The Way of El Cid: on the quest of an 11th-century knight
Have you heard of ‘The Song of El Cid’? It is a famous Spanish poem from the 12th century that tells the story of the legendary knight Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, 'El Cid Campeador', or Cid the Outstanding Warrior. We suggest reliving his adventures in an exciting way: by travelling to Spain and following the route that appears in the book itself. The idea is that you follow a tourist and cultural route that brings you into the interior of the country, passing through the lands of Castilla y León, Castilla-La Mancha, Aragón and the Region of Valencia.
World Heritage sites await you in this itinerary, as well as examples of Romanesque, Mozarabic, Moorish, Islamic and Gothic art and more than 70 protected natural areas. Although they are actually interconnected routes between 50 and 300 kilometres, together they total 2,000 kilometres of roads and 1,400 kilometres of marked trails. The Way is divided into five sections according to the different chapters narrated in ‘The Song of El Cid’. You can do each section on foot (mostly along trails and rural roads), by mountain bike (also mainly along trails and rural roads), by classic bike (if you're a cyclist who prefers asphalt) or by car or motorbike (on secondary roads and some highways). Please note that other small thematic routes begin from the main path. They are the so-called 'rings', with circular structures, that begin and end in the same place; and 'branches', linear paths that deviate from the route for historical reasons.Click any of the 5 links below for more detailed information on each of the main sections.
The Way of El Cid. Fourth section: The conquest of Valencia
'Any man who wishes to come with me to lay siege to Valencia… I will wait for him for three days at the Cella canal'. According to the Song of El Cid, Cella was the place chosen by the famous knight to gather an army with which to conquer the city of Valencia. This fourth section of the Way of El Cid recreates that adventure which began in Cella (Teruel) and ended with the taking of Valencia.It is 245 kilometres by trail or 228 kilometres by road. At a leisurely pace it takes 12 days on foot, five days by bike, and three days by car. For information about all the activities available in the area, it is best to visit the tourist offices in each place.There are also two alternative circular routes: the rings of El Maestrazgo and Morella. The first runs through the region of El Maestrazgo, between the towns of Rubielos de Mora (Teruel) and Montanejos (Castellón); and the second starts in La Iglesuela del Cid and passes through Morella. You'll also find the Castellón branch, between Sagunto and Castellón de la Plana: a stretch of 48 kilometres following the defensive line established by El Cid along the Mediterranean coast to protect the city of Valencia.
Ayuntamiento de Teruel
From Cella you can begin a route leading you through historic villages and towns steeped in mediaeval charm. An essential stop on the route is Teruel, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. Here you can admire its Mudéjar architecture with its beautiful towers and churches. You should also pay a visit to the castle and the historic centre of Mora de Rubielos. The neighbouring town of Rubielos de Mora is another place well worth a visit for its picturesque noble houses and religious architecture.Further on, in Montanejos, you will have a chance to enjoy the thermal waters and its beautiful natural surroundings; and from there on to Jérica, one of the sites in the Levante region conquered by El Cid. There are still a couple of stops before reaching Valencia, the final destination of this section: Segorbe, with its cathedral, defensive walls and historic centre; and Sagunto, whose highlights include the castle grounds and the Roman theatre.