Famous for its cherries, the little town of La Salzadella can be traced back to Iberian and Roman times. It gets its name from a large forest of willow trees located close to the town. Cherries are part of the folklore of the town, and traditions relating to cherries have been passed down from generation to generation. Today La Salzadella’s cherries have received the recognition of the quality mark CV from the Valencian Community. If you have the chance to visit during the first weekend of June, then you can enter into an amazing world of cherries during the Cherry Fiesta.
This typical Spanish inland town, surrounded by lovely nature, is just a little over half an hour’s drive the coast. 28 km towards the sea will take you to Peniscola, which is officially one of Spain’s prettiest towns. Heading either north or south there are plenty of the beach tents also to choose from. This is a town with 817 inhabitants , so it’s the kind of place that’s really laid back, which may suit some people, and not others.
However apart from cherry lovers, this town is perfect for those who wish to go hiking and explore nature. It’s also located on the Via Augusta, for those who would like to explore the Roman road. Other interesting routes are the route of the millennial olive trees and the route of the water. Within the town itself there are also some buildings of interest, as well as a Mexico Square (Plaza México), which has been thoughtfully designed.
Enter the town through the Portal de les Coves or the Portal de la Bassa, which are gateways within the old town walls. From there you can explore the town’s charming streets, and visit its parish church and hermitages.
Apart from its famous cherries, the area also produces almond, olive and fruit trees. So depending on what time of year you visit, you may see the pretty ice pink of the almond trees in spring or the olive covered trees in late October to early November.
Things To Do
Portal de la Bassa
The town retains some of its 13th century medieval walls which had four gates, protected by towers. The remains have been declared to be of cultural interest. The Portal de la Bassa is one of the four gates, which was the one the protected the entrance from Sant Mateu.
Portal de les Coves
Of the four gates, this one is considered the oldest and most historic. In olden days this was the main gateway to the town, coming from the south from the Caves of Vinroma. It’s constructed entirely of masonry and leads onto the medieval streets of the old town.
Plaza México – Mexico Square
The square features some tropical pantries, lush vegetation and a large decorative fountain. There are also 24 banks to represent the legacy of the immigrants who made their fortune as entrepreneurs in Mexico.
Iglesia Parroquial La Salzadella – La Salzadella Parish Church
The town’s parish church is typical of the Baroque style which was developed at that time in northern Valencia. Built between 1736 and 1756, it originally consisted of one Corinthian nave. However its interior was destroyed during the Civil War in 1936.
Thanks to the help of town immigrants who went to Mexico and made money, it was restored between 1964 and 1967. It is a rare processional cross, which has been formed by 24 pieces of Valencia and rock crystal which have been finely carved. Also it is home to a number of 15th century chalices. Because of the patronage of the Mexican Indians from the town, the Virgin of Guadalupe sits on one side of the altar.
El Calvario de La Salzadella – La Salzadella Calvary
This is on the outskirts of the town, and dates back originally to the 17th century. It’s a lovely balance between nature and religion. It has lots of trees, a relaxing feeling and the stations of the cross are stone structures decorated and placed around the Calvary. There’s also a chapel.
It had to be rebuilt in 1984 after it was destroyed many years previously in the Spanish Civil War in 1936. What I liked about it is that you don’t need to be doing the stations of the cross to go there, it is peaceful and pretty. What’s more there a small play area if you have children with you.
Ermita de San Antonio – Hermitage of St Anthony
We’re not sure of the exact date of the construction of the hermitage, although we do know that it did exist in 1784. It’s dedicated to St Anthony of Padua and is situated just outside the old medieval walls of the town. It is thought that at this time would probably served as a refuge for those who couldn’t get into the town itself.
Ermita de Santa Barbara – Hermitage of St. Barbara
As St Barbara is worshipped for keeping an area free from lightning storms, there tends to be a good number of shrine is dedicated to her in farming areas. This Hermitage is thought to date to the late 17th century.
Ermita de San José – Hermitage of St Joseph
This Hermitage dates back to the 14th century, and is situated atop a mountain. Until the 18th century San Cristobal was worshipped there.
La Via Augusta – Augustine Way
The town has played an important role in road communications since Roman times. The Via Augusta was constructed between the 8th and 2nd centuries BC, and was a very important communication hub in the Western Mediterranean. These days it has become a local road, where you can go from St Barbara’s Hermitage to Les Llecunes or the Pou de les Rambles.
Ruta de Los Olivos Milenarios – The Route of the Millennial Olive Trees
In the Baix Maestrat region, there are 7 millennial olive tree routes. The Route of the Via Augusta and the Teuleria Mas (Ruta de la Vía Augusta y El Mas de la Teuleria) is one of these. The route runs through the end of La Salzadella, and can either be done on mounted quadbikes or hiking. It’s length is 16 km.
La Ruta del Aigua – The Water Route
This route is approximately a distance of 5 km. It explores the important architectural and cultural legacy left behind by the Arabs who used to inhabit this area. It takes you along by a variety of wells, fountains, wet natural areas and bridges which made up an irrigation system.
Lo Carreró de la Canal
This is a unique spot located amongst the pine trees and forest tracks where you can either go walking, mountain biking, hiking or play sports.
Days Out From La Salzadella
Sant Mateu, which is the historical capital of the region, is only 6 km away. Take the CV 10 and it’s less than a 10 minute drive. You can read more about this town here.
Les Coves de Vinroma, Valltorta Cave Paintings – is approximately 14 km away, taking the CV 10.
The lovely Sierra d’Irta Natural Park (Parc Natural de Sierra Irta) is only 16 km distance, which takes about 15-20 minutes to drive.
Around 27 km away, is the typical town of Alcala de Xivert. The symbolic sight, even from a good distance, is the magnificent church. It takes about 30 minutes to reach, and it actually, very surprisingly, has an Australian Bar. Get more information about Alcala de Xivert.
Officially one of Spain’s prettiest towns, Peniscola is about a 35 minute drive, at a distance of 28 km from La Salzadella. Check out more about it in our Peniscola Travel Guide.
Benicarlo is a nice town, once you ignore the entrance to it, which is frankly ugly and off putting. This is another option also for a day on the beach. It’s 29 km, and takes 35 minutes to drive, find out more here.
Alcala de Xivert is part of the same municipality as Alcossebre, which is the seaside part of it. This is a few kilometres further at 35 km distance, about a 40 minutes drive. More information here.
Around 45 km or a 45 minute drive away, you’ll find another of Spain’s officially prettiest towns – Morella. Check out the photos and information in the Morella Travel Guide.
Best known because of its music festival, Benicassim is a 50 km/50 minutes drive. It has some lovely beaches and some fine early 20th century villas on its promenade. More information here.
Castellon is a fine city, with a lovely port area, that is 59 km away and a 50 minutes drive. Read the Castellon Travel Guide.
Delta de l’Ebre Natural Park is 85 km away and takes a bit over an hour to reach by car. Find out about its magical landscape here.
The lovely city of Valencia is 127 km away and takes 1 hour and 25 minutes to reach. Here you can get a feel for Valencia.
San Antonio Abad
Fiestas Patronales en honor a Sant Blas y La Candelera
1st to 10th February
Fira de la Cirera – The Cherry Fair
1st weekend of June
A colourful and tasty affair, the Cherry Fair is where both visitors and locals can taste many varieties of cherries. Not only this, but there are a whole range of products produced from cherries to taste and buy, such as liqueurs, jams, infusions and cakes.