We were well prepared with our cameras and comfortable shoes, and we spent a great day surrounded by nature.
How to get there?
The “Monasterio de Piedra” is located in Aragon (a region in Spain), just next to Piedra’s river. That’s why it’s called “de Piedra” (stone). It belongs to a small village called Nuévalos, 45km from Calatayud.
Address: Ctra. Monasterio de Piedra s/n, 50210 Nuévalos (Zaragoza)
This is the easiest way to reach the place.
From Calatayud you’ll need about half an hour to arrive there (A-202 road).
If you come from Madrid (A-2) you have to take the 204 exit (Alhambra de Aragón). Meanwhile, if you come from Zaragoza or Barcelona, the exit will be 231 (Calatayud).
Here you have a map with the location and the distance from other cities in Spain:
NOTE: You can leave the car in the FREE car park just in front of the entrance.
If you don’t have a car, you can also go by bus. You should go to Calatayud (the way and the prices to arrive there depends on where you are).
There is a bus from Zaragoza that goes to “Monasterio de Piedra”, via Calatayud (to change to another bus). The bus leaves Zaragoza from the Bus Station at 9:00am every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday and holiday. You can buy the ticket at the office over there. Here you have more information about the buses.
From Calatayud you can take the same bus at 10:30am. You can buy the tickets over there.
Better season to go
The best time of the year to go there is Spring, when the river has more flow, but it doesn’t matter when you go, because there are waterfalls every time of the year.
We went in summer (August) and even if it was so warm, due to the trees and water, the temperature was really good. If you go in winter, be careful and take a warm coat with you, because of the humidity, it’s so cold over there.
You may read or hear that it’s better to stay there so early in the morning to get the tickets without queue up. But I recommend you to go in the afternoon. There aren’t many people after lunch time (at 15:00 or 16:00) and you’ll get the ticket so easily. You may think that at this time it’s so hot in summer, and you’re not wrong, but because of the trees and the water (and waterfalls) in the park, the temperature is so good. I think this is the best time in the day because, at the end of the route, when you’re tired, the sun is going down and it’s not that hot. You’ll be thankful of it.
Price and Schedule
The ticket’s price is not the same if you buy it over there or if you buy it in the website.
The prices are:
Adults – 15.5€ Online: 13.95€
Children – 11€ Online: 9.9€
Older people – 11€ Online 9.9€
Apart of these prices, if you’re under 25 years old and you have a young card (in Spain it’s the Carnet Joven), you’ll get a discount. We paid 11€ each one.
The entrance to the Park, a guided visit to the Monastery and a birds of prey show (from middle March to the 31th of October) are included with the ticket.
Here you have more information about the tickets.
The schedule is from April to September from 9:00 to 19:00 and from October to March from 9:00 to 18:00.
Once you’ve parked the car in the free car park, you have to go to the big entrance (you’ll see it). In this area the hotel, the restaurant, the ticket offices, the Monastery, the gift shop and a small picnic area are located.
We bought the tickets over there and we were given maps not to get lost (actually, it’s so easy to follow the way). You can check the map here.
As you can see in the map, there is a blue line that shows you the way and some numbers where the interesting things to see are (like waterfalls, viewpoints, rivers, etc.). It’s not a difficult route but it’s a bit long (5km), that’s why I recommend you to bring some food, water and comfortable shoes.
We spent about three hours in the park, we walked a lot, we enjoyed the views and the nature and we took lots of photos. We followed the way as in the map (there’s another option a bit longer) and it was so easy because of the signs and the people over there. We started the route in the “Baño de Diana” and “Lago de los Patos” area, where a small lake, lots of trees and some dirt roads are located. It’s a nice area and you can see the big waterfall (La Caprichosa) from there.
We continued along the path and we came across with the first waterfall “La Trinidad”. It was so beautiful that we had to stop to take lots of photos.
The next waterfall is “La Caprichosa”, one of the most beautiful and big waterfalls in the park. On the left hand, just before it there are some caves that I recommend you to go and see. If you go upstairs there’s the first viewpoint and you can see a small part of the park and how the river plummets. It’s a nice area to rest and enjoy the place.
After some time walking around, going upstairs and downstairs, following a dirt path and seeing more small waterfalls and the river, we arrived to the most beautiful part of the park (in my opinion): “Gruta Iris”. There’s a huge cave from where you can see a big waterfall, it’s like if the waterfall was falling on you. To reach the cave you have to go down some narrow stairs and from all the way down you can see some parts of the waterfall. Be careful if you go in winter because we ended up a bit wet.
The way was easier once we went out of the cave. We passed by some lakes, a rest area (there are bathrooms over there) and a fish farm with huge fish and we turned around (the) “Peña del Diablo”, a big rock. Finally, we arrived to the place where the way back started (the one in red). The views and the place were so beautiful.
The way back was a little hard (actually, it was “hard” only for me) because the last few metres are all up. But don’t worry, if you have good shoes and you want, it’s possible to do it. In this part of the route, there are some small waterfalls too.
When we arrived to the end, we realized that it was so late to go to the Monastery that we couldn’t went in, the last guided visit had been at 17:00. So we went back to the car, a little tired and sweaty but so happy for the day that we had spent. It was so great!
Finally, I want to show you a short video that I made about the day that we spent in the Monasterio de Piedra. In order you to see it better and enjoy it as we did.