Usually unknown and unheard of Morella is a small city in the province of Castellon that should be in any travelers bucket list when spending some time along the Mediterranean coast. More than 2100 years of history have left their marks along the cobbled streets and castle that overlook the surrounding hills and valleys, a step back in time being the essence of any day trip here. Throw in some good quality food and local souvenir shopping to do and you’ve got a full day of walking and sightseeing to do-spending a night at any of the available hotels will allow you to take some great night pictures.
You can only get to Morella by road, but this is easy as it is very well paved with plenty of signs guiding you along it. Perhaps the best option is to rent a car, but if traveling along it is easy to get here to by public bus from the province’s capital beach city Castellon.
Spending a Day in Morella
As you reach the city you’ll easily spot the castle from the road, perched atop the hill on which the city is built. Because of this getting around is very easy, as you know that ultimately you’ll be reaching the Castle which for many is the highlight of the visit- but not for me.
As soon as you cross the wall that surrounds the city, get off you car and slowly start making the way uphill, without following any particular street. You will eventually reach Calle Mayor street, the most important of them all where most of the restaurants, hotels and shops are to be found. The architecture is distinctly medieval yet solid and well maintained despite having witnessed many wars against the Moors, Napoleon, Succession… Walk into the shops that sell naturally made aromas, sandals and pastries, visit the Basilic Church of Santa Maria, the Cathedral and the convent of San Francisco.
Continue your walk uphill, and eventually you’ll reach the castle. There’s a 3.5 Euro fee which will be used to maintain it . Audio guides are available and there’s a couple of exhibitions in it, but I admit you’ll need some imagination to see how the castle may have looked like during the best of its time. Still, don’t skip it, particularly if you come from a younger country where 1500 year old structure aren’t to be found.
After visiting the castle I recommend you head back down for lunch and look no further than the restaurant you’ll find just a few meters to the left of the main entrance of the castle, Restaurante Marques de Cruilles. They have a three course many for around 13 Euros with over 20 local dishes to chose from. Make sure you try the croquellanas, the local version of typical croquettes to be found in Spain.
Inevitably you’ll meander your way back down the city, perhaps enjoying a coffee at on of the many cafes at Calle Mayor you already walked along the way up.
Tips and Resources
Morella gets very hot in the summer months, and can get plenty of snow in winter (to the point of it being inaccessible) but also have warm (read t-shirt) days during the colder months. Make sure you check on weather conditions before heading there.
Restaurant Marques de Cruilles is right in front of the entrance to the castle, phone is 682270253.
Morella Tourism Website: http://www.morellaturistica.com/
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