Aragón is an extremely historic region of northeastern Spain consisting of three provinces: Zaragoza, Huesca and Teruel. A small region, it is home to just over one million inhabitants total, about half of which live in the capital, Zaragoza. For such a small place, it enjoys great biological diversity, being home to fertile fields, green valleys, snow-capped mountains and flat plains. There are some very high peaks in this region, including the highest point in the Pyrenees, Pico de Aneto.
Aragón was a Frankish County before becoming an independent kingdom in 925. Although it was always one of the smaller kingdoms in feudal Spain, it was nevertheless one of the more important ones, and when Ferdinand of Aragón married Isabel of Castile in 1469 it essentially united what would become modern-day Spain. Henry XIII’s first wife was Catherine of Aragón. Because of this byzantine past, the region is rich in history, and there are numerous castles and forts to explore, most notably the Loarre Castle in Huesca Province.
The region is home to some of Spain’s more modern industries, including electronics and an auto plant. Traditionally, it is an agricultural region with a great deal of livestock as well: ham from the region is very good. The region is also known for good seafood which it gets from neighboring regions: Aragón itself is landlocked.
Visitors will want to check out historic Zaragoza, the bustling regional capital. Tiny Jaca is also worth a visit if you’re into winter sports: the city has bid several times to host the Winter Olympics. The city of Teruel also has some interesting historical buildings.