You don’t have to go far from the coast to find some amazing places to visit. The Valencian village (or is it a small town?) of Llutxent is no exception, and if you are a nature lover and a walker you are in for a treat.
Let’s call it a town! Llutxent was certainly a sleepy hollow during our visit, but lockdown restrictions were still in force so perhaps it will gradually reawaken now. There are no hotels nearby but fortunately we had a friend to stay with. Visiting on a Monday and Tuesday also ensured that there was little nightlife but the central Cafe-Bar Trancj has a lovely garden courtyard where you can sit and sip a cold beer. We also took refreshments in Bar Sol, but there are a few more options around too. Wherever we went we saw an unusual beer snack. It’s called uva de pastor or shepherd’s grapes. It had a slightly bitter, herb-like taste and, to be honest, was not really to my liking! If you would like to read more about this local delicacy, the blog Recetas y Amigos have written about it, and the link will take you to a translation of the post. The photo below was also taken from there.
Wandering around the town you should probably have sturdy footwear. Some of the hills are quite steep. The central area is a rabbit-warren of narrow streets and the cupola of the church along with its tower dominates the skyline. Nearby you’ll also see the crenellated towers of Palau-Castell. This impressive building is currently being restored but one day in the not-too-distant future it should be worth visiting.
Walkers will love the circular route up to the Corpus Christi Monastery. Following the signs from the edge of town you climb up the hillside path bordered by the white stations of the cross. Whilst visits are not possible at the moment, you can walk all the way around this wonderful building. Look for the information boards and take something to translate from Valenciano as they are not even in Spanish, let alone English! The Monastery was built by the Dominicans starting in 1422 and it housed the first University of Valencia. The main building runs around a closed cloister and the Gothic refectory, chapterhouse and novices’ rooms are also of note. Next to the Monastery is the Church of Corpus Christi, in Gothic Mediterranean style, which was declared a National Monument in 1982. From the monastery take the road through the plantations where olives, grapes, almonds, plums, apples and paraguayos (flat peaches) grow. It’s a very pleasant circular walk of around 5km.
If this walk whets your appetite for more, Llutxent is actually positioned on Stage 2 of the Ruta de los Monasterios. You can download a handy pdf document here with information about all five monasteries on the route. More details and photos can be found in Spanish courtesy of Valencia Bonita. If your Spanish isn’t up to it, try this English post by Valencia Turisme instead. At around 80km long, it would be no mean feat to walk the whole route. Luckily there are variations which can be followed by road.
If rural tourism is your thing, a trip to Llutxent will get you started on a voyage of discovery in a part of the Valencian community you perhaps were unaware of.