Suggested Itinerary No. 1: The Route of El Cid and the Maestrazgo
About the Route
Firstly we’d like to point out that this itinerary should not be confused with the famous Route of El Cid which runs from Burgos to Valencia and which is described in the epic Spanish poem El Cantar del mio Cid (Translated into English as The Lay of The Cid). Instead this itinerary links together several of the towns mentioned elsewhere in visit-medieval-spain.com. The itinerary crosses the famous route of El Cid at Albarracin and passes through the mountains of the Maestrazgo region surrounding Morella and Teruel.
We originally designed this route as a 10 day round trip starting and ending in Valencia. You could just as easily make it into an interesting and scenic route from Madrid to Valencia or incorporate it into your route between Barcelona and Andalucía in the south. Apart from the towns themselves there are plenty of options to do interesting walks in the surrounding countryside and the drives from Cuenca to Albarracín (CM2104 / A1704) and on to La Iglesuela del Cid (A226) are especially picturesque.
We spent 2 nights in each of the towns along the route (except for the tiny La Iglesuela del Cid which was a lunch stop on the way to Morella) if you are short of time you could just spend one night in each town and it would still be a very rewarding trip. We feel that it is worth spending the extra time to truly relax and enjoy your surroundings and suggest that you at least try and include the short circular walk around the valley which surrounds Alarcón and the slightly longer walk to see the prehistoric cave paintings near to Albarracín. Details of these walks are available at the tourist information offices of the two towns. The tourist information centre in Albarracin has two excellent free leaflets which include maps and descriptions of numerous short walks in the surrounding area.
If time permits we suggest that you could also visit the cities of Cuenca and Teruel both of which are on route. Another possible addition is the Ciudad Encantada (enchanted city) rock formations just outside Cuenca. If you visit this attraction on a public holiday you should make sure you get there early to avoid the crowds (as we found out when we visited them during the Easter weekend of 2010!)
Description of the Route
|Stage||The Route||Approx. Distance||Approx. Duration|
|Valencia to Alarcón||E901 → CV450 → NIII||160 km||2.5 hours|
|Alarcón to Albarracín via Cuenca||NIII → N320 → CM2104 → CM2105 → CU901 → A1704 → A1512||200 km||3.5 hours|
|Albarracín to Morella stopping at La Iglesuela del Cid||A1512 → N234 → A226 → A227 → CV125||175 km||3.5 hours|
|Morella to Peñiscola||N232 → CV136 → CV135||75 km||1.5 hours|
|Peñiscola to Valencia||N340 → AP7||150 km||1.75 hours|
For further information about each of the towns and villages visited on this route please click on the individual place names in table above.
Map of the Route
Ver The Route of El Cid and the Maestrazgo en un mapa más grande
Alarcon's 14th Century Castle [Photographer: Visit-Medieval-Spain.com]
Views during the drive from Alarcon to Albarracin [Photographer: Visit-Medieval-Spain.com]
The picturesque town of Albarracin [Photographer: Visit-Medieval-Spain.com]
Walking nearAlbarracín [Photographer: Visit-Medieval-Spain.com]
The village of La Iglesuela del Cid is an interesting stopping off point on the way to Morella
Please not that the Torreon de los Nublos is closed at lunchtime
The imposing fortified town of Morella [Photographer: Visit-Medieval-Spain.com]
Papa Luna - Peñiscola [Photographer: Visit-Medieval-Spain.com]
Taking a break to admire the views near Albarracin (Don't worry all the roads on this route are tarmacked,
we pulled off to admire the views and have a picnic lunch!) [Photographer: Visit-Medieval-Spain.com]