Cycling in Valencia - Province of Castellón

Overhead photo of cyclist riding in mountains, Spain

Castellón is the northernmost of the Valencian Community's three provinces

It is bordered by the provinces of Valencia to the south, Teruel to the west and Tarragona to the north. Its eastern border is comprised of the Costa del Azahar, which runs north to south along the Mediterranean Sea.

Relatively unknown to the wider public beyond the limits of the province itself, inland Castellón may well be Valencia's hidden cycling paradise.....


e-bike excursions in Villafamés, Castellón, Spain
e-bike excursionistss in Villafamés, Castellón

Castellón de la Plana, a busy, somewhat noisy city that is home to around 170,000 inhabitants, from a total of around 575,000 throughout the province. 

Old town and castle, Peñiscola, Spain
Kriegerkalle / Public domain
Old town and castle of Peñiscola, Castellón
Gordito1869 / CC BY-SA

As is the norm in the Valencian Community, and to a large extent throughout Spain, the vast majority of the local population lives along the coast in towns and villages such as Vinaroz, Peñíscola, Torreblanca, Oropesa del Mar and Benicasim, all of which cater to domestic and international tourism to a greater or lesser degree.

Orange groves in the Valencian Community, Spain
Orange groves in the Valencian Community

Traditionally, the economy of Castellón has been centred on agriculture, and specifically the production of citrus fruit and vegetables, as can be evidenced by the seemingly endless orange groves that run from north to south just inland from the coast.

Bicycle on Coll de Fredes, la Tinença de Benifassà, Castellón, Spain
Coll de Fredes, la Tinença de Benifassà, Castellón

Once we move inland from the coast the landscape changes dramatically, passing from the flat, coastal strip to the rugged mountains of the Maestrazgo (or Maestrat in Valencian) range to the north and the gentler, but nevertheless testing, Espadán (or serra d'Espadà in Valencian)range to the south.

The former forms the eastern extreme of the Iberian System mountain range. Home to perhaps the most renowned mountain in the Valencian Community, Penyagolosa (1,831 metres), the area is wild, abrupt, underpopulated and extremely cold in winter

Sounds great, no? 

View of Morella in Castellón, Spain
View of the historic town of Morella, Castellón

It is also the location of many highly-interesting monumental towns and villages evidencing the area's very particula history and culture, such as Morella, Sant Mateu, Culla, Alcañiz, Vistabella and Cantavieja, and offers some of the most unspoilt mountainous landscapes along the Spanish Mediterranean.

Road in Sierra de Espadán mountain range, Castellón, Valencia
Sierra de Espadán, in southern Castellón
Pelayo2 (based on copyright claims). / CC BY-SA

The latter, which is host to the Natural Park of the same name, is generally gentler in aspect, with its highest peak being La Ràpita (1,106 m). Easily accessible from the coastal town of Sagunto, Sierra de Espadán offers innumerable options for road and off-road cycling in the mountains, as well as the Castellón section of the Ojos Negros Greenway.
Peloton in the Mens Professional Road Race, 2018 Spanish Championships, Castellón, Spain
Peloton in the Mens Professional Road Race, 2018 Spanish Championships, Castellón, Spain

With very little traffic, excellent food, uncountable paved and paved we say; it may well be Valencia's hidden cycling paradise....