Sos del Rey Católico
Few adjectives can sum up the tranquil beauty of Sos del Rey Católico. With its winding streets and jaw-dropping views this tiny village is one of the highlights of Aragón. Life here moves at a snail’s pace and expect the friendly locals to make you the third party in their two way conversations. The village was also the birthplace of Fernando II of Aragón and as such retains a historical significance too. Beauty, history, what’s not to love?
Founded in 907 as a border town during the Reconquista, Sos, as it is called by its population of below 1000 people, is one of the best preserved medieval towns in all of Spain, retaining many of the 15th century features that would have been familiar to the Catholic king Fernando, after whom the town was renamed.
The village is a warren of twisting and turning cobbled streets and for a place of such beauty we were surprised by how few tourists there actually were. It is, however, all the better for it. Places of interest include Palacio de los Sada (Sada Palace) the birthplace of the king, several churches, including the gothic Iglesia de Sant Esteban (St. Stephen’s Church) and the medieval walls and seven of its gates. Although, the real joy is just simply soaking up the atmosphere and exploring this magical place.
Sos was also the home to the Spanish film La Vaquilla, which used many of the townsfolk as extras. Monuments to the film are strewn around the town in the form of director’s chairs and plaques.
The town is also incredibly windy so bear this mind when going there. The wind is used to good effect however, with wind turbines dotted on the surrounding hills.
The tourist information centre (carrer Meca, tel – 948 88 85 24 email – firstname.lastname@example.org) is a nightmare to find but once located, does offer a simple map as well as guided tours of the town, which last about 30mins.
Sos del Rey Católico is 30km from the N-240 which connects Pamplona to Jaca. There are two roads from the N-240 which connect to the town. The busier A-127 towards Pamplona and the smaller A-1601 towards Jaca. There is a bus that goes to/from Zaragoza once a day. Ask at the tourist information centre for more information.
Sos is easy to hitchhike out of, being as it is so small. Most of the traffic will be heading to the north (Pamplona). Simply walk out of the edge of town and down the hill a touch and stick your thumb out.
The cheapest place in town is the youth hostel, in Spanish Albergue Juvenil (c/de las Encinas tel – 948 88 84 80 http://www.alberguedesos.com). It is extremely difficult to find without a map but if you can find the Ayuntamiento, walk up towards the castle and take the first left, follow this round asking everybody on the way, and you might get lucky. For over 26’s it costs €18.90 and for under 26 €17.50 for a bed in a dormitory. A simple meal is provided for an additional €7. It was clean, comfortable but be prepared that during the children’s summer camps may also be staying there.
written by: Jon
This travel guide was also published by Albergue de Juventud de Sos del Rey Católico on 9th November 2012.
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