One of the biggest and best parks in Zaragoza is the Parque Grande José Antonio Labordeta – a sprawling green space just south of the city centre. The park was inaugurated in 1929 and built around the Botanical Garden, which dates all the way back to 1796. Today, the park is located within the university area and filled with graceful walkways, ponds, elegant fountains and statues of historic figures. Look out for the Quiosco de la Música – a huge bandstand, the Bridge of Songwriters and the huge monumental fountain.
The Parque Macanaz is a pretty city park, which lies between the River Ebro and the Paseo de la Ribera. It’s not very big, but is one of the best places in the city to view the grand Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar, as it sits right opposite.
The Parque del Agua Luis Buñuel is a huge urban park, lying just outside the city, which measures a whopping 120 hectares. It was created for the 2008 Expo in Zaragoza and is called the Park of Water because it’s filled with ponds, lakes and small tributaries from the River Ebro. The park is the best place in the city try to out a number of water sports, from white water rafting to wake boarding and paddle boating (for those who want something a little tamer). Riverside walkways, playgrounds, golf course, a horse riding school and a large vegetable garden complete the picture.
The Parque de las Delicias lies to the west of the centre of Zaragoza and comprises both large concrete areas for sports and green areas with trees. Within the confines of the park you’ll also find the Municipal Library, a health centre and a pretty church. Just outside the park sits the Teatro de las Esquinas concert hall.
The Reserva Natural de los Galachos de la Alfranca lies in the heart of the Ebro valley, around a half-hour drive outside the city. It’s a natural reserve and an important wetland area made up of several lagoons, islands and riverside forests. It’s also one of the best places in the region to see birdlife, including kingfishers and cormorants.
As the name suggests, the Parque del Oeste (West Park) lies in the very west of the city. Covering 130,000 m2, it features lots of green spaces, trees and ornamental hedges, as well as a central artificial pond and a herb garden filled with fragrant leaves, from rosemary to thyme and lavender. There are also a couple of petanque (like boules), where older people gather to play.
The Parque del Tío Jorge is located north of the centre and north of the River Ebro. It comprises meadows, forested areas and a large artificial lake with an island in the middle, accessible via a bridge. There are also lots of pathways for walking, a children’s play area, two sports courts and a kiosk-bar.
Parque del Tio Jorge, Zaragoza | ©Fernando / Wikimedia Commons