Do not let the industrialised surroundings of Almassora put you off going there. This is a town with interesting potential, especially now that the Castellon Airport opens late 2014/early 2015. The old town has some lovely buildings and a labyrinth of streets named after saints. There are also a number of buildings that could do with some TLC, but for those who are visual, it is not hard to imagine how this part of the town could look when these façades have had a makeover.
The name Almassora comes from the Latin word “mansio” which means stopping place or inn. Typically Mediterranean, the town is split by the river Mijares, and it mixes the modern with the old, the natural with the industrialised. Some of its top attractions are its old town, the Hermitage of Santa Quiteria, which is located in an area of natural beauty, various churches and chapels, some museums, its beaches and an area of ecological importance at the mouth of the river Mijares. In Spanish the name of the town is Almazora.
Part of the Via Augusta, it has a population of around 24,000 and its main economic activity is the ceramic industry. In the last few decades it has become increasingly industrialised, however today you can still enjoy a stroll around the old town of Almassora, plus its areas of great natural beauty and of course relax on one of its lovely beaches.
La Villa – The Old Town – all over Spain the old town is often called El Casco Antiguo
Around the streets Burriana, d’Arremur and Colon there are remnants of the medieval wall that surrounded the old town of Almassora. You can still see porches in the square that date from the 15th century.
From more modern times, there are also a number of eclectic modernist buildings which stand out proudly in the town. The two that especially caught my eye are the Casa del Doctor Castell (House of Doctor Castell) and the Edifici de la Caixa Rural (Building of the Rural Bank.)
Check out the average weather in Almassora
Things To Do
Torrelló de Boverot
Archaelogical excavations have taken place at the Torelló de Boverot and it is evident that there was a village at the site which dates back to 1200 B.C and lasted up until around 160 to 140 B.C. The excavations also show that during this time there were phases of occupation which then come to an end when other people arrive and destroy the habitat.
Edifici de la Caixa Rural – Rural Bank Building
This impressive building was inaugurated on 21st May 1929, and has since become one of the most symbolic buildings of the town. It has an eclectic architectural style, with a very attractive facade, full of interesting decorative items.
Casa del doctor Castell – House of Doctor Castell
This eclectic modernist building dates to 1905, and was possibly built by the town architect of the time, Francisco Tomás Traver. It belonged to the same family who built the Serra Theatre.
L’Assut (in Spanish El Azud) – The Weir
Close to Santa Quiteria
Check out some remarkable engineering of this weir (underground dam) that diverts water to irrigate farms in Almassora and Castellón, as well as off to Nules and Burriana. It is thought to date back originally to the 17th century, with construction of the Assut for Almassora and Castellon beginning in 1886. There is also a carved masonry dam which opened in 1895, this was the work of Tomás Traver.
Puente Sobre el Río Mijares – Bridge over the River Mijares
The bridge was built between 1784 and 1790 under the direction of the architect, Bartolomé Dalamau. It has 13 arches of 9 metres. Near the bridge you’ll find the monolith as described below.
Monolito – Monolith
On the National road, N340, there is a monolith at the bridge near the river Mijares. It is dedicated to those who fought the French during the War of Independence, on 9th March 1810, in this location.
Playa Pla de la Torre – Plan of the Tower Beach
Near the estuary of the River Mijares
This beach is 1000 metres long and 25 metres wide. There are some citrus groves in its interior and it is a mixture of sand and shingles. It is semi-urbanised.
Playa Benafelí – Benafeli Beach
North of Playa de la Torre
Located north of Playa de la Torre, this beach is sandy, measuring around 1500 metres in length by 40 metres wide. You need to access it by the crossing called Sant Josep, it is quiet and tidy and has a kind of crescent shape.
Iglesia Parroquial de la Natividad – Parish Church of the Nativity
Plaza de la Iglesia, 1
Built during the late 17th century in Baroque style , the Iglesia Parroquial de la Natividad was extended in 1864 when the Chapel of Communion was constructed. On the facade which faces the square you can see a Roman tombstone which dates back to 1st or 2nd century A.D. Inside there is a single nave and chapels, plus you can see the relic of Saint Quiteria, who was a 5th century martyr and virgin.
Iglesia del Cristo del Calvario – Church of Christ Stations of the Cross
Avda. José Ortiz, 2
You’ll find this church just by the Convent of the Poor Clare Nuns (Convento de las Monjas Clarisas) where there is a magnificent image of Christ Crucified by Juan Bautista Porcar.
