This medieval origin construction with later neoclassic and baroque extensions, concentrates great part of the magic and mysticism of the Penyagolosa. This sanctuary is the most important focus of religious attraction in the province, receiving every year the ancestral pilgrimages from most of the surrounding villages, such as Culla, Vistabella, Xodos and Puertomingalvo. Some of them date back to the Middle Ages. The most famous of these pilgrimages, “Els Pelegrins de Les Users” (declared an Asset of Intangible Cultural Interest) is celebrated on the last Friday in April. Villagers taking part in the pilgrimages demand peace, water and health from the Romanesque image of the saint.
The Route of the Penyagolosa villages is a circular mountain route that passes through the four villages in the “Penyagolosa North Villages County” (Mancomunitat de Penyagolosa-Pobles del Nord).
This route runs largely through the Penyagolosa Natural Park, and is designed for hiking. In order to follow the route, you need to download the routes using the Wikiloc mobile application. This application, using a QR code, downloads the route and guides us using the GPS in our phone.
The municipalities of Atzeneta del Maestrat, Benafigos, Vistabella del Maestrat and Xodos offer us a different and unique landscape. With a very steep orography, steep slopes and deep ravines. These characteristics providen de are with an extraordinary flora and fauna.
In terms of flora, holm oaks, white and black pines and pine trees with abundant shrub vegetation stand out. Numerous birds and mammals coexist in this ecosystem, including the mountain goat, the wild boar, the badger and the genet.
It takes between 2 and 5 days to complete this route, as it is designed to be done in 5 different stages. The whole route has 2.200 meters elevation gain and a distance of approximately 60 kilometers.
This stage is the most mountainous of all
It leaves from Benafigos in the direction of the “Carmona” ravine, crossing part of the “Vall d’Usera” reaching “Mas de les Roques”. We continue along the path until we connect with the GR7 that takes us to Vistabella del Maestrat. Authentic Penyagolosa with a unique landscape.
We leave Vistabella following the GR7 (red / white) along the great Vistabella plain until we reach the “Espino” spring. From there we continue through the Penyagolosa Natural Park until we reach “Sant Joan’s” hermitage . This stage is characterized by the magnificent environment provided by the natural park and its 12th century hermitage.
Live a real night experience at Marinet (1466 m), discover Xodos ans its charming maginal night.
Autumn is the perfect season to go in search of mushrooms and fungi. An activity that you can combine with walks in nature, the visit to charming villages such as Vistabella del Maestrat, Xodos, Benafigos or Atzeneta del Maestrat and the tasting of tasty seasonal dishes in restaurants in the area.
This is an unforgettable experience for all those who decide to delve into this wonderful activity collecting wild mushrooms and fungi.
We will enter the Penyagolosa with the mycologist to discover the most well-known edible fungal species of each season. The mycologist will advise us at all times and will explain how to look for mushrooms, where to look for them, those that we find if they are good to eat or not always with explanations adapted to the type of group.
Complete the experience tasting the mushrooms in one of the restaurants near the Penyagolosa.
Meet Penyagolosa’s black or summer truffle
You’ll search this black diamond from our mountains will accompanied by an expert truffle grower and his truffle dog. You will observe how the trained dog finds the truffles, you will know what the truffle is, where, how and when it is produced and harvested, and how it is used in cooking. In addition, you will have the opportunity to purchase fresh truffles.
“La Caseta del Forn” is a non-shared use rural house for 5-6 people, located in center of the medieval village of Vistabella del Maestrat, in the Penyagolosa Natural Park, which offers guided tours, interpretive routes of hiking, biking, and agri-food and cultural experiences.
This family-run country house was originally barn, which also housed a stone oven built in the 70s in the attic, used for family consumption.
In 2007, the property was completely restored and opened its doors as a country house, providing a space to stay, with all the comforts of a 21st century accommodation, but surrounded by an exceptional environment, landscape and heritage value.
“L’Hospital” rural home is located in Vistabella del Maestrat
The rural home has 4 bedrooms, a flat-screen TV, kitchen with microwave and refrigerator, washing machine and full bathroom.
The Casas Rurals Penyagolosa complex is a building with three apartments: Gregal, Garbi, Xaloc, and a rural house L’Arc de Polo.
They are located in the urban center of Vistabella del Maestrat. All homes have a kitchen and living room and are comfortably equipped to help you enjoy your stay and internet connection is included. We do everything possible for the clients well-being and enjoyment.
Our country house, “A un Pas del Cel” is located in the old quarter of Vistabella, right next to one of the old gates of the village. It is an old seventeenth century house built in traditional style, which we are constantly renovating in order to offer our customers the latest amenities.
This place is also one of the gateways to the Penyagolosa Natural Park, which makes it a privileged enclave to spend unforgettable days.
We opened our house 22 years ago, with a great vocation towards rural tourism in this area. We were pioneers in Vistabella del Maestrat in rural accommodation and, since August 1997, we continue to modernize our rural house “A un Pas del Cel”. Dedicated to the traveler, to all those who seek rest, nature and disconnecting from routine.
Our country house has 5 rooms, all of them with its own bathroom and customized decoration.
The house can host uo tor 15 people and we operate as a small hostel. Single rooms with heating, towel service, daily room cleaning and meal service. Everything at home.
As soon as you enter, you will see our dining room and also guest reception. It is the main part of the house, spacious and cozy, the soul where we meet our customers, chat, discuss the excursions and of course, where we serve meals.
On the first floor, we have two lounges to rest or enjoy a quiet time, with TV, wood burning fireplace, board games and our personal small library.
Rest and tranquility are our top priorities, and the reason because our rooms don’t have a TV. We know that wifi is a key issue in our lives, so finding a home where there are no waves or connections is difficult. Disconnecting, thinking, chatting, nowadays is getting harder and harder.
It is one of the first Valencian Gothic churches. It is a temple with a single nave covered with a series of diaphragm arches that support a wooden structure, typical of the time of the reconquest, in the s. XIV.
Located to the west of the town and next to the “Camí Vell” (old road) from Vistabella to Sant Joan de Penyagolosa’s Sanctuary. Its structure has a double slope, with a small belfry and a large portico on its main façade. Its construction is very simple and austere in appearance, but it still preserves stones from the primitive medieval church of Vistabella. The large adjacent semicircular arch stands out and gives access to the burial ground of the town that was once the gateway to the old church that existed in the “castle square”. Its origins date back to the 14th century and it is of Romanesque style. It is the only hermitage that still has a person who is responsible for organizing the feast of St. Anthony, on the weekend of January 17. A procession and blessing of animals is organized, with the subsequent lighting of the bonfire and popular festival, with donkey races, giving a rooster to the winner. Formerly in front of this hermitage there was a spectacular stone “peirón”, now gone.
The Roman bridge or Wonders bridge, is a construction of medieval origin of a single eye, that possibly dates from the s. XIV, and that united the kingdoms of Valencia and Aragon by means of an old Roman road and later real reed that crosses the Monlleó river. It was used to carry out the transhumance of cattle between the provinces of Castellón and Teruel. It was restored in the early second decade of our century.
Located in the Boi Hills, they date from the Neolithic period and in them animal figurations can be observed.
Temple of the XVIth century representative of late Gothic art, with a star-shaped cross vault decorated with murals and a porch attached to its front, the same size as the rest of the hermitage.
Vistabella has its origins as a defensive settlement for the vast territory that can be defended from this point. For this reason, its medieval primitive village was surrounded by an extensive medieval wall that guarded the old and disappeared Arab origin “castle”, which later became Templar and of which, the only remains are at the back of the church.
The old walls of Vistabella were 5 to 10 m high, with thick walls, some watchtowers and six entry point. Some of the remains of theses gates are the arched portals of “El Forn” and “Sant Roc”, with a religious ceramic on the inside of the gate.
This wall surrounded the main street, popularly known as “the square” and the streets that cross it. You can still appreciate alleys, corridors and houses built using the actual defensive walls. The same happens with the two towers, currently part of houses.