WHAT TO DO IN MORELLA, VALENCIA, SPAIN
Welcome back to my second article about “What to do in Castellón”, a beautiful and culturally rich tourist destination in Valencia. On the first leg of the trip with Castellón Tourist Board I visited the coastal resort of Peñiscola along with four fellow members of the “Bristol Bloggers and Influencers” group. You can read about things to do in Peñiscola here.
Now it was time to drag myself away from the seaside and head up into the mountains to find out about the spectacular hilltop city, Morella.
Morella’s rich history dates back to prehistoric times. Due to its elevated position, it’s been a defensive bastion since Roman times. It has a distinctive look because of the castle on the hilltop and the stone walls which still enclose the village. I’ve never been anywhere quite like Morella although it reminds me of old towns in Northern Italy and the artisan foods you find there – even the truffles!
My ears were popping as we ascended 1000 metres towards Morella. The sky was grey and menacing, eventually splattering a heavy blob of rain onto the windscreen of our minibus – then another and another until the windscreen wipers were working full speed trying to keep up. Apparently this was a summer storm caused by the heat. The rain in Spain lies mainly in the plain? Oh no, we were basically driving through the clouds! Way before we arrived we were rewarded with distant views of Morella with its historically significant castle on the hilltop.
WHERE TO STAY IN MORELLA
We checked into Hotel Rey Don Jaime, a small three star family run hotel with a traditional feel.
I was given a cosy room, furnished with interesting features such as the colourful throws which are made here in Morella.
The menacingly dark stormy sky didn’t detract from the spectacular view from my mountain-facing room and a rainbow kindly emerged at just the right moment for my photo!
Some rooms face the town which could be handy for people-watching but I loved my room at the back. Can you imagine sitting at this desk and producing a creative work, perhaps your first novel, with this breath-taking view over the mountains to inspire you?
Bags deposited, we headed out for a spot of sightseeing and shopping before dinner. Local delis are filled with speciality foods such as honey, cecina, cured ham and Morella’s famous black truffles.
Morella is a fusion of races, cultures and civilisations and for many years Muslims and Christians lived here peacefully. These giants are brought out to symbolise that history at parties and festivals. I’m 5′ 10 1/2 so yeah, these are some big puppets!
The elegant Blasco de Alagón porticoed street dates back to mediaeval times as do the palaces, convent and town hall. Morella’s elevated situation means the city is exposed to the harsh extremes of mountain weather and we made full use of the practical and decorative covered walkways, sheltering from a storm while enjoying pre-dinner drinks at tables outside a bar.
WHERE TO EAT IN MORELLA
We dined at Hotel Restaurant Cardenal Ram, choosing from a menu which offered unusual sounding local dishes such as foie gras with apple marmalade, milk-fed lamb chops and truffle infused treats. I enjoyed good food, wine and lots of laughter with the other Bristol Bloggers before settling down for the night.
Wow! If you like the look of this, you can find out about booking a room at Hotel Rey don Jaime here.
The hotel’s continental breakfast offers a wide selection of meats, cheeses, fruit, pastries and a tasty spanish tortilla.
Just look at this spread!
It was almost time to leave but I managed to squeeze in a final photographic tour of the beautiful little city in the mountains.
And finally – the views from the top.
I wish we’d had more time to wander around the castle, the medieval walls, the churches, the dinosaur museum or the Tower of Games. I’d like to go back, but whether I manage to return or not, Morella will have a fond place in my memory.
Now it was time to bid a fond farewell to Morella and head back down the mountains to Castellon de la Plana, the busy capital city of the Castellon province where we would shop for ingredients and learn how to make an authentic Spanish paella in the biggest paella pan I’ve ever seen! You can read all about that in my next post.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about what to do in Morella. If this article has whetted your appetite, why not take a look at my short video, “What to do in Castellón”, which features sandy beaches, historic castles, secrets of orange growing, a boat trip and paella making in the region.
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CASTELLÓN – USEFUL LINKS
You can find further information at the Turismo de Castellón website, by following the hashtag #incastellon on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and remember to take a look at my What to do in Castellon video.
I WAS A GUEST OF CASTELLÓN TOURISM AND THEIR PARTNERS WHO KINDLY HOSTED ME DURING THIS BRISTOL BLOGGERS AND INFLUENCERS TRIP.
ALL OPINIONS ARE OUR OWN. ARTICLE MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS.