A very picturesque town, surrounded by mountains, Albocàsser is rich in interesting places to visit and a very popular spot for rural tourism. Especially well known for its cave paintings, the town is situated on a hillside, surrounded by an abundance of olive and almond trees. When the almond trees are in blossom, it’s so pretty!
There are a number of great walking/trekking routes you can take from the town, and these suggested routes vary from one hour and 20 minutes up to five hour routes. As the population of Albocàsser Spain is a bit under 1500, this is a good base for you, if you want a laid back place to stay that is surrounded by nature.
However if you do want to go to the beach, you can go to to Alcossebre, which is around a 50 minute drive away. Or another idea for a day at the seaside, is to take the route down to Benicassim, via the lovely town of Vilafamés. Benicassim not only has lovely beaches, but it is a stylish, buzzing town, with gorgeous period villas, from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Things To Do
Albocàsser Cave Paintings – Unesco World Heritage Site
From the Valltorta ravine on the road which goes from Sant Mateu to Tírig, there is around 4km of Levantine cave art. There are scenes of animals, archers, female figures plus hunting and fishing. It is a Unesco World Heritage Site, but only a few of the cave paintings are truly visible today.
It is considered that the paintings are linked to both the sacred energy of the areas, as well as the strategic. Of course like many other examples of cave art, they show us how much more in touch our ancestors were with the earth and all creatures who inhabit it.
These cave paintings were only re-discovered in the early 20th century by prestigious historians.
Iglesia Parroquial de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción – Parish Church of Our Lady of the Assumption
Plaza la Iglesia, C/ Sant Vicent nº 1, 12140 Albocàsser – Phone: 964 42 80 33 – 699 851 554
Construction work started in 1698 to replace the primitive Gothic church which lay on the site. The parish church of Albocàsser is Baroque with some precious Gothic altarpieces, and is also home to “Artesa” which is an impressive altarpiece, that dates back to 1415, and was originally in the Ermita Virgen de la Esperanza.
Ermitorio Hospedería de Sant Pau – Chapel and Inn of Saint Paul
Partida San Pablo, 12140 Albocàsser
Thought to date back to the 15th century, the Ermitorio Hospedería de Sant Pau has been declared a national monument of artistic and historical importance. Dedicated to Saint Paul the Apostle, it is one of the most important hermitages of the region. Roman archaeological remains were found here that may substantiate the alleged stay of St. Paul, the apostle in the area.
However there is also another popular local story, which talks about a saint appearing in the late 17th century, who healed the sick and cripples, and his miracles made the murky waters clean. It is said that a small, old chapel had previously existed in the same location and it was after this miracle that the Chapel that we can see today was built.
It can be found around 3kms from Albocàsser, on the CV-15 which is the road going to Castellon de la Plana. The spot itself is beautiful, as is the architecture.
Ermita de los Santos Juanes – Chapel of the Saint Johns
Plaza de Joan Fuster, 12140 Albocàsser, Phone: 964428033
This Chapel was originally built outside the village, but today, due to growth it is now in the village surrounded by modern buildings. Built towards the end of the 13th century, it was commissioned by the founder of the town, Joan Brusca and constructed in the style of the “temples of Reconquista”.
Dedicated to St. John the Evangelist and St. John the Baptist, it has a simple exterior and there is only one nave in the interior. Today it is still home to some artistic treasures that are worth the visit, such as some Gothic panels, the altarpiece which is dedicated to the Saint Johns and Joan Brusca’s stone sarcophagus. It is located in the west, near the corner with Carrer Sant Joan, close to the exit to Vilafranca.
Ermita y “Peiro” of Sant Pere Martir (Chapel of Saint Peter of Verona (Peter the Martyr) – the Peiro is a cross located at the entrance of the village)
Constructed around the mid 15th century, this Chapel was dedicated to Saint Peter of Verona (San Pedro de Verona). There is a quote from 1568 which states that the Bishop of Tortosa authorised singing masses in the hermitage. In the 18th century a vestry was added, which today is defunct, and in 1994 restoration works were carried out. It is best known for its side porch.
Saint Peter’s saint day falls on 29th April, but the tradition in Albocàsser is to visit the chapel on the final Sunday of the month, where rosemary is blessed and crosses are formed in the fields, to ask for blessings for a good harvest.
The Chapel is located about 500 metres west of Albocàsser on Camí Vell de Sant Pau, which is the old road to Benassal. To get there you can leave via the carrer de Sant Joan and at the first rounadabout of the CV-129 you take the left, and this road will take you to it.
