The Conquest of Valencia

Teruel - Castellón - Valencia
Route:From Cella (Teruel) to Valencia (Valencia)
Journeys:3 days
Cabecera mapa Motor Conquista de Valencia
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  • In the Middle Ages there was an aqueduct that joined together Albarracín and Cella (Teruel) / ALC.
  • Mudejar Tower of San Salvador in the town of Teruel, declared World Heritage Site by the UNESCO / ALC.
  • Mudejar Tower of San Salvador in the town of Teruel, declared World Heritage Site by the UNESCO / ALC.
  • Streets of Teruel, capital of Mudejar art, declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO / ALC.
  • Mudejar Tower of Saint Peter in the town of Teruel, declared World Heritage Site by the UNESCO / ALC.
  • Mudéjar roof in the Cathedral of Teruel, declared World Heritage Site by the UNESCO / ALC.
  • Mudejar Tower of Saint Martin in the town of Teruel, declared World Heritage Site by the UNESCO / ALC.
  • Remembering the tragedy of the "Lovers of Teruel" legend: the Wedding of Isabel de Segura, a popular medieval festival in the city of Teruel.
  • Easter Week of Teruel
  • Castle of Mora de Rubielos, Teruel / ALC.
  • Gate of San Antonio in Rubielos de Mora, province of Teruel / J.C. Leguey.
  • Rubielos de Mora, Teruel / ALC.
  • Rubielos de Mora, streets. Province of Teruel / ALC.
  • Rubielos de Mora, province of Teruel / ALC.
  • Salvador Victoria contemporary art museum in Rubielos de Mora, province of Teruel / ALC.
  • Spectacular straits of river Mijares, province of Castellón / ALC.
  • Hot spring in Montanejos, province of Castellón / ALC.
  • A summer evening / ALC.
  • Jérica, Castellón / Asís G. Ayerbe.
  • La Torreta, castle of Peña Tajada. Jérica (Castellón). ALC
  • City walls of Segorbe, province of Castellón / Tourist Office of segorbe.
  • Bull and Horse droving fiesta in Segorbe (Castellón), festivity declared of International Tourist Interest / Ayuntamiento de Segorbe.
  • Torres Torres, province of Valencia / ALC.
  • Church of San Salvador, in Sagunto, province of Valencia / ALC.
  • The millennial castle of Sagunto, province of Valencia / Felipe Noguera Trejón.
  • The millenary city of Sagunto, province of Valencia / Julián Negredo Sánchez.
  •  Easter Week in Sagunto, Valencia. Festivity of National Tourist Interest
  • Fallas of Sagunto, Festivity of National Tourist Interest
  • La Pobla de Farnals, in the province of Valencia / València Terra i Mar.
  • The Miquelet (Miguelete) is the bell tower of the cathedral of Valencia and one of the symbols of the city of Valencia.  It was mostly built in a Gothic style between 14th and 15th century. Its name comes from the great bell dedicated to St. Michael (aproximately 7500 kilos). A spiral stone staircase with 207 steps leads you to the top with great views of the city / ALC.
  • Apostles Gate  in the cathedral of Valencia / ALC.
  • King Jaime I, equaestrian statue in Valencia / ALC.
  • Detail of the Miquelet or Miguelete, the bell tower of the Cathedral of Valencia and one of the symbols of the city / ALC.
  • Romanesque Puerta del Palau (Door of the Palace), in the Cathedral of Valencia / ALC.
  • Sculptural detail of the late-Romanesque capitals of the Puerta del Palau (Door of the Palace) of the Cathedral of Valencia / ALC.
  • Equestrian statue of el Cid in Valencia / ALC.
  • Possibly in May 1099, El Cid died in Valencia of natural causes, at the age of less than fifty-five years. Monument to El Cid, in the city of Valencia, by sculptress Anna Hyatt Huntington / ALC.
  • La Lonja de Valencia was a financial centre where the latest medieval merchants work out contracts. It is a wholly exceptional example of a secular building in late Gothic style. It was declared World Heritage Site in 1996 / Turismo Valencia.
  • Every Thursday at noon, for centuries, the Water Tribunal (Tribunal de las Aguas), declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity UNESCO, has been meeting in the square in front of Valencia's Cathedral / Turismo Valencia.
  • Fallas de Valencia, bonfire festival in March designated as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity since 2016 / Turismo Valencia.
  • La Gesta de Mío Cid, a representation on the beach of Las Arenas, in Valencia, where the siege of the muslim city by el Cid's troops is dramatized.


