The Valencian Community, which is the official name of this region in Eastern Spain[CC1] , is often presented as a sun and sand destination, but it has many other charms that should not be missed. In this article, we’ll go through the 20 most beautiful villages in Valencia, all incredible places to enjoy rural tourism in a spectacular natural setting.
Charming villages in Valencia
Morella is at the top of the list of the most beautiful villages in Valencia. It’s in the north of the province of Castellón, which is in the Valencian Community. Like many other inland towns, it rises from the top of a hill and has impressive views of the region. If anything in this town stands out, it would be its perfectly conserved defensive wall as well as its 13th-century castle, which rises above the houses. Strolling through its streets is like traveling back to Medieval times.
Another village in Castellón which deserves a place on this list is Peñíscola. In contrast to Morella, this city is on the shores of the sea. It’s also a walled town, although the expansion of its population goes far beyond its walls. You must visit the Papa Luna castle, a spectacular fortress that the Knights Templar built at the beginning of the 14th century and which is conserved in very good condition. Other essential stops are the Casa de las Conchas, or House of the Shells; the Santa Ana Shrine; the Bufador; and the entrance to the Portal Fosc, or the dark door.
Bocairent offers one of the most beautiful views of all Valencian villages. Located in the heart of the Albaida Valley, in the province of Valencia, it’s a terraced village with narrow houses piled on top of one another along narrow streets. The village is all ocher tones and stone facades. Its beauty has led the town to be declared a historical-artistic complex. The points of interest around this town include the Mariola tower; the stone monastery; and the Covetes dels Moros, a complex of caves with man-made “windows” hanging from rocky cliffs.
Castell de Guadalest
Another Valencian village that you cannot miss is Castell de Guadalest, in the province of Alicante. This small village seems to spring from the valley boulders themselves and has the Guadalest Reservoir as a backdrop. It is divided into two neighborhoods which are connected by a tunnel that links the bottom part to the top. Here you can go up to the Alcozaiba Castle, the San José Castle, the Orduña House, and the Our Lady of the Assumption parochial church. It is certainly one of the mountain villages with the best views.
In the village of Chelva, in the province of Valencia, time seems to stand still. It has a significant historical and cultural heritage that is very well conserved. The history of Chelva goes back to the Roman era and if there is anything that characterizes this town, it’s the variety of cultures that lived here in harmony until the Reconquista, or Reconquest. A plan that we recommend is what is known as the water route, which sets off from Chelva’s main plaza and combines nature and history. Get to know the Arabic quarter of Benacacira, the Jewish quarter of Azoque, the Morisco quarter of Arrabal, and lastly, the medieval Christian quarter.
Vilafamés is another jewel in Castellón province and is certainly another charming village in Valencia. Get lost in the winding streets of its old town and soak in the smells of the country. In addition, like almost all villages in the Valencian Community, it has its own castle, which is of Muslim origin. It’s no surprise that Vilafamés belongs to the association of the most beautiful villages in Spain.
Another town you shouldn’t miss is Biar. This picturesque town is in the province of Alicante. It has fewer than four thousand inhabitants and boasts of its magnificent castle, which was declared an Asset of Cultural Interest. Take advantage of your visit to try the gastronomy of inland Alicante by ordering arroz caldoso[CL2] , or soupy rice; gazpacho manchego, a hearty meat and vegetable stew; and what is referred to as pelotas, or balls, which is a plate that is very similar to meatballs.
Ares del Maestrat
The village of Ares de Maestrat extends over the foothills of the spectacular Muela de Ares mountain, on which an ancient Knights Templar castle was built. This stunning village is at considerable altitude, more than 3,280 feet above sea level. One of its main attractions is the prehistoric paintings of the Gasulla cliffs, which were declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
Altea is one of the loveliest coastal villages in Valencia. With little more than 20,000 inhabitants, it has managed to preserve its charm as an old fishing village without bringing in mass tourism. It’s hard not to fall in love with its combination of sea and mountains, with streets that face the Mediterranean and an old town of white houses that is identical to Andalusia’s white villages. There are many things to do: strolling along the boardwalk, going swimming in its incredible coves and blue flag beaches, or following a route through the historic center visiting the shrines and emblematic places such as the Galera Tower or the Bellaguarda Tower. What’s more, Altea is home to a special place that you cannot miss: the Temple of Saint Michael the Archangel, the first Russian Orthodox Church temple in Spain.[CL3]
Villajoyosa is another village on the Alicante coast that is popular among tourists, mainly for the colorful facades of its houses. It’s no surprise that the Valencian name of the town, Vila Joiosa, means “joyful city.” This fishermen’s village also has a chocolate-making tradition, so you must make a stop at one of its several chocolate museums. Get your camera ready to snap photos of this lively town. In addition to losing yourself among its streets, another of its biggest attractions is its beaches, especially the Torres Beach and Paraíso, or paradise, Beach.
