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Last weekend I kicked off my 2024 Spain Travel plans list with a hike to Penyagolosa, the 2nd highest peak of the Valencian Community. Let me share the details of this unique trail.

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Visiting Penyagolosa

About Penyagolosa

Penyagolosa (1813m) is considered the most iconic mountain of the Valencian Community. It is the 2nd highest summit of the Valencia Region, located in the Province of Castellon. While Valencia´s top peak is Cerro Calderon (1850m) in Rincon de Ademuz (one of Valencia’s secret places), the hike to Penyagolosa is one of the best Castellon trails.

Not to mention that it is one of the coolest Spanish hikes, still undiscovered by international visitors. So, it has all the attributes of the secret hikes in Spain (except for the weekends, when the place is frequented by locals).

The Penyagolosa hike will take you through the pine woods towards the rocky summit, known for the best panoramic views of the Valencia region.

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Penyagolosa is known for the best views of the Valencian Community

How to get to Penyagolosa

Penyagolosa Peak is located within the Penyagolosa Natural Park in the province of Castellon. Valencia, Alicante, and Castellon are the 3 Spanish provinces, that form the region of the Valencian Community (called La Comunidad Valenciana in Spanish).

To reach Penyagolosa, you’ll need to drive to Villahermosa, one of the secret Castellon villages.

Once there, follow the indicator to Penyagolosa Natural Park and drive towards the small hermitage of Saint Joan (called Ermita de Sant Joan de Penyagolosa in Spanish). It is a medieval sanctuary of Gothic origins, which used to receive pilgrimages, like the famous in Castellon Pelegrins de Les Useres (still celebrated last Friday of April).

Some historians believe Ermita de Sant Joan might have been founded by the monks helping the troops of King Jaime I, known for reconquering several Spanish regions back from the moors and commemorated in many Spanish legends.

The parking near Ermita de Sant Joan de Penyagolosa (this is where you need to leave your car)

Penyagolosa can be an easy day trip from Castellon, Morella, Peñiscola, or Teruel. The peak is a bit far away for a Valencia day trip, but you can easily include it on a longer Valencia Road Trip Itinerary. Another alternative to visit Penyagolosa from Valencia is to pick a nice hotel nearby, to spend the weekend in the area.

Details of the hiking trail to Penyagolosa

This trail is 9.65 km long and it took us around 4,5 hours (for the round trip). But we stayed quite a while at the peak for lunch and views. To split: it was around 2 hours up and 1 hour 30 minutes down. You can check the details of the trail via Wikiloc.

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The beginning of the trail at the parking (years ago you could have accessed it by car, but now it is a protected natural area and non-resident vehicles do not have way in)
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Hiking to Penyagolosa: Barranco de la Pegunta
penyagolosa hikes castellon spain
Almost halfway through: the pine woods of Penyagolosa Natural Park
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Aside from the indicators, the trail to the Penyagolosa peak is marked with yellow & white
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Views on the go towards the Penyagolosa peak
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Reaching the Penyagolosa peak

My Impressions of Penyagolosa

It was my second time hiking to the Penyagolosa peak, but it felt like such a memorable experience. Enjoying the best views of the Valencia region from the top is quite rewarding after all the effort you put in.

This trail is largely popular with the local Spaniards, but it never gets as busy as the hiking trails near Valencia or the Pyrenees.

On the trail, you will meet people with small kids (although most family travelers use carriers) and even groups of active seniors. Officially, this hike is somewhere between easy and moderate levels. However, I wouldn’t take my kids to Penyagolosa. At least not yet. Mainly, because this trail involves a lot of uphill walking.

Nevertheless, I can highly recommend experiencing the Penyagolosa hike at least once, especially, for those who are looking for adventurous things to do in Spain.

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penyagolosa hike in valencia spain

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

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