Ermitorio de Santa Quiteria – Hermitage of Santa Quiteria
Santa Quiteria, 4km from the town
This is one of the most popular shrines of the area, loved by locals and visitors alike, in a lovely setting. Go upstream, keeping to the left of the river, you’ll find the hermitage close to the bridge which has the same name. Different sources refer to the spot since at least the 14th century, and it served as a hospital for those affected by the plague between 1647 and 1652. The building you see today dates back to 1683, when work began, which was later interrupted by the War of Succession to be later conintued and concluded in 1726 by José Vilallave.
Santa Quiteria is the patron saint of the town and her saint day falls on 22nd May. On this day there is a pilgrimmage to the hermitage and chapel, and her image is brought to the town and remains there until the third Sunday of June. It is then brought back to the hermitage and there are celebrations, which include risotto dishes for the pilgrims.
Ermita de Sant Antoni – Hermitage of Saint Anthony
Camí la Mar
Restored in 1984, the hermitage can be found 1.5km south east from the town. There is a blue tiled dome, and Baroque facade, cornice and gable ends. Inside there are wooden beams and stone benches. The altarpiece features the patron, Saint Anthony of Padua, as well as a painting of Saint Anthony of Abad. The saint’s feast day falls on the first Sunday of August.
Ermita de San Juan Bautista – Hermitage of Saint John the Baptist
Next to La Torre Beach
Built on the site of an old abandoned chapel, this modern temple was built in 1960. It is a simple cube structure with a wooden door. The small chapel only opens in the holiday season.
Ermita de San José – Hermitage of Saint Joseph
San Rafael 185
This also opens during the summer months to serve the holiday makers. It was built in 1912, although the bell has the date 1726, with an inscription to Saint Domingo de Soriano. It is a small chapel, and inside you’ll find a sculpture by José Gozalbo. It is located at the junction between Camí Ben Afelí and the Travessa de Sant Josep.
Ermita de Roser del Mar – Chapel of Roser of the Sea
Xopar en la Mar
Manuel Granell Cotanda, who was the pastor of the Church of the Nativity, initiated the construction of this chapel, which was built between 1987 and 1993, for those staying in the holiday homes of the area. It is very bright and has a striking dome with large panoramic windows.
Museo Municipal de Almassora – Almassora Municipal Museum
Calle San Vicente, 47, Phone: 964 531 328, E-mail: email@example.com
Free Admission, Open Tuesday to Friday 10.00 to 14.00 and 16.00 to 18.30, Saturday 10.00 to 14.00
In the museum there are artefacts which were found during the archaeological dig at Torelló de Boverot.
Museo del Juguete – Toy Museum
Edificio de la Murá, Av. Burriana at the corner that meets Virgen de Tremedal, Phone: Tourist Office 964 551 887
Free Admission, Open Tuesday to Friday 09.30 to 14.00 and 16.00 to 18.00 (except Wednesday), Wednesday and Saturday 09.30 to 14.00
This is the first toy museum to have opened in the province of Castellon. Thanks to the Areños-Agut family, who have been collecting since 1940, the collection has around 150 pieces including dolls, planes and cars.
Desembocadura del Mijares – Mouth of the River Mijares – Les Goles (the Goals)
This is a protected area, with a wetland landscape, noted for its beauty as well as ecological value. At the very final stretch where it flows into the sea, there is interesting aquatic vegetation and shallow lagoons. You can spot ducks, herons, gulls, marsh warblers and waders in the area. The zone is called Les Goles and up to 207 different bird species have been recorded there, however this was a few years ago.
Where to Sleep
Where to Eat
Tuesday and Friday at the central market, located at the Plaza de España.
There are markets on Sundays in the beach area.
Below are the most convenient airports for accessing Almassora
Distance from Alcossebre to Castellon Airport: 40 km
At the time of writing Ryanair will be serving this airport from September 2015, to begin with from/to London Stansted and Bristol.
Here is a feature about the Castellon Airport
Distance from Alcossebre to Valencia Airport: 71 km
A list of destinations and airlines/tour operators can be found at Valencia Manises Airport
Distance from Alcossebre to Reus Airport: 193 km
A list of destinations and airlines/tour operators can be found at Reus Airport
Distance from Alcossebre to Barcelona Airport: 274 km
A list of destinations and airlines/tour operators which serve the airport can be found here at Barcelona Airport
Castellon Airport will have some transport running to various locations, we will update this information when we receive it.
Valencia and Barcelona can be reached quite easily by train, in both cases you need to make just one change for the airport, in Valencia at Estacion Nord and in Barcelona in Sants.
Reus – I personally always drive there, but you can get a train to Salou and then get transport from there.