Sometimes the best way to know about a place is to get out of it! Having booked Valencia for a week’s stay, we took one day to explore areas outside the main city. We had heard about Sagunto so decided to give that a shot.
Travelling to Sagunto on the outskirts of Valencia, also gave us a chance to check out Valencia Nord – the main railway station whose interiors as well as external facade is of historical and architectural significance.
You can easily buy tickets on the day from the station. But in order to better plan your day, I recommend checking the departure times and setting off accordingly as there are only a handful of services running on a weekday.
Our tickets cost us 15 Euros return for two. A short 30 minute train ride later and we arrived in the sleepy town of Sagunto (Sagunt in Catalan and Valencian).
Sagunto is famous for its fortress. Outside the station, you will find directions to get to the fortress or you can use Google Maps to navigate your way if you have good mobile reception! It is a good 20 minute uphill walk so ensure you wear proper footwear.
As we meandered through the narrow roads and alleyways, we took note of the architecture of the town which was a mix of modern developments with remnants of the bygone era. It was noticeably quiet but then we had chosen to arrive at 2 pm – Spanish siesta time!
The Sagunto Fortress has some magnificent archaeological remains of previous inhabitants over the centuries – Romans, Christians, Goths and Arabs.
Entry to the fortress is free. However, it is highly recommended to carry some water and refreshments with you, as there are no provisions once you are inside (like a visitor’s cafe). There are no toilets either. You can easily spend an hour or so exploring so it pays to have some supplies with you. Depending on the season, it can get a bit chilly because of the altitude so a light jacket wouldn’t hurt either. That said, we visited in September and it was boiling at 34 degrees!
There are temples, broken ramparts, rocks with ancient Roman inscriptions, forums, guard towers and settlements dotted around. You can easily spend a couple of hours here navigating through the various sections.
In many ways this trip reminded us of Pompeii, only better; as there was no one around, we could explore at our own leisure!
Built on a hill, the 360 degree views out to the town from the fortress are breathtaking and worth pausing for.
On our way back, we stopped at Teatro Romano De Sagunto – a semicircular Roman theatre that is currently used for musical and theatrical events. It looked like it had undergone major restoration and refurbishment. There are toilet facilities available at this site and a cafe bar.
I imagine watching live performances here would be spectacular.
When you first arrive at the fortress, you are given a paper ticket which allows you entry to the fort, the Roman theatre and the Historical Museum of Sagunto. We had to skip the museum due to time constraints but we hope to check it out next time.
As we made our way back to the station, we stopped by this stunning gothic style church – The Church of Santa Maria.
Lunch was at the Meson El Castillo. I wouldn’t say it was Sagunto’s finest eatery but it was a decent enough joint and one of the only two places open at that hour. After hours of walking in the sweltering heat, the fideuà (a type of paella but made with noodles) and ice cold beer definitely hit the spot for us and we were grateful for it.
If you happen to be in Valencia, I highly recommend visiting Sagunto for a day out. However, I would advise taking a small picnic with you and plenty of water/drinks as there aren’t many shops around that are open in the afternoon unless you are in the modern bit of the town.
More information on Sagunto can be found in:
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Oh this looks lovely! In love with little streets like that!
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