Ermita Virgen de la Esperanza – Chapel of the Virgin of Hope
La Esperanza, 12140 Albocàsser
The construction of the Ermita Virgen de la Esperanza was initiated by Bernat Fort, who was a Cathedral dean from Albocàsser and an advisor to Papa Luna. Built around 1412, today many of the exterior walls are whitewashed, with some of the original stone being visible and the interior is 17 metres by 7 metres. Originally it was home to “Artesa” an impressive altarpiece, dating back to around 1415, which today is kept in the parish church. There is a partial reproduction still in the chapel.
The feast day of the Virgin of Hope is the 18th December and as she is the protector of pregnant women, it is traditional for them to come to her shrine on this day to pray for a safe delivery. It is located around 1.5km from the village, in the southeast on the old Serratella road, next to Mas de Sant Pere.
Ermita de San Miguel – Chapel of Saint Michael (also known as Ermita de Brusca)
Lluis Despuig, the Master of Montesa, granted permission for the construction of the Ermita de San Miguel in 1481. In 1599 it was reformed and other restoration work was done over the years, so that today it is in relatively good condition. The exterior has kept its traditional characteristics, and inside it measures 15 metres by 6 metres. Today there is a modern image of the Archangel Michael at the main altar, where once there was a beautiful altarpiece, painted in 1602, which was destroyed during the Civil War.
The Ermita de San Miguel is around 6km from Albocàsser, leaving via the Carrer San Miguel and taking the CV-130 in the direction of Tírig. At the the km3 sign that you’ll see, you need to swerve left onto the Camino de Catí, then after around 3km you’ll come to the Ermita de San Miguel.
Ermita del Calvario – Chapel of the Stations of the Cross
At the end of the Arrabal Alto houses
Built either in the late 18th century or early 19th century, the original tiles and masonry depicted scenes from the Passion of Christ. Although the main chapel was destroyed during the Civil War, it was later restored and the scenes from the Passion were replaced with ceramics. The Ermita del Calvario is located just by the last houses of the village, in the Raval Alt area, which is in the northeast of Albocàsser.
Parque Natural de la Valltorta – Natural Park of Valltorta
Phone: 964 33 60 10
It is here in the Natural Park of Valltorta that you can see great examples of cave paintings, as well as the Valltorta Museum, where there is a reproduction of the Cova dels Cavalls, as well as different tours. Our guest writer, Richard Oldale, tells his interesting story of his journey to the Cove Paintings of Valltorta.
Where to Eat
17th/18th January – Feast of Saint Anthony
This is held on whichever weekend falls closest to the 17th January. Visitors can see the colourful traditions of horses dragging trees, processions of animals while women read satirical pieces on current affairs and the traditional bonfire. Click on Saint Anthony Albocasser for more information. Also if you want to understand the tradition of this festival click on Saint Anthony Abbot Festival.
25th January – Feast of St. Paul
St. Paul is the patron saint of the town. A mass and procession take place in honour of him, and in February local produce is auctioned the weekend before Carnival in front of the church.
29th April – Pilgrimmage to St. Peter the Martyr
The tradition of this pilgrimmage, in procession to the chapel, has been carried out since ancient times. Rosemary is blessed and in the fields the locals form crosses and ask for blessings for a good harvest.
First Sunday of May – Pilgrimmage to St. Michael
Locals walk to the Ermita de San Miguel, mass is celebrated and the residents of Carrer San Miguel (St. Michael Street) make pancakes which are blessed.
June – Pilgrimmage to St. Peter St. Paul
Festival in the old part of the town, with processional dances and we see young people rediscovering old documents. The people dress in traditional costume, there is dinner and a dance in the square.
Night of 7th December and 8th December – Feast of the Immaculate Conception
On the night of the 7th, there is a gathering at 11pm outside the church, where songs are sung relating to Christ’s Passion. On the 8th after mass, there are more processions and music relating to the Virgin in the streets.
Friday 08.00 to 14.00
Calle Can Pedro
This is a small general market, with around 17 stalls.
Walks Suggested by the Town Hall
Route 1: Montegordo
Length: 3.5 km
Duration: 1h 20 min.
Route 2: More of the Grits – Pedrafita
Length: 15 km
Duration: 5 hours.
Route 3: Barranco de la Valltorta
Length: 14 km
Duration: 5 hours.
Route 4: Albocāsser – Mas de la Calzada
Length: 10 km
Duration: 3 h.
You can visit the website http://www.albocasser.es/es/content/rutas-turisticas
This website is currently in Spanish and Valenciano.