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El Maestrazgo

Located inland from the Costa del Azahar in the north-west of Comunidad Valencia, and in the south-east of Aragón, lies el Maestrazgo. This mountainous area is filled with small ancient villages tucked away far from the Costa del Azahar beaches. Unlike Castellón or Peñíscola you won’t come across many foreigners in this region. If you decide to go to this area ask at the local tourist offices for the “Guía de Alojamientos del Maestrazgo”, for information about available accommodation. 

The fastest and easiest way to get to Morella, the largest town of this region, is to take the N-232 from Vinaròs (most northern city of the Costa del Azahar) heading west in the direction of Morella. If you have more time to spend you could also take the more attractive scenic route from Castellón stopping in small villages like Vilafamés and Mirambel.

Although Vilafamés is not really on the way and you would have to make a small detour to get there, it is worth checking out. This old hillside town has white houses  and dark red buildings perched on the mountain hill.  There is a large castle which was built on the ancient Arabic foundations, which has some great panoramic views. The city’s main attraction however, is the Museo Popular de Arte Contemporáneo which is located in the 15th-century Palacio del Batlle. At the village of Benasal up north from Vilafamés, you will find Font d’en Segures which is one of the fresh water springs created by the erosion of limestone rock over the years, which is typical of the caves in this area. It is believed that the waters of this spring are health-enhancing, and this attracts many visitors each year.

Just over the regional border of Comunidad Valencia, located in Aragón, lies Mirambel, a typical ancient mountain village which was once the headquarters of the Carlist forces of Valencia, Aragón and Murcia. You can enter this small village, which has only 150 inhabitants, through the Portal de las Monjas in the north-west part of the town walls. This gate’s upper floor used to be part of a convent and its windows were specially designed to look outside rather than in, so the nuns couldn’t be seen. Iberians, Celts, Greeks, Romans, Carthaginians and Arabs, they all lived in Morella and all left their mark behind on the capital of the “Els Port” region. The town was build on a mountain hill with a castle on top, with houses built on the downhill side and surrounded by a town wall with 7 entry gates. From a distance it looks like a fortress from the movie the Lord of the Rings! Within the town you will find many small and narrow streets and stairways. The mountain passes that are in the towns surroundings are perfectly suited for hiking, mountain climbing and cycling.

Total Members in Valencia: 513
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