While the region of Castellon has been my home in Spain for 15+ years, I still keep discovering new places in this lesser-known Province of Spain. Here´s an ultimate road trip itinerary we have recently enjoyed with the kids in Castellon. It proves that you do not always need to cross oceans to keep your wanderlust fueling – sometimes the most peculiar destinations are waiting for you right around the corner…

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Castellon Road Trip with The Kids

Our family trip to Castellon

About This Castellon Road Trip

Castellon is a Spanish Province in the region of the Valencian Community.

While bordering Alicante and Valencia, Castellon is still relatively in the shadow when it comes to international travelers. This region still maintains a touch of traditional Spain, unspoiled by mass tourism, and is full of hidden gems. The main city in the area is also called Castellon (or Castellon de La Plana).

While we took this Castellon road trip with the kids, this itinerary is not particularly child-focused. It mainly consists of peculiar small towns in the Castellon Province. Nevertheless, all of our family has enjoyed this off-the-beaten-path trip.

This 6-day Castellon itinerary will be a great match for people who have seen the most of the classy Spain Bucket list and now want to enjoy the lesser-known areas of the Iberian Peninsula while discovering secret villages, hikes, and museums across the country.

The easiest way to follow this Castellon Road Trip is to fly to Castellon Airport or Valencia Airport (and add to your plan a day in the city). Also, both Castellon and Valencia can be easily reached from all major cities of Spain by train or bus.

Glamping & Planning a Getaway in Castellon

This Castellon Road Trip was one of my coolest local 2023 travel experiences in Spain.

It initially started as a romantic getaway plan to stay at Zielo de Levante Bubble Hotel near the village of Tirig. This place is such a cute glamping site off the beaten path, located in the middle of nowhere. Since neither I nor my husband has ever stayed at a similar accommodation, we felt it would be a cute travel plan to share.

Especially since the other bubble hotels in Spain are quite far away from our home: Mil Estrellas in Girona, Albarari in Pontevedra, Zielo Las Beatas in Ciudad Real, Miluna in Toledo, and Aire de Bardenas in Navarra.

However, last moment my mother-in-law (who was supposed to babysit the kids) got the flu. Since our booking had no cancellation option, we decided to bring the little ones along anyway.

So, this is how I´ve ended up creating this itinerary for a new Castellon road trip across the region…

Driving in Spain

Driving in Spain for the first time? – You might find handy this Driving in Spain Guide, with Expert Videos, 360 Driving Tours and an On-The-Go PDF.

castellon road trip family travel
Zielo de Levante during our Castellon Road Trip

Our 6-day Road Trip in Castellon

Day 1 – Castellon

You can start this Castellon Road trip by visiting the region´s capital city of Castellon (also called Castellon de La Plana).

The city of Castellon is a good starting point to explore the hidden gems of the Valencian Community. You can not miss the central square Plaza Mayor, the XVII-th century cathedral Santa Maria de Castellon, a 60-m tall bell tower El Fadri, and the Spanish Post Office building. The local museum Museo de Bellas Artes has a free entrance and a nice collection of traditional pottery for fans of Spanish Ceramics.

Another great alternative for staying near Castellon is Benicassim. You can check the full story about our family weekend in Benicassim in this post.

castellon road trip with kids spain travel blog
The Post Office Building in Castellon
Things to see in Castellon benicassim
A Beach Getaway in Benicassim

Day 2 – Vilafames

We started this spontaneous Castellon Road trip with an abundant breakfast-brunch at Restaurante Casa Julian in the small village of La Barona. This place is extremely popular among the locals in Castellon and is known for some of the best traditional Valencian almuerzos ( e.g. mid-morning snacks). It usually costs 10-15 euros per person, but the whole experience and the food are worth it. You can read more details about traditional Spanish almuerzo here.

After an abundant breakfast, we headed to Vilafames, often called one of the prettiest villages of Castellon (right after the famous Peniscola and Morella).

Built on a reddish rock, Vilafames is full of winding medieval streets, cute flower pots, and ancient ruins. It is such a beautiful example of a traditional village in Spain.

Here, you can also visit a charming Modern Art Museum MACVAC, one of the secret Spanish museums. But getting lost to explore all the charming corners of Vilafames is an epic idea anyway. On the top of the hill, you will find the remains of Vilafames Castle, conquered by Jaime I from the Moors in 1233 (during the famous Reconquista – learn more via my list of Spain documentaries).

Vilafames also has a few cute rural hotels to stay in, like Hotel El Rullo and Casa Rural la Llar.

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Vilafames – one of the lesser-known villages in Spain
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The picturesque streets in Vilafames
Benicassim Day Trips - Vilafames
Vilafames is a popular Benicassim Day Trip

Day 3 – Barranco de Valltorta & Glamping

On the next day of this Castellon road trip, we finally headed to the Bubble Hotel Zielo de Levante.

