To discover one waterfall in a national park is a treat. When you see two or three you feel spoilt. But how about seeing dozens of waterfalls in one place! That’s the experience at Piedra Monastery Gardens in Nuevalos, Spain. I’ve never seen so many waterfalls. Gushing bodies of water greeted us at every turn as we wandered through the national park – a unique geological space filled with caves, ancient trees and streams.
It’s a wonder this lush oasis exists considering its location in one of the most arid areas of Aragon in north-eastern Spain. The Piedra River is responsible for the remarkable waterfalls which adorn the park. Many have been created by the river dissolving the park’s limestone mountains, paving unique features. Its caves also show signs of this natural phenomenon.
Located off the main motorway between Barcelona and Madrid, Piedra Monastery Gardens is a popular weekend day trip for city dwellers. Get there early to beat the crowds or, do as we did, and stay at the Monastery which is now a spa hotel complete with a gastronomic restaurant.
The monastery itself dates back to the 12th century when Alfonso II of Aragon gave the Cisteron monks a Moorish castle to establish the Christian faith. You can walk through the Medieval monastery and its ruins. But it’s the adjoining park which provides the real ‘wow’ factor. The visit was one of my highlights of a bloggers’ trip to family-friendly Aragon with BritMums and the Spanish Tourism Board.
We reached the first waterfall and smiled in wonder, busily snapping numerous photographs and selfies. Our guide, Carlos, grinned as he summoned us along.
“You’ll see plenty of waterfalls here,” he laughed.
He wasn’t wrong. Here’s some of my favourite images from the trip.
The tallest waterfall is Capa de Capello (Horse’s Tail) at over 50m high.
Cascading down the mountain into the river below, the noise of the water is intense (check out my video to hear for yourself). The view from the top over the Iberian System mountain range is breathtaking.
You can go down steps through the mountain and peek at the waterfall through holes in the limestone.
At the bottom of the steps you come into dark cave where you see the waterfall from a different perspective.
Each waterfall in the national park is unique and beautiful in its own right.
There’s even double waterfalls.
Experiencing the park’s natural beauty and geology is an enriching experience and one I shall enjoy sharing with the rest of my family one day. No matter your age you won’t fail to be wowed by this lush escape.
During peak season, the park holds bird of prey exhibitions. We saw falcon, eagle and vultures spread their wings and swoop past our heads.
I left the park feeling relaxed, happy and rather honoured to have walked amid this natural phenomenon. Its tremendous waterfalls, easy walking trails and lush, green space makes this a perfect getaway for families.
Watch my video to get the full experience
How to get there
Piedra Monastery Gardens is 100km from Zaragoza and 200km from Madrid. The nearest town is Nuévalos. Entrance to the park is €15.50 for an adult, concussion €11.
Where to stay and eat
We stayed at the Piedra Monastery Spa Hotel. Staying in the old monastery was a rather special experience. The rooms are fairly simple but as well as the spa there’s an outdoor swimming pool. The gastronomic restaurant is worth visiting whether you are staying or just visiting on a day trip. Most room rates give you complimentary access to the park.
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