The Valencian town Morella is located in the North of Spain, near Els Ports. This small, friendly town is known for its white and terracotta homes and blue-domed churches. It also boasts a towering Moorish castle with fortress walls and towering Moorish castle. Morella could be the next destination for weekenders thanks to its growing gourmet food scene, ecofriendly farm stays, and many outdoor adventure opportunities.
Architecture, history, and views
It’s all about slowing down in Morella. You can spend your morning wandering through its medieval streets by foot, passing terracotta roofs and whitewashed walls, and narrow stone alleys that smell of orange and honey. The Basilica de Santa Maria la Major is a Gothic church with a blue dome and stunning marbled staircase.
You’ll find a 3,000-pipe organ that dates back to 1719 and a museum that displays the most important religious art in the area. The Convent de Sant Francesc is located nearby. This convent was built in the 13th century and once belonged to Franciscan monks. The steep road leads to Castell de Morella. This is the town’s impressive Moorish castle, which has been continuously inhabited since at least the 3rd millennium BC. You’ll enjoy stunning views of Morella, the surrounding valleys, and hills if you manage to make it.
Cheese, truffles, and hand-woven blankets
You will find Blasco de Alagon in the middle of Morella. Here, craftspeople and shopkeepers can sell truffles, honey, and hand-woven carpets. You’ll find holes-in-the wall delis such as La Casa de la Miel y del Queso, which sell locally-produced goats cheese and cured meats. They also have up to 14 varieties honey.
If you wander long enough, you’ll see that Morella has an intense sweet tooth. You can stop by any of the many bakeries to sample flao (a delicious pastry filled with cheese and almonds), Panoli (a crepe like snack filled with caramelized pumpkin), and honey-custard drizzled doughnuts. Learn the art of Morella carpet weaving, and then stock up on souvenirs handcrafted at the family-owned Mantas Morellanas Garcia.
Slow-roasted lamb and slow-roasted chorizo stews
Now that you’re full, it’s time to go to Casa Roque for lunch. You can choose ternasco asado from Morella, a local lamb dish that is slow-roasted in white wine, bay leaves, and garlic. The potaje Morellano (chorizo bean, bean, and pig’s ears stew) and mushrooms with truffle are great options if you have the stomach for another dish. All three dishes can be accompanied by a glass of Castellon Tempranillo.
Escape to the country
You will be surrounded by mountains and cow-dotted fields when you wake up at Font d’en Torres, a 15th-century farmhouse. Although the property, which is adult-only, measures 125 hectares and is located 6 kilometres from Morella it feels like an isolated country retreat. You can enjoy the Els Ports Mountains from your jacuzzi, or you can take a walk through the forest, past towering oak trees, clear waterfalls, and flower-filled meadows.
Guided truffle foraging trips are also offered by the hotel. You’ll be able to learn all there is about Morella and her long-standing relationship with sustainable truffle production. Morella la Vella is a 20-minute drive away from the hotel and contains prehistoric cave paintings that are more than 7,000 year old. There is a limited capacity so make sure you book at Morella’s tourist information center ahead.
Morella has some of the best produce in Spain, including wild mushrooms and truffles as well as organic beef and lamb. This is why talented chefs from all over the country flock to Morella to create their own unique take on Valencian dishes. You can find creative dishes at Michelin Guide restaurants such as Meson del Pastor. Vinatea or Daluan also offer local ingredients. For example, try steak tartare with fried egg cream, and a fillet of duck with peaches that has been soaked in wine. A glass of wine or a Carajillo, which is a lemon- and cinnamon-infused coffee with brandy, whiskey or vodka, can be enjoyed as a nightcap at Bar la Nevera.
Morella is the ideal Spanish weekend getaway for those who want to enjoy farm-to-table food, peaceful hiking, or 7,000 years worth of history. Our advice: Our advice? Get there before everyone else.