The Conquest of Valencia by car or motorbike: from the mountains to the Mediterranean

  • Route: From Cella-Teruel to Valencia
  • Provinces: Teruel, Castellón, Valencia.
  • Kilometres: Approx. 202 km.
  • Days recommended: 3 days (2 nights).


Information you can download on this page

Remember that you can obtain more information about each route at the tourist information offices on the Way of El Cid, including brochures and the Letter of safe conduct.

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For more information about the Camino del Cid travel app, click here. 

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Plot: the conquest of Valencia

For anyone wanting to come with me to attack Valencia… I will wait for them for three days at the Canal of Cella. This route sets off in Cella, the place where, according to the Poem, El Cid decided to meet up with those who wanted to help him conquer Valencia. It follows his tracks through the many towns and villages of what is today known as Comunidad Valenciana, tributaries of El Cid in history or conquered by him according to the Poem.

The route runs towards Valencia mainly along the course of the River Palancia: in the valley of this river, we come across Jérica (conquered, according to the Poem, by El Cid and historically one of his tributaries) and Segorbe (also a tributary but, in the Poem, it was used as home for an army of 3000 Moorish knights on their way to Alcocer to do battle with El Cid.

The route unavoidably leads to the Mediterranean, first of all at Sagunto (converted anachronistically in the Poem into El Cid's headquarters for three years) and El Puig, a strategic place 15 km from Valencia, conquered by El Cid in the literature and also in history (in 1092). In 1237, Jaime I followed suit and, in both cases his occupation was decisive for the conquest of the city.

Now, all that is left is to enter the historical centre of Valencia through any of its gates (that of Quart or that of Serranos) and travel along a section of the former Islamic walls, whose remains consist of a few parts of the wall embedded in the houses in the historical centre. El Cid took Valencia on 15 June 1094 after a very difficult siege. It is said that, after the conquest, he climbed the fortress tower to see his possessions; we take our last steps in this journey by climbing El Miquelet, one of the symbols of this legendary city. And nothing better than the stanzas of the Poem to describe that moment: Great was the rejoicing / when my Cid entered Valencia. / Those who were on foot became knights, / and the gold and the silver — who could count it?

The story told in the Poem does not end here: Valencia and the surrounding area were the stages for other events and battles against the Almoravides, who wanted to conquer the city. Valencia is where El Cid ended his days: according to history, Rodrigo died as Prince of the city in 1099. It was then, or perhaps earlier, when the legend was born.


A little history will help you understand this route

In the times of El Cid, in the middle of the 11th century, the ancient caliphate of Andalusia had been divided into numerous Muslim Taifas ('kingdoms'). Militarily weak, they suffered first of all from attacks from the up-and-coming Christian kingdoms and then from the invasion by the Almoravides. Consequently, the rich Taifa of Valencia was wanted by the Aragonese and the Catalans, as well as by the Arabic monarchs of Zaragoza and Lérida and by the Almoravides. El Cid took advantage of the situation and conquered the city of Valencia in 1094; however, pressure from the Almoravides forced his wife, Jimena, to abandon the city in 1102, three years after her husband's death.

The Almoravides were tribes from North Morocco who came to the peninsular in 1086 after the conquest of Toledo by Alphonse VI, King of León and Castile. These tribes took control of Al-Andalus until the 12th century, when they were beaten by the Almohades, also from Morocco. At the time, the Christian kingdoms were unstoppable and, although not free from difficulty, the upsurge was completed with the definitive conquest of Valencia by Jaime I in 1238.


The journey

The Conquest of Valencia section has two very different parts. The first, between Cella (Teruel) and Jérica (Castellón), is a route laden with history and nature: charming medieval villages, fascinating countryside, large mixed Mediterranean forests, natural ponds for swimming, rivers, straits and many other unique features. This part of the route covers approximately 160 km. Teruel (capital of the Aragonese Mudejar style and a World Heritage Site), Mora de Rubielos, Rubielos de Mora and Jérica are the four towns that have been declared historical and/or artistic sites on this section.

