All the towns scattered throughout the Spanish geography harbor something that differentiates them from the rest, be it a church, monastery, square or the surrounding environment. However, in the case of the Valencian town of Simat de la Valldigna , located in the Safor region, one of the most beautiful monasteries in the entire community is combined with a perfect environment for lovers of hiking. 

The monastery 

The most characteristic feature of this municipality is the Royal Monastery of Santa María de la Valldigna . This is of Cistercian style and was built in 1298 by order of King Jaime II El Justo. It was inhabited until 1835 , the date on which the confiscation of Mendizábal took place, and in 1991 it was acquired by the Generalitat Valenciana, the date on which its restoration began.

Royal Monastery of Santa Maria de la Valldigna, Valencia

Royal Monastery of Santa María de la Valldigna

As for its construction, it was carried out in three phases , the first being the Gothic implantation of the 14th century, forming the complete structure of the monastery following the Cistercian style. The second phase is the major renovation after the severe destruction caused by the 1396 earthquake , and the last is the definitive restoration after another earthquake in 1664 . In this third phase, dependencies and complete parts were replaced by others, already in the baroque style of the 17th and 18th centuries. 

On the other hand, access to this monument is completely free , there is also the option of guided tours for a maximum of 30 people. These must be reserved in advance (by phone 618020272 or by email [email protected]). In turn, the monastery opens its doors from September 16 to May 14 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m; from May 15 to September 15 from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m .; and July and August from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and from 5:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.

Royal Monastery of Santa Maria de la Valldigna, Valencia

Royal Monastery of Santa Maria de la Valldigna

A wide variety of routes

Another aspect that characterizes this town is the wide range of paths they offer. All of them show a different part of Simat de la Valldigna and its surroundings, therefore, from the tourist office they point out the following:

The Treasures of Simat. This urban route runs through the most representative streets and monuments of the town, such as the Font Gran, the Xara Mosque or the Monastery, among others. It can be done both on your own, with the help of the map and the download of the audio guides, or accompanied by a local guide with prior reservation.

Hiking . Simat de la Valldigna is the starting point for numerous natural routes that will allow the traveler to get to know the surroundings, a natural subregion, surrounded by mountains and open to the Mediterranean Sea. These tours show the beautiful landscape  that surrounds the town, offering unique views where you can see the sea on the horizon. In addition, in its path you can discover natural sources, medieval architectural remains, caves and chasms, etc. 

Hiking in Simat de la Valldigna, Valencia

Hiking in Simat de la Valldigna

The Water Route . This route is made up of two different itineraries:  Traditional Irrigation Route (7 kilometres) and Las Fuentes Route (10 kilometres). Both connect the main water resources of the town, as well as the constructions that throughout history have tried to take advantage of water for crops and the consumption of the population. In addition, they are circular and connected, so that they can be completed or only part of the route can be chosen, adapting the time and difficulty to the preferred route.

Route of the Borgias . This route traces the mark of the Valencian family, one of the most powerful in Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries , connecting the places that witnessed their lives. One of these stops corresponds to the Monastery of Santa María de la Valldigna, since three members of the Borja family were abbots of this monastery and their coat of arms can still be seen today in the vault of the Chapter House.

Botanical and ornithological route of the Cirer . It is a natural route that begins at the Cirer arches, an old aqueduct that transported water from the Font del Cirer to the Monastery of Santa Maria de la Valldigna. In addition, it includes a wide fauna and flora, which is signposted along the way, indicating which species can be observed in the environment. 

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