Just a metro and brief bus ride away from the energy and crowds of Valencia, Spain lies Serra, a quaint town that is home to the Castillo de Serra. Unlike Xátiva, Albufera and other popular day trips near Valencia (which I still highly recommend!) Serra is a lesser-known and lesser-visited destination, perfect for a quick escape from the the city.
I’ve been told that it’s busier on the weekends, but on this particular Tuesday I saw less than 12 people the entire day. I heard absolutely nothing except the wind through the trees. It was like the beautiful scenery had risen from the earth just for me! This hidden treasure begins at the foot of low mountains and a winding red path through a verdant forest leads you through an easy trek to beautiful views of breathtaking Spanish mountains. Then comes the hard part: the climb.
I didn’t even realize how far up we would hike until we spotted the castle from the trail below. It looked ominous at first, but it was only 3 kilometers to the top and very much worth the climb once you see the view. Ruins of the fortress overlook an incredible landscape. Mountains surround you on all sides and the remains of the castle stand proudly against the vivid greenery. The castle itself is also impressive! It was built in the 8th and 9th centuries and has stood the test of time for us to enjoy today.
I’m not from the city, and this brief escape into nature felt comfortable and familiar. I returned to Valencia refreshed and better prepared to immerse myself in the culture of my new home. I highly recommend this day trip to anyone who enjoys hiking and being in nature, or just looking to escape reality for a day.
Julia Barclay is a student at University of Louisville and is an ISA Featured Blogger. She studied abroad with ISA in Valencia, Spain.