If you want to learn about the region’s past, Xátiva is an essential stop. For many centuries, it competed with Orihuela and Valencia as the most important city. It was the episcopal see during the Visigoth period, experienced a period of cultural splendor during Muslim rule, and was the family home of one of the most powerful Spanish families: the Borgia. During the early 18th-century War of the Spanish Succession, the city was a defender of the Austrians and therefore, the first Bourbon who rose to the throne, Philip V, ordered the city to be burned—something they still remember; the city museum has a portrait of the monarch hung upside down. Likewise, you must visit the impressive Xátiva Castle, from which you can see one of the best panoramas of the region.
Sax cannot be left off a list of the prettiest villages in Valencia. This village is crowned by a hill. Its main attraction is its majestic castle of Almohad origin, which was built atop an ancient Iberian fortress. Other places of interest that you should visit are the Church of the Assumption and the Saint Blaise shrine.
Teulada-Moraira is a town divided into two population centers: Teulada, which is inland, and Moraira, on the coast. The Saint Catherine church-fortress and the Sala de Jurados y Justicias, or the Hall of Juries and Judges, are its main claims to fame along with the Cap d’Or lookout tower, built to control the arrival of Berber pirates and a perfect place to take in the sunset. Another thing you cannot miss is taking a dip in the sea. El Portet is one of the best beaches on the Costa Blanca.
Few villages enjoy such peace and quiet as the village of Culla, in the province of Castellón. Its harmony with nature and its surroundings make it an ideal place to disconnect and take refuge from the city. The stone that covers the buildings in this small town is very charming. It’s certainly a place to see.
Sagunto is another village that has an impressive cultural and historical past. The origins of this village go back to the Iberians of Edetani ethnicity, although it was the Romans who left this city with its great legacy. You can visit the Roman theater, the remains of the Temple of Diana, the Jewish Quarter, and the castle where the Iberians first settled. This is one of the most comprehensive cities from a cultural point of view.
A unique plan that we recommend is visiting Nueva Tabarca, a small island very close to the city of Alicante. Although it is not as beautiful as Sagunto or Xátiva, this village has its own magic. Here you will find tranquility, pretty coves to sunbathe in, and many places where you can enjoy sea views. This novel plan is worth doing at least once in your life.
This is one of the favorite towns for climbers. What makes Chulilla special is its steep mountain setting surrounded by the Hoces del Turia Mountains and at the feet of the Chera-Sot de Chera nature reserve. It’s also one of the most exciting places to go hiking. The suspension bridge route goes over various bridges that cross the canyon from one side to the other.
Denia is a beautiful village by the sea. Although it’s popular with tourists, its charm remains intact. You can visit the pier, where they still bring in fresh fish today. As the capital city of the ancient Taifa de Denia kingdom, it has a significant Muslim legacy, proof of which is its imposing castle. Furthermore, as a destination on the Costa Blanca, set aside some time to enjoy its fantastic beaches.
Chodos is found within the Peñagolosa nature reserve. Chodos is one of the smallest villages, with a population that barely exceeds one hundred inhabitants. It’s also been declared an Asset of Cultural Interest for its walls and its castle. Take advantage of the opportunity to try olleta alicantina, the town’s most traditional dish that features rice, beans, lentils, and potatoes, along with other ingredients.
Next to the community of Aragón, to the north, is Montanejos, one of the loveliest villages in the Valencian Community known for its natural heritage. The Mijares River creates authentic natural pools in its course through this town. So, a summer plan you cannot miss out on is going for a swim in the famous Fuente de los Baños.
If you liked our selection of the most charming villages of Valencia, you can also find out about the 20 most beautiful villages in Andalusia. What are you waiting for? Come get to know these marvelous places in the Valencian Community.