THE WAY OF EL CID: 4. The Conquest of Valencia (hiking route)
CAMINO DEL CID (The Way of El Cid)
- Route: From Cella-Teruel to Valencia.
- Provinces: Teruel, Castellón, Alicante.
- Kilometers: Approx. 249 km.
- Days recommended: 12 days (11 nights).
- Difficulty: Low-medium
The Conquest of Valencia section has two very different parts. The first, between Cella (Teruel) and Jérica (Castellón), is a route laden with history and nature: charming medieval villages, fascinating countryside, large mixed Mediterranean forests, natural ponds for swimming, rivers, straits and many other unique features that will more than compensate any hiker's efforts. This part of the route covers approximately 160 km and includes some of the most demanding sections on the Way, with many mid-mountain tracks. Teruel (capital of the Aragonese Mudejar style and a World Heritage Site), Mora de Rubielos, Rubielos de Mora and Jérica are the four towns that have been declared historical and/or artistic sites on this section.
The second part begins in Jérica: after leaving Segorbe, a historical-artistic site with a great deal of Gothic heritage, the Way goes down to Valencia along a technically simple route that connects the Via Verde Ojos Negros, a reconditioned railway track, with the Via Augusta. Downhill all the way, the view gradually changes from fruit and vegetable gardens to a more urban landscape. This is when travellers see the walls of Sagunt, facing the Mediterranean, one of the oldest and most important fortified towns on the Mediterranean. After passing through El Puig, referred to in the Poem as Cebolla, and after ending up on one of the beaches on the Mediterranean coast (an option we highly recommend!), travellers finally reach Valencia, the grand reward of El Cid and, possibly, also that of travellers on the Way of El Cid in the 21st century.
There are many natural areas of interest on this route: the juniper forests of El Puerto de Escandón (between Teruel and Puebla de Valverde), the spectacular Straits of El Mijares (between Olba and Montán) and the Course of the Palancia River (between Caudiel and Algar de Palancia). Between Sagunto and Puçol, on the coast, stands the Marsh of Els Moros, an area of wetlands home to local plant life and a wide variety of water birds. The Marsh reminds us that we are close to the Mediterranean and that we have the almost unavoidable option of refreshing our tired bodies on any of the beaches next to the warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea.
Get the most current information: en.caminodelcid.org
This is the official track of The Way of El Cid managed and maintained by The way of El Cid Consortium.
You can download the latest guides, tracks, maps and info in the web: www.caminodelcid.org
Track typesShow elevation profile
For hikers, the Way is signposted along the entire route with two red lines (in sections where the Way of El Cid is not certified as a GR, in other words, a long distance track) and a red and white line in sections where it is certified as GR 160 Way of El Cid or coincides with another GR (long distance track). Both the maps and the route guides indicate the type of signposts you will find. You will also find information panels at the beginning and end of the stage, as well as posts with arrows indicating the way and markers.
Tips and hints
- From Espina Mountain Range, approximately 10 km from Caudiel, the route is a continuous downhill to Valencia and part of it runs on the Vía Verde Ojos Negros, a reconditioned railway track. In the latter stages, until you reach Valencia, the tracks and roads are mostly tarmacked. Be careful during the last few kilometers since the area is very urban: we recommend using the updated route guides and tracks you can download from this page.
- Length of the stages: it is best for each one to decide their own stages according to their strengths and personal preferences. Some people place the emphasis on doing exercise, others on the cultural side of the route and others on the simple pleasure of taking in the countryside and locations. The stages we suggest are a combination of all three and have been designed for average hikers walking under stable weather conditions to enjoy the route without too much stress.
- Travel safely and unhurriedly: take the tracks and route guide with you. The route is signposted and we do maintenance on the signs every year; however, signs can also disappear (by accident, the weather, vandalism) and, in that case, especially when you are in the mountains, the track and route guide become very important. The main problem as far as getting lost is concerned comes in the villages: although we have placed signposts in many of them, we have not covered all of them and, even in those with signposts, you might not see the marks and not find the exit easily. Of course, it is best to ask a local and take the tracks and route guide with you, since they contain the indications you need to follow the route.
- On your way, you will come across fences with gates and the occasional electric fence. They are there to stop cattle escaping. If you see any cattle, don't worry; there are no fighting bulls! Simply go past the animals without frightening them and please remember to leave the gates as you found them!
- Food and spares. One of the main advantages of the Way of El Cid is that it runs through very attractive places with few inhabitants: many of the villages are very small and they do not have food stores. Unless you have planned to eat in a bar or restaurant, it is very important to take some food with you (sandwiches, nuts, energy bars, etc.) in case you can't find anywhere to eat or buy food. Also remember to take water with you. In most of the villages, there are drinking fountains: remember to refill your water bottles before setting off again.
- Get your Letter of safe conduct. The Letter of Safe Conduct is a personalized 'passport' you can have stamped at many towns and villages on the Way of El Cid. You can use it to get discounts of at least 10% in more than 200 places of accommodation and benefit from special offers. It is free and you can apply for it at any of the more than 70 tourist information offices on the route or at the Way of El Cid Consortium.
- Your literary guide. You might think it's unnecessary weight, but for many it is essential: don't forget to take with you a copy of the Poem of The Cid; you will be able to recreate some of its passages on site. If your old Spanish is not so good, take a modern version!
- And, of course, respect the signs you come across: damaging, knocking down or changing a sign means that those behind you might get lost.
Bus and railway station in Cella / Teruel
Bus, railway station and airport in Valencia
Book recommendation by the author
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