The second part begins in Jérica: after leaving Segorbe, a historical-artistic site with a great deal of Gothic heritage, the Way goes down to Valencia. Downhill all the way, the view gradually changes from fruit and vegetable gardens to a more urban landscape. This is when travellers see the walls of Sagunt, facing the Mediterranean, one of the oldest and most important fortified towns on the Spanish Mediterranean coast. After passing through El Puig, referred to in the Poem as Çebolla, and after ending up on one of the beaches on the Mediterranean coast (an option we highly recommend!), travellers finally reach Valencia, the grand reward of El Cid and, possibly, also that of travellers on the Way of El Cid in the 21st century.

There are many natural areas of interest on this route: the juniper forests of El Puerto de Escandón (between Teruel and Puebla de Valverde), the spectacular Straits of El Mijares (between Olba and Montán) and the Course of the Palancia River (between Caudiel and Algar de Palancia). Between Sagunto and Puçol, on the coast, stands the Marsh of Els Moros, an area of wetlands home to local plant life and a wide variety of water birds. The Marsh reminds us that we are close to the Mediterranean and that we have the almost unavoidable option of refreshing our tired bodies on any of the beaches next to the warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea.


Culinary delights

Gastronomy in this area is influenced by the lie of the land. In the interior, in the mountains, the food is simple and surprisingly varied. With a traditional base, it has brought in new ingredients, such as truffle, and reinvented others, such as oils from old olive trees (some of which may have seen El Cid pass by). The meat on offer includes pork, which is also responsible for the famous ham of Teruel; the rest is used for cold meats and local stews, such as La Olla. Stock from cocido and ham, as well as bread crusts and egg are essential ingredients in Pelotas de Carnaval, (literally: carnival balls) which are popular across the Maestrazgo region.

On the coast, the main ingredient is rice, cooked in many different ways: paella, arroz a banda, arroz al horno, arroz negro, with pumpkin, in desserts... Fish dishes include all the Mediterranean varieties cooked in an endless number of ways, such as suquet de peix, a fish soup with a very tasty stew. While you are there, try the wines from some of the local designations of origin: Valencia and Tierra de Castelló. And while we are speaking of drinks, don't forget to try horchata (tigernut milk) which is extremely popular in Alboraya. Finally, this area is where some of the most famous varieties of oranges and mandarins in the world are grown: try them in season and you will no doubt be surprised by the taste of a 'real' orange.


Singular roads

The term ‘Singular Road' on the Way of El Cid is used for the sections of road that are of particular importance for cycling tourists or because of the countryside, history or artistic heritage. This route has the following Singular Roads:

  • CV-20 between Puebla de Arenoso and Montanejos (10 km). Castellón

This is one of the best-known and most visited roads on the Way of El Cid and it is the first panoramic road to be listed by Comunidad Valenciana. The road runs in the natural area of the Straits of the River Mijares and follows said River in its descent. The river widens at the reservoir of El Arenós and narrows again near Montanejos at an attractive place that is ideal for climbing and swimming in the spa waters. It is a very pleasant route for cycling tourists, so please respect them and take great care, specially when overtaking: keep a safety distance of 1.5 m.



The roads are signposted at crossings and strategic places.


Tips and recommendations

  • Remember that the road you are on is also used by cyclists and you might come across a few of them on your journey. Respect them and take great care. Especially when overtaking: keep a safety distance of 1.5 m.
  • Book your accommodation in advance. You are about to travel through one of the areas with the lowest population density in Europe. Some villages are very small and have limited infrastructures. Book your accommodation at the end of the stage in advance and if you change where you plan to finish the route, check that there is accommodation available there.
  • Get your Letter of safe conduct. The Letter of Safe Conduct is a personalised 'passport' you can have stamped at many towns and villages on the Way of El Cid. You can use it to get discounts of at least 10% in more than 200 places of accommodation and benefit from special offers. It is free and you can apply for it at any of the more than 70 tourist information offices on the route or at the Way of El Cid Consortium.
  • Your literary guide. You might think it's unnecessary weight, but for many it is essential: don't forget to take with you a copy of the Poem of The Cid; you will be able to recreate some of its passages on site. If your Old Spanish is not so good, take a modern version!

Rev. ALC: 04.10.18

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