Iris Cave, Monasterio de Piedra, Zaragoza, Spain

If you’re staying in Zaragoza or are travelling between Madrid and Barcelona why not visit the beautiful natural park of Monasterio de Piedra (Stone Monastery) which is in Nuevalos, just a few kilometers off the main A-2 motorway.

The natural park consists of stunning scenery made up of lush vegetation and fascinating rock formations created by the erosive action of the Rio Piedra.

A visit to the Monasterio de Piedra consists of two parts, the natural park and the monastery. Notice that whilst the natural park is open all day, the monastery and its surrounding buildings close for lunch between 1.15pm and 3pm so this will determine in which order you decide to visit the two areas. Arriving in the morning, it’s a good idea to tour the monastery first.

Historically, the monastery was built by the Moors as a defensive fort. When it was conquered by Alfonso II of Aragon in 1194 the whole area was given to Cisterian monks who built the monastery and lived there for around 700 years. The walk around the natural park area takes around two hours winding around fantastic waterfalls, lakes and caves. A particular highlight is the Cola de Caballo waterfall which falls 50m to the lake below where you can walk into the hidden Iris cave.

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