The Valencian Cat-mmunity

Feline sad? You won’t be after reading this blog.

Fur-real, we often find cats in the towns we visit on our hikes. Here is the purr-fect post for all you animal lovers, featuring some of the most claw-some photos and tails of our furry friends.

Gátova – The Catpital of Spain

It goes without saying that this is the best spot to find cats.

Gátova is located in the heart of the natural park of Sierra Calderona – the “lung of Valencia”, therefore natural sights are the most important things it has. Excursions go through places full of charm and beauty, such as its springs with mineral-medicinal properties, the peaks or viewpoints, and monumental places like the windmills and Piñel aqueduct. The parish church dates from the 18th century, it consists of two naves made with masonry and lime mortar with chapels on the sides between each buttress, the central nave has a barrel vault and the sides with a vaulted vault also highlights the sacristy that has a flat structure.

Also check out our blog post about The Windmills of Gátova – Valencia Mountain Enthusiasts

Peñiscola – The Social Divide

A town with a little bit less fortunate name, but lots of cats still. Cats are less sensitive to names.

The town of Peñíscola, in the north of Valencia, has a privileged location on the Spanish Mediterranean coast. The municipality measures some 79km2, 17km of which stretch along the coast. The territory is given over in equal parts to forest and warm-weather Mediterranean crops, including the emblematic oranges, olives and almonds.
The old town—crowned by a 14th century castle-fortress that was once the home of Pope Benedict XIII—stands on an imposing rock that rises 64m above the azure seas. It is connected to the mainland by a thin sandbar that waves used to wash over during storms, turning the town into an ephemeral island.

Alcudia de Veo – Cats with Cattitude

Alcudia de Veo is a small town in Plana Baixa, located at 465 meters above sea level, next to the Veo river. It is located in the heart of the Sierra de Espadán Natural Park. Although it currently only has a population of about 200 inhabitants, it is a very popular summer area in the Valencian Community. The municipality is divided into four areas: Alcudia de Veo, Veo, Benitandús and Jinquer, the latter uninhabited since the times of the Civil War.
Little is known about the origin of Alcudia de Veo. Its oldest remains seem to come from the existence of a small farmhouse of Islamic origin. The surroundings of the town, mostly natural, offer many opportunities for hiking. Through lush cork oak forests and springs you can reach Cueva del Toro. This route, for example, is for all audiences, an ideal excursion to go with children.
In the municipal area we find several monuments and historical remains. Among them, the imposing Castle of Alcudia de Veo stands out, declared a Site of Cultural Interest and Historical Heritage of Spain. It is located in the north of the town, 600 meters above sea level and on the banks of the Veo river. It is a ruined Arab fortress, from which the town can be seen. Its ruins still preserve a walled structure, as well as the remains of a keep. From its heights, the castle offers an evocative image of the landscape of Sierra Espadán.


Purr-haps more cat photos? Who am I kitten? Of course, we want cat pictures and we want them meow!

Surrounded by a rugged terrain with ravines that have dug authentic cuts and heights of over 1,300 meters, and perched on a flat topped hill between natural walls made out of dry stone, we find Castellfort. A stunning landscape that we can see from the viewpoint La Finestra del Mirador inside the very same village. Wandering through its streets we will discover the porches from the 17 th and 18 th century, which acted as a commercial market; the Town Hall, whose façade is the most important in terms of artistic value; the Church, built in the 18 th century, with a Neo-renaissance style and elegant proportions, La Confraria dels Lletrats, or other outstanding historical buildings as La Casa dels Marquesos de Castellfort, els Montserrat and “Les Capelletes”.

The Catquest of Culla

Paw-den me, do you have food?

A walk through its streets and monuments will transport us and show us the most medieval and magical Culla: the ruins of the 13th century Muslim castle; built on an Iberian fortress, the granary of the Commander from the 13th century; an old prison that remains intact and in which the original chains and drawings made by the inmates on its walls, are still preserved, the old 17th century hospital; which was the headquarters of the social work founded by Domingo Serrana and which exhibits school supplies and a rural classroom from the early 20th century, the Parish Church; built in the early 17th century on top of a former Arab mosque…


Baby cats? You’ve got to be kitten me!

I know Albarracin is not in Valencia. But let’s face it – the only reason you are scrolling through this is to look at cat photos.

Albarracín is a unique place. Taking promenades along this town, walking along the city wall and stepping into its monuments is like traveling to Medieval ages. You will admire every corner, red-coloured houses, doors and ring bells, tiny windows with lace curtains or carved wood richly forged balconies. Not to mention wonderful sightseeing from uneven locations. The precious architectonical and urban legacy of this unique town breaths charm and rest.

Ares del Maestre

More a-meow-zing cats

This small village with just over 200 inhabitants is great in terms of history, as the prehistoric inhabitants of the municipality and the continuous modifications of its castle attest to this. The second highest town in the province of Castellón, built around the remains of the old castle, which overlooks a wild and spectacular landscape. The spacious square welcomes the visitor and passing through El Perxe (an old fish market with Gothic-Mudejar arches from the 13th century) leads to the Town Hall. This is built on the old Arab walls of the 10th century and preserves an interesting chapter house used by the Templars. The curious church (it is bigger than its bell tower) from the 18th century replaces the old one that was burned by the troops of Felipe V in 1707 in the War of Succession. On the access road to the castle there is the possibility of entering the cave which, like a tunnel, crosses the entire rock and recreates stories and fantasies. Its steep streets face southeast in search of as much light and heat as possible. It has basic services and houses a cozy restaurant, where you can taste the typical gastronomy of the area based on olla d’Ares, lamb chops, curd, pickled partridge, rabbit with snails among other specialties.

A hike with no cats would be a cat-asthropy! So join Valencia Mountain Cat Enthusiasts on a hike, we’re paw-sitive that if there’s a cat we will find them! Purr-haps they’ll even join the group for a bit too.

Photo Credit: Catherine Salsbury & Dmitry Blatov

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