Teruel and its mountains.

Village-in-TeruelAn often ignored or forgotten part of Spain the mountainous region of Teruel with its high plains and pine forests is one of Spain's natural gems; a mixture of nature and history. From cave paintings to Mudejar (Moorish/Christian style) architecture to medieval towns with Templar knight fortifications. If you are interested in culture, food and nature Teruel is an excellent place to take your Spanish holidays. Sandstone coloured villages dot the mountain landscape. Each one unique. Dramatic and impressive mountains combine with green pastures and forests to make picturesque and stunning scenery. Dry in the summer and very cold in the winter the city of Teruel sits on a high plain famous for its extreme winters. But this extreme weather is what makes Teruel ham so famous. It has an excellent climate for drying hams. Dry and cool. The city of Teruel is a small compact city of 36,000 inhabitants and sits slightly south west of the centre of the province of the same name and is a city with a complex history. The Moors, the Christians, El Cid, The Lovers of Teruel, the 20th century Civil War and much more. It boasts a delightful myriad of architecture and culture throughout the historical centre. Plenty to see and plenty to try for its culinary delights are famous. The aforementioned ham is world famous, the local lamb delicious as are the regional cheeses and cured meats. Teruel and its mountain villages make for a very interesting blend of history, nature and excellent mountain food.

Xativa, Valencia and the surrounding areas.

view-xativaXativa and its surroundings are on the edge of a typical small Mediterranean mountain enclave. Orange groves carpet the plains whilst pine trees, olive groves, carob trees and vines are the agricultural backdrop in the mountain areas such as Bocairent and Fontanares. Besides have longstanding agricultural traditions inherited from the Iberos, the Phoenicians, the Romans and the Moors, each town and village has a history and a culture molded from the centuries of occupation by these invaders ,merchants or other visitors.

Being at geographical crossroad between coastal and mountain areas and a stepping stone on the road to Albacete from Valencia, Xativa is steeped in history. Just in its name one can see how different periods influenced the forming of the name...the Iberos called it Saiti, the Romans Saitabi or Saetabis, the Moors then called it Satiba which is very similar to Xativa in Valenciano (the local language). The town offers an array of architectural gems which reflect the different cultures from various periods of history. Besides an old medieval quarter the town boasts a magnificent castle that physically reflects the different periods of occupation by the diverse invading cultures. Famous for many things through the ages, Xativa was a very important centre of silk production, one of the first and most prestigious producers of paper and is the hometown of the infamous Borgias. Calixtus III was from La Torreta which is near Xativa whilst Alexander VI, the more notorious of the two was from Xativa. If you walk through the old quarter the medieval feel of the streets and the old palatial buildings show off the wealth of past generations.
With such an interesting history the local food has a pedigree and uniqueness which can be tasted in such dishes as Arroz al Horno (rice baked in the oven) a local classic made with local rice, pork, black sausage and chick peas, as well as the famous Valencian dish of paella in a endless variety of recipes. Sweet pastries such as Arnadi or Monxavina reflect the North African/Moorish influence in present day products with honey, almonds and cinnamon as main ingredients. There are numerous of local recipes to be discovered throughout the region with each town or village priding themselves in their local delicacies.

Valencia besides being a city is also a province and a regional community (one of the 26 political communities that make up modern Spain).As a city it offers the discerning visitor a whole range of places to visit, mixing the quaint old city area with the spectacular modern architecture designed Santiago Calatrava. It is well worth a day or two to explore.

If you going to take your holidays in Valencia and are interested in staying in the fascinating city of Valencia before or after your trip with us then if you need any information about what to do or where to stay in Valencia we would be more than pleased to provide information.