The Valencia community, sort of equivalent to a county in the UK, is full of beach fun, city night life and of course one of Spain’s largest cities, Valencia. I’ve written plenty about what to see and enjoy in Valencia, as well as some of the beautiful surrounding nature in the Valencia region. This article will look at Xativa, one of the smaller towns inside of this autonomous community, and what you can see and do there. The in-land areas of Spain are painfully under explored, and I really hope that some of these articles will inspire people to visit the lesser-known but absolutely worth it parts of this country.
We have some friends that live in Alicante, the closest large city to Valencia (and equally fun and beachy), and so we decided that for our next trip we would meet in-between the two cities, in Xativa. This is a fairly large town (about 30,000 people), and it’s very easy to reach it from either Alicante or Valencia. For us, it was a 40 minute train (about 9 euros) from the Estacio del Nord right in the centre (next to the ‘Xativa’ metro stop funnily enough). And so it’s a fairly fast and cheap journey to reach such a cool place.
It’s a steep walk up the mountain to reach this cliff-top castle, and we we decided that first lunch was entirely necessary. Luckily, we had plenty of time in hand, as in the end we stayed in the restaurant for about two hours enjoying a proper Spanish lunch!
TripAdvisor told us that one of the best normal priced restaurants in Xativa was called El Rincon de Grana, and so we dutifully followed the recommendation – and that turned out to be a fantastic decision! We had two bottles of crisp, sweet wine, plates and plates of food with friendly local service and lovely people all around (finished off with some free shots) – all for about 11 euros per person.
The before shot...
I think everyone we went with was entirely impressed with this place, and I definitely recommend checking out El Rincon de Grana.
The main reason people come to Xativa is normally to visit the castle. It towers over the town and is pretty hard to miss, regardless of where you are. The castle is a Roman, Muslim and medieval Spanish fortress, and it’s been conquered, burned, destroyed and rebuilt (to be burned and destroyed again) many many times. And yet the sharp shapes of the castle are still clear, and even better, the views from the top are beautiful. It’s a bit of a steep trek up (especially on a warm day), but well worth it once you get up there.
To one side of the castle is the town of Xativa, with views all the way down to Valencia (and maybe even the ocean on a particularly clear day.
And on the other side are forests, hills and the seemingly never-ending natural beauty.
I could write a thousands different adjectives but I think in this case the photos tell much of the story.
The castle and small but cute town that sits below it are a beautiful example of Spanish history and culture, as well as being a great place to avoid the heavy tourist crowds and find unbeatable views.
Cover picture © credits to Joe Thorpe
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