Stage 4 Valencia (2) - Walking through Castellon

Dead or alive?
Castellon is the most northerly of the three Valencia provinces (with Valencia and Alicante to the south).  Castellon of course is famous for El Cid the 11th Century warrior and the subject of the Charlton Heston epic.  Very disappointed to discover that El Cid died peacefully and that his corpse was not stuck to a horse to secure victory in his final battle.

The walk through Castellon is about 220 kms, through mountainous countryside like the most of Valencia, but frankly looks a lot more interesting.  Perhaps it's because of the history but most of the towns visited are special including several medieval fortress towns with spectacular settings.  The distances are also very manageable and accommodation looks good.  Stage 4 takes 7 days which makes it ideal for anyone wanting a week's holiday.

Day 1 is a 23 km walk from Bejís (the end of the last stage) to Mas de Noguera.  Mas de Noguera is an eco-tourism co-operative and looks like a different sort of place to stay.

Day 2 is another relatively short walk to Montanejos through the small town of Montan.  Although short the walk looks good with mountains reaching over 1,400 metres.  Montanejos is a spa town and there might be scope for personal physical restoration if required!

Villahermosa del Rio by Millifer07
Day 3 is another interesting 30 km walk to Villahermosa del Rio via the small town of San Vicente de Piedrahita.  Lots of points of interest along the route, including the church of Emita de San Bartohome, before arriving at the pretty hill-top town.

Sanctuary of Sant Joan
Day 4 is a 20 km walk to the small but historic town of Vistabella del Maestrazgo.  The town has a castle and the Sanctuary of Sant Joan de Penagolosa (one of the provinces most important buildings) and sits at the foot of "Pico del Penagolosa" which at 1,814 metres is the region's highest mountain.

After two relatively short days it might make sense to push on a bit but there are options. I could do a short day (19 km) and stay at Culla, a slightly longer day and stay at Benasal, or a long day and stay at Ares de Maestre (39 km).  All three places look nice but the current plan is to do the long walk.

Ares de Maestre
Ares de Maestre looks like another amazing place.  It is built at the foot of Mola d'Ares on which sits the ruins of a once impregnable castle which had a particular role in the conquest of Valencia by James 1st.  The town/village is small but it looks like there are places to stay.

Day 6 is a 25 km walk via Castellon Castellfort to Morella.  Morella occupies a strategic position between the plains of the river Ebro to the north west and the coastal plains of Castellon/Valencia.  El Cid is credited with rebuilding the castle and was a general on the winning side in the battle of Morella. Morella isn't a big place but looks special, the highlight of the walk.  Lots of accommodation and could be a place to spend an extra day if I need a break.

Day 7, the last full day in Castellon takes you via Vallibona to El Boixar.   There is definitely some accommodation in El Boixar  (another small hill top town) which would make the walk 31 kms.  The walk takes you through the Natural Park of La Tinença de Benifassá.

So 7 days, around 220 kms, some wonderful countryside and really interesting places to stay.  Looks great.

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