The Via Augusta, following the trail of the Roman Empire in Spain
Can you imagine walking on a road more than 2,000 years old, surrounded by stunning landscapes? Would you like to go on a wonderful journey back to the times of the Roman Empire? All this is possible if you come to Spain and travel the Via Augusta. A trip that will make you feel like a real emperor.
The Via Augusta was the longest Roman road anywhere in Hispania, covering some 1,500 kilometres from the Pyrenees Mountains, skirting the Mediterranean Sea as far as Cadiz, in southern Spain. Although many of its original sections are now roads and cannot be walked, if you want to cover part of this route you will be able to walk along many sections that do coincide with the original itinerary.
This Roman road links at least 96 monuments. It forms part of the European Union "Roman Roads in the Mediterranean" initiative, and besides a wealth of cultural attractions, also offers stunning landscapes that you can enjoy on foot, by bike, or on horseback. Choose the sections you like most or design your own personalised route, because the lack of hills on this itinerary makes it easy. Furthermore, the pleasant Mediterranean climate means you can make this trip at any time of year. We will now outline the most noteworthy points on this route that combines nature and culture.
Landscape of vineyards in Catalonia
You can start your route in Catalonia, northeastern Spain, through a real natural corridor that the Roman emperor Augustus used between the years 2 and 8 BC. This first stage covers almost 700 kilometres, crossing Girona, Barcelona and Tarragona. On the way you will be able to savour the landscapes of vineyards while you enjoy monuments that date back to the ancient Roman Empire, such as Barà Arch, in Roda de Barà (Tarragona). Also in Tarragona, which the Romans called Tarraco, there is an impressive archaeological site very close to the Via Augusta, with the UNESCO World Heritage designation.
The Region of Valencia, on the shores of the Mediterranean.
The next large area crossed by the Via Augusta comprises Castellón, Valencia and Alicante, in the Region of Valencia. The route covers 425 kilometres and a large part of this runs less than 25 kilometres from the Mediterranean Sea. The remains of mansions, bridges and triumphal arches such as the one in Cabanes (Castellón) succeed one another on an unforgettable journey running to places such as Jávea and Elche (Alicante province) and Sagunto (Valencia province), where you can visit its Roman Theatre. Landscapes of fruit trees, especially oranges, will accompany you on your way. Furthermore, you should not miss the stunning spots that surround the Via Augusta, such as Las Palmas Desert in Castellón, or the Albufera Nature Reserve in Valencia and the Carrascal de la Font Roja Nature Reserve in Alicante.
The third stage of this age-old route runs through Andalusia, in southern Spain, in the provinces of Jaén, Cordoba, Seville and Cadiz, following the course of the Guadalquivir River. The first pleasant surprise is in Linares (Jaén), where you will find the Roman ruins of Cástulo. However, one of the best conserved and most fascinating sections of the road is surely the one from Seville to Carmona. There you will find the Roman necropolis and Puerta de Sevilla Gate.
After marshland, the mountainous region of Sierra Morena and the vineyards of southern Spain, you come to Cadiz, where the Guadalquivir River has its mouth, in Sanlúcar de Barrameda. This marks the end of an unforgettable journey on the Via Augusta, a real window onto the past. We recommend you contact local tourist offices for detailed information.
If this article has been of interest, you could also look at: Tarragona, the mark of the Roman Empire Roman towns in Spain: a journey into History