Along the coast from Valencia to Barcelona

Between Spain’s must see cities of Barcelona and Valencia, there are small towns and areas between them that are just as alluring.   Starting in Valencia, we highlight our favorite stops along the way here. 

Sagunto – this town is brimming with archaeological remains and historical monuments. The old town has been declared a Property of Cultural Interest and you can appreciate the different civilizations that have passed through: Romans, Visigoths, Arabs and Christians. Visit the Roman ruins at Vía del Pòrtic or the megalithic remains on Sagrario street. Its Roman theatre, which was built in the 1st century, is well-preserved and still used today. Make sure to climb up to Sagunto Castle, an Al-Andalus fortress.

Peñiscola – this town’s most famous landmark is an impressive castle from the 16th century that juts out into the sparkling Mediterranean Sea. It’s called Papa Luna castle and was the home of Pope Benedict XIII. Visit this fortress to appreciate the history and beautiful views. Also see El Bufador, a natural cavern that is lashed by the waves. Leaving the old town, you can visit the calm, local beaches or the Serra d’Irta, a national park to the south to do some hiking.

Delta de Ebro Natural Park – This protected natural area surrounds the mouth of the Ebro River, the longest river in Spain. The park is made up of several different ecosystems created by the fusion of the fresh water and the sea. There are many tranquil beaches here, bike paths and you can spot up to 360 species of birds. Flamingos flock here in the winter to rest and birth their flaminglets!  Try the locally farmed mussels at any nearby restaurant and head to the top of the Tower of Babel for excellent views. This park has been designated one of the best sustainable tourist destinations in the world.

Altafulla – this coastal town boasts a lovely historic quarter and well-preserved ancient structures. Admire the architecture of the 1,000-year-old Altafulla Castle and the nearby neo-classical church of St. Martí. Outside the walls of the town there is a partially excavated Roman town called Els Munts. Here you will find a well-preserved aristocratic Villa, a country residence dating back to the times of Roman Hispania. Walk along the sea promenade where you will find the ‘botigues de mar’, small buildings from the 18th century used to store the equipment used by local fishermen. The authentic, rustic charm of this old fishing village differentiates it from the surrounding more touristy cities.

Sitges – charming town near Barcelona offers plenty of cultural and leisure activities. The Maricel Museum is located on a cliffside with amazing views, and just next door the Cau Ferrat Museum features paintings and glasswork of the Modernist Era. Climb the steps of the 15th century Baroque church in the old town for a great view of the town and beaches. Take a stroll along the Paseo de la Ribera, which is lined with ornate homes on one side and the beachfront promenade on the other.