Spain's Castellon region, nestled in the northern part of Valencia, holds a treasure trove of hidden delights that remain relatively unknown to the outside world. The area boasts an extensive stretch of soft sandy beaches, picturesque traditional villages, and a plethora of natural parks and protected areas, all carefully guarded as a well-kept secret by the locals. For those fortunate enough to explore this enchanting region, they are rewarded with a captivating blend of scenic wonders and cultural delights.
One of the highlights of this area is the availability of spectacular walking trails that wind their way through the rolling hills and along the mesmerizing coastline. Accompanied by knowledgeable local guides, we embark on unforgettable journeys into the heart of the Serra d'Espada and Serra d'Irta mountain ranges, as well as venture into the awe-inspiring Desert of Palms. Each step taken reveals a captivating landscape that resonates with the echoes of Moorish history and the rich heritage of the region.
Not only is the Castellon region a feast for the eyes, but it also serves as the "Pantry of Spain" due to its abundant harvest of fresh vegetables and an array of fruit trees, most notably the fragrant oranges. In the springtime, the hills and plains burst forth with a breath-taking display of cherry, almond, and fruit blossoms, infusing the air with a delightfully aromatic ambiance. As autumn unfolds its colourful tapestry, the land generously offers an abundance of figs, almonds, and avocados, creating a bountiful harvest that tantalizes the taste buds and showcases the region's gastronomic excellence.
We stay in the coastal town of Benicassim, where we are greeted by a charming beachfront and a magnificent display of Belle Époque architecture, adding a touch of elegance to the coastal landscape. Here, a delightful combination of sun, sea, and history welcomes us, making it an idyllic starting point for exploring the natural wonders and cultural heritage that await in the surrounding hills and countryside.
The Castellon region is a veritable hidden gem that beckons to be explored, offering a tapestry of experiences that span from tranquil beachside retreats to invigorating hikes in the rugged mountains, from savouring delectable local cuisine to immersing oneself in the colourful traditions of the villages. For those seeking an escape from the beaten path and a genuine taste of Spain's natural and cultural diversity, the secret allure of Castellon awaits discovery.