Visiting Morella, one of the most beautiful villages in Spain, is one of the best ways to explore non-coastal and lesser-known Spain. There are many beautiful castles and hilltop villages in Spain, but none of them has this epic setting that Morella does. The whole landscape of this hidden gem in the Spanish province of Castellon belongs in a storybook.
Morella: A Medieval City and A Castle in Castellon
Morella is a small medieval town in the Spanish province of Castellon, a hidden gem of the region, and an ultimate stop for all the lovers of the undiscovered and off-the-beaten-path places. There are many beautiful castles in Spain, but none of them has this epic setting that Morella does. Visiting Morella should be a must on your Spanish Bucket list.
The road to Morella lies through some mountains and hills of the Valencian Community, although there are not as many sharp turns on the way as on Tenerife or Crete. Morella can be visited as a day trip from Castellon, Valencia, Teruel (here you can add more beautiful medieval villages completely off the beaten track to your route), or Tarragona. It´s at least a 2hr drive, no matter from which city you’re visiting Morella, but for those of you who seek to get an authentic taste of Spain and see the lesser-known regions of the country, it will be 100% worth it.
Also read: Historical Valencia – The Borgia Route
Every once in a while I plan on visiting Morella myself. Just in two years, I´ve been to this tiny magical city at least 4 times. Morella is one of those unique places in the Spanish Province of Castellon, filled with history and old charm, which makes you coming back again and again. As one of 10 Fairy-Tale Places in Spain that are straight out of a Storybook, Morella is also a perfect fit for my Blog Series: Undiscovered Spain.
Morella: Spain Off The Beaten Track
Unlike its local neighbor Peñiscola(which aside from its appealing white-sand beaches was one of the Game of Thrones filming locations in Spain), Morella is still relatively in the shadow. Although, back in 2015 Morella won the Spanish competition to host the 25th Anniversary of Ferrero Rocher and it definitely brought a lot of media attention. Yet, in my opinion, it still deserves more international attention. Don´t you think so?!
Rising 984 meters above sea level and fortified by 2 km of walls, Morella has always been of great strategical importance throughout history. Its murals have seen various civilizations – Romans, Arabs, Christians… I guess, all these cultural influences have given Morella its uniqueness. Gothic buildings, handicrafts, artisans and antiques – the streets of Morella are full of alluring details.
One thing you need to keep in mind about visiting Morella is that there are lots of steps everywhere, so be ready to do quite a few steeply walks upwards and downwards. The easiest street to walk is the main one – Blasco de Alagón, where you could find a few shops with local specialties, trendy restaurants, and cozy cafes.
The Morella Castle
For such a small town, Morella is surprisingly full of monuments and museums, revealing its magnificent historical past. Tiempo de Dinosaurios Museum, Sant Francesc Castle, Sant Miquel Towers, Sexenni Museum, La Fuente Vieja Tower – all of the following places can be visited in a day. Besides, The City Council often hosts temporarily expositions.
There are also cave paintings from 4000 years BC, displaying the Neolithic past of the city, in Morella la Vella. You’ll need to register at Morella Tourism Office for a guided tour (which is free) and to drive with your own car around 20 minutes towards Morella la Vella.
Also read: Beautiful villages in Spain – Bocairente
The Morella Castle looks amazing from the distance, but basically, the only remains are the murals themselves. For an extra fee, you could go all the way to the top and get some panoramic views.
You can check more details about the latest events in Morella here.
The city of Morella is one of the prettiest cities in Spain and an ultimate destination to escape city life and learn more about the region.
Another famous fact about the city is Sexenni, a local celebration taking place every 6 years. From the pictures I saw all over the internet it looks stunning – the city gets covered with flowers and colors and the streets are full of music and dances. You can say many things about the Spanish people, but one thing I know for sure – they know how to make a spectacular Fiesta. Unfortunately, I haven´t been able to see it for myself so far. Although as I enjoy visiting Morella so much, for sure I´m going to witness Sexenni one day. It´s just a matter of time.
Morella for Foodies
Like most of the Spanish cities with ancient gastronomic traditions, Morella is a great place for gourmets. Not to mention a few really good restaurants, Morella´s bakeries (famous for its traditional pastries and sweets, like “flaons” and “mantecadas”). Since the Middle Ages Morella was famous for its artisans and most of the local delicatessen are still prepared in an ancient way. Foodies might consider visiting Morella during the Truffles Gastronomic weeks in Spain ( from the end of January till the beginning of March).
Although you could still find some local delicatessen with truffles all year round (here, I should admit that I´m never leaving without a local truffle cheese myself).