You can instantly see why there have been such fierce fights over Albarracín throughout history. It’s strategically perched on the side of a stony valley above the Guadalaviar river in central Spain. Also, it’s a really pretty place to call home. The crumbly terracotta houses are clustered between the town’s two major landmarks: the 16th-century cathedral in the historic center, and the Moorish fort on the ridge. It looks like a schlep up the hill, but it’s only 10 minutes and you get a killer view -- not to mention the chance to pretend you’re a Berber warrior. Not that I did that. Honest.
Best time to go? September. The summer heat has died down, but more importantly, IT’S FIESTA TIME. Fireworks light up the sky, bulls run loose in the streets, everyone’s in costume... it’s a whole week-long affair, culminating in an animal auction at the town hall. There’s your souvenir for you.