Circuit in Aragon
Gran Premio Movistar de Aragon
19 September 2018
The MotorLand Aragon circuit and area, also known as Alcaniz, Aragon.
The MotorLand Aragon circuit first hosted a Grand Prix in 2010, becoming the sixth different circuit that has been used for GP racing in Spain, in addition to Jerez, Catalunya, Jarama, Montjuich and Valencia. This is a country which is passionate about motorcycle racing, having produced some great champions down the years including Angel Nieto, Sito Pons, Alex Criville, Dani Pedrosa, Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marquez.
The state-of-the-art venue, the MotorLand Aragon road racing circuit was opened in 2009, to continue the rich local heritage of racing which had seen years of exciting street races in nearby Alcaniz, a town that hosted racing events between 1963 and 2003.
The area around Aragon and Teruel
The small Spanish town of Alcaniz sits on the river Guadalope in the Teruel province, which is part of the wider autonomous community of Aragon. The town is 113km from the provincial capital Teruel, is home to just over 16,000 people and boasts centuries of history, as you will note from the ancient buildings in the old town centre.
The Teruel province is one of Spain's quieter regions, but that makes it all the more special to visit, with its sometimes deserted landscape, strong rural culture, fine local Spanish food and its beautiful provincial capital, the town of the same name - Teruel.
The town and its surrounding region are known in other parts of Spain for the harsh local climate which is very hot in the summer and cold in the winter, whilst its famous Spanish cured ham (jamon serrano) should not be missed.
Exploring Alcaniz, Teruel and Aragon
Starting in Alcaniz itself, discovering this truly unspoiled part of Spain is a true pleasure. Visitors can enjoy the cafes, bars and restaurants and the typical laid-back Spanish style of this charming little town, whilst getting a shot of the Santa Maria la Mayor's medieval Gothic church tower for the photo album.
If you make the trip south to the town of Teruel you will be visiting the only provincial capital in peninsular Spain not to have a direct railway link to nation's capital city Madrid.
It is this remoteness, the high altitude of the town and its distinctive Moorish-influenced Mudejar architecture which define this underrated Spanish gem.
The dome of the Cathedral of Teruel is a key example of the Mudejar style and is without doubt another must-have for the picture book.
Tourists in Spain tend to stick to Madrid and the coastal regions, but exploring the numerous small towns of Teruel and Aragon's additional two provinces of Huesca and Zaragoza will lead you to relatively undiscovered parts of Spain.
Barcelona and Madrid are not a million miles away. Train and bus links to some of the smaller towns in the Teruel province are limited, so the best way to get around is by car or motorbike.
English is not as widely spoken in Teruel or wider Aragon as in other parts of Spain, so having a Spanish phrasebook to hand will serve you well and ordering a meal in Spanish. As in general in Spain lunch for locals is 2pm-4pm and dinnertime is after 9pm, which is worth noting unless you want to eat in an empty restaurant.
Meals and good Spanish wine are very reasonably priced throughout Aragon, many restaurants offer set menus of three courses with a drink included for under €10 at lunchtime and tips are not expected but are welcomed.
Interesting to know.
The wider autonomous community of Aragon - to which Teruel belongs - is one of the most geographically diverse in Spain, featuring pastures, mountains, glaciers, lowlands, deserts, orchards, valleys, canyons, waterfalls, rivers, forests and caverns.
- Roland Potter