Province of Castelló: Inland tourism
Castelló Interior is synonymous with nature, historical and artistic heritage, gastronomy, fiestas, tradition, with accommodation where you will feel more comfortable even than at home… come and discover it.
Getting to know inland Castelló means discovering some lands, which are enormously attractive for its wild geography and the uniqueness of their tradition and culture.
Despite being a coastal area, Castelló is the second most mountainous province in Spain. There is the peak Penyagolosa, the highest point in the Valencian Community with a height of 1,813 metres.
The appeal of inland Castelló merits a special mention. Its climate varies according to altitude. It is more severe towards the higher regions of the interior, generally dry and pleasant and accompanied by splendid vegetation and woodland, where one may breathe fresh air and enjoy nature.
In the northern area of the province is the county of Els Ports, whose capital is Morella,an excellent tourist city, blessed with innumerable monuments, witnesses to its intense and important historical activity. Morella and its surroundings have an extensive range of restaurants, hotels and rural holiday homes, old houses which have been restored and where you may enjoy a magnificent stay.
La Tinença de Benifassà, a county with a great wealth in terms of its landscape, is renowned for being one of the best areas for adventure travel. The greater part of this area is found within the Southeastern Spanish Ibex National Reserve of Los Puertos de Beceite, so it is not hard to come across good examples of this lovely animal on our travels.
The capital of El Maestrazgo is Sant Mateu, a city notable for its monuments. The county extends towards the massif of Penyagolosa, the watchtower of a region, where health tourism has its two leading exponents: Catí (L’Avellà spa) and Benassal (La Font d’En Segures spa).
The counties of La Plana Alta and La Plana Baixa Onda enjoy an extensive historical and artistic heritage in townships such as Vilafamés, Vila-real or Onda worthy of a detailed visit.
Adjacent to this county we find that of l’Alcalatén with interesting townships such as l’Alcora home to the Ceramic Museum, which gathers together the wide-ranging tradition of the area, as does the Real Fábrica del Conde de Aranda (Royal Factory of Count Aranda – 18th and 19th centuries). Contemporary ceramics have also their place in this area. Lucena, a place with excellent springs highly appreciated by holidaymakers, is worthy a mention too.
Once in the county of Alto Mijares, the agreable countryside of Cirat, its capital, opens the door to Montanejos, home of tourism in this area, where the crystalline waters of the river Mijares are perfect for bathing. Montanejos also has a recently-created, modern spa.
The declared natural park Serra de Espadà, feeds the waters of the subterranean river San José in La Vall d’Uixó.It is the longest, navigable subterranean river in Europe, whose modern facilities receive many visitors year-round, who may then enjoy a boat trip around the interior of the grottos.
Looking at La Plana, where the Serra d’Espadà meets the sea, is Villavieja, important for its rich thermal waters and spas.
The route of the river Palancia, which gives its name to the county, the Alto Palancia, leaves innumerable springs in its wake. The first spring is close to the source of the river. It is called Los Cloticos and is in Bejís,a village which is also home to an interesting Roman aqueduct.
Viver, Jérica, Altura, with significant heritage and beautiful areas, are also important tourist municipalities in the area that the Palancia runs through before getting to Navajas,the home of tourism in the interior of our province. It is a place chosen for summer holidays for centuries due to its great number of springs and the quality of their waters. Following the course of the river Palancia we find Segorbe, the capital of the county and Episcopal see, which boasts numerous attractions, both artistic and natural.
The river Palancia leaves the province passing through Sot de Ferrer, a fine-looking village with an ascent to the Stations of the Cross that is highly characteristic of the area.
Castelló continually invites the visitor to discover its beauty spots and to get in touch with nature, two of inland Castelló’s particular privileges. Visiting its townships means taking a journey through their history, enjoying what are truly natural museums, contemplating the beauty of its palaces, manor houses, churches, ramparts and towers. There are unique works of art which include everything from Iberian and Roman archaeological remains, through Gothic altarpieces, to the most recent contemporary art, represented exceptionally by the Vilafamés Museum.
A very important aspect of the townships of Castelló’s interior are their fiestas, which keep their own distinguishing features, constituting yet another of their numerous attractions. With traditional fiestas unique to each village there are also other very interesting activities dlike Morella’s Music Week and Medieval Market, the City of Navajas’ International Concert Season, the Segorbe Festival of Valencian Choir Music, or the representation of the Western Schism in Sant Mateu.
Castelló – Costa Azahar also boasts an extensive network of footpaths which allow the visitor to be at one with nature, getting close to places it would be impossible to get to any other way. The practice of numerous sporting and adventure activities activities such as: climbing, paragliding, canyoning, horseback riding, mountain biking, potholing, orienteering, etc. allows the traveller to enjoy their favourite activity, going deep into spectacular beauty spots, where thick forests, Mediterranean countryside and wild mountains offer all their splendour and where one can find good freshwater springs to quench one’s thirst.
This rich backdrop is complemented by an exceptional cuisine, which is tasty, varied according to the land and produced with natural ingredients.
The lands of Castelló’s inland are diverse, with more than sufficient attractions for a leisurely visit. In these lands the visitor may contemplate great natural attractions, like the many townships that we have not cited here, where the traveller will discover a great cultural legacy, next to customs and traditions which continue to survive the passage of time, making these lands a suitable place to pass a different kind of vacation, in a largely intact, rural world.