However, on the road, we made a few stops at the Ceramics Outlet Artesania Roca (see Google Maps), Coves de Vinroma (see Google Maps) to climb around the lesser-known Moreria caves, and the museum Museu de La Valltorta (see Google Maps) to explore the cave paintings.

Zielo de Levante was such a cool experience for the kids and the setting was extremely serene and quite (except for my kids, of course).

As to living inside the bubble – I honestly have mixed feelings myself.

The whole glamping experience and setting felt peculiar, and we loved having a small private pool nearby. However, as a person who loves open spaces and constant airstream, I did not feel entirely comfortable sleeping inside. To keep the bubble inflated, you need to shut the door constantly while going through the small corridor to enter/exit your room. The bed was obviously small for the 4 of us (since initially we did not plan to travel with the kids and booked the stay for 2), but it was worth experiencing anyway.

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The natural setting of Moreria near the small town of Coves de Vinroma (see Google Maps)
castellon places to visit ceramics
Ceramics Outlet Artesania Roca (see Google Maps)
castellon places to visit ceramics
One of my favorite Spanish pottery collections at Artesania Roca
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Living inside the bubble for the first time

Day 4 – Morella

On the 4th day of this Castellon road trip, we headed to Morella known for one of the most fairytale landscapes in Spain.

Despite having visited this small town on multiple occasions, we still enjoy exploring its medieval castle every once in a while. You can read about my previous visit to Morella in this post.

After spending the morning in Morella and enjoying a delicious lunch at Restaurante Daluan, we headed to the secret small town of Zorita del Maestrazgo to visit the local sanctuary Santuario de la Virgen de Balma.

Built between the XVI and XVIII centuries, this place is nestled in the rock in the middle of nowhere. Back in the Middle Ages, it was considered a popular spot in the region to pray for Divine Healing. Back then, those “possessed by the Devil” would come here in search of the Miracle Cure. Even though most of them had illnesses modern medicine now has clear names for (like epilepsy, for instance), back then they were simply doomed. This place gave me some real goosebumps, so I included it in my list of Mysterious and Haunted Places in Spain.

For staying in the area overnight, here are a few popular places in MorellaVallivana Suites, Hotel del Pastor, and Hotel Cardenal Ram.

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Morella, a must-stop on any Castellon Road Trip
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Views from the Castle of Morella
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A mysterious sanctuary near Zorita del Maestrazgo

Day 5 – Secret Villages of Teruel

We decided to dedicate the 5th day of this Castellon road trip to the secret villages of the Teruel region (set on the border with the Castellon Province) – Mirambel, Tronchon, and Iglesuela del Cid. These 4 places have such peculiar medieval architecture and feel like open-air museums stuck in time.

First thing in the morning we visited Mirambel and Tronchon, known for its cheese Queso de Tronchon (one of the popular local food souvenirs). We made a stop at their shop Quesos Artesanos Tronchon (see Google Maps) to buy some local delicatessen (although from all the cheese types, they only had cured).

For lunch, we thought of the local restaurant Casa Matilde, known for their typical homemade cuisine. However, we did not book in advance, and to our surprise the place was full. So, we ended up going for lunch to another popular restaurant in VillafrancaLa Taverna del Forn. I especially loved their artichokes with egg yolk ( *note, that this restaurant is currently moving to Benicassim and will no longer be open in Villafranca).

You can read more about other beautiful villages of Teruel in this post.

Also, the most beautiful place to stay in the area is Hotel Spa Matutano Dauden in Iglesuela del Cid.

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Iglesuela del Cid
off the beaten path tronchon teruel
delishious spanish food
Lunch at La Taverna del Forn (the most delicious artichoke dish since Gastronomic weeks of Benicarlo)
Mirambel Teruel
Mirambel – one of the secret villages in the Teruel Province

Day 6 – Ares Del Maestre & Culla

On our last day of this Castellon road trip, we decided to visit more beautiful villages of Castellon while making stops at Ares del Maestre and Culla.

Ares del Maestre immediately captures your attention on the road with its peculiar setting at the top of the Muela de Ares mountain. This tiny little town overlooks the whole province from 1.195 m above sea level. The top things to see in Ares del Maestre are the ruins of an ancient castle, Santa Elena Chapel, La Cova Remigia with its rock paintings (declared UNESCO world heritage), and Antigua Lonja (a Medieval market) with its Gothic-Mudejar arches.

Culla is another cute village in the Castellon Province, full of cobblestone streets, ruins of an ancient Arab castle, and breathtaking views…

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Ares del Maestre
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Traditional bread of the Spanish villages
Culla Castellon road trip
Culla Castellon Spain Villages

On the way back to Castellon we have also made a stop in the village of Els Ivarsos, known for their traditional Spanish bread. You can buy their delicious bakery at Panaderia Els Ibarsos (see GoogleMaps).

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castellon road trip with kids spain

For more Spain travel tips and itineraries check my Pinterest boards Best of Spain and Spain Travel Collection.

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