If one day you wake up with a hunger for an adventure, Valencia is the perfect place to be in as it has fantastic public transport connections with other towns and cities. There are many locations for day trips available within an hour train radius, Xàtiva being one of them.
Trains from Valencia Nord are very regular (about every half an hour) and the train ride itself is highly enjoyable as you get to admire the landscape and mountains inland of the Valencian Community. When you are nearing Xàtiva you will not be able to miss it because of its castle on the hill, just like in the Ed Sheeran song. Some say the walls of the Xàtiva Castle resemble the Great Wall in China (on a much smaller case, of course!)
The beauty of the Valencian town is that it is soaked with historical importance, in fact, one of the great Roman highways Via Augusta goes through the city. Like many places in Spain, Xàtiva experienced the influence of many different rulers, Roman, Moors, and then Christians (to name a few). Not much remains from the Roman times however, Moorish influence can be seen on your visit.
When climbing up the hill to reach the castle there are many paths you can take to explore, you will also pass many viewpoints to admire the city and the surroundings from above. One of the first ones I enjoyed is Mirador del Bellveret, which is the home of the Valencian Pilota statue Arco Dorado, which is a perfect photo opportunity!
As you continue your climb you can follow paths that will lead you to caves, medieval fridge (La Nevera), towers, and churches. Upon arrival within the castle gates, there is a café with a view to die for. This is a perfect opportunity to recharge your batteries before continuing with sightseeing.
Finally, you cannot miss visiting the Almodi Museum where a painting of King Philip V hangs upside down as a sign of protest. This is due to the king sentencing the town to be burned down in the 18th century. Within the city walls, you may also find a mural of a black match that represents the story.
In memory of that event, the people of Xàtiva are known as “La Socarrada,” which means scorched. While visiting make sure to try the local beer of the same name, which has unique flavourings of honey and rosemary.
There is a ‘Feria de Xativa’ until August 21st with lots of events. Click on this link for more details: https://firaxativa.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Programa-Fira-2022-CAST-1.pdf
24/7 Valencia Tip: Keep your train ticket after you arrive back in Valencia, you can use it in the future for a cheeky 50 cent discount on your next train journey!
Report by Nicole Maka-Sprawa
Article and photo copyright Nicole Maka-Sprawa / ‘24/7 Valencia’