Set along a slope in the mountains of Alto Palancia, Jérica is a beautiful village with an abundance of sights. Easily reachable from Valencia by regional train, it makes an excellent day trip.
No more than 200 meters from the railway station (“Jérica-Vivier” on the C5, one stop past Navajas), Jérica has a population of less than 2000 people, but offers plenty to see.
The first stop should be to the tourist office, unmissable & found near the entrance to the city walls. Apparently, Jérica is not exactly overrun with tourists — the man working in the office absolutely came to life when we entered, brushing the cobwebs off his shoulder and eagerly launching into his long forgotten art of Advice Giving.
The first dated accounts of a settlement in Jérica are from Muslim times, in the 11th Century. The city towers — its most recognizable and impressive landmarks — date from this time. Walking around Jérica means a lot of ascending and descending. The city is small enough to make getting lost nearly impossible, and around nearly every curve, something else impressive reveals itself… an old church, a covered alleyway, a strange Christ icon, an old lady selling olive oil from her window, an ancient gate. It makes for a great couple hours of exploration.
Once you’ve had lunch (we enjoyed an excellent €8 menú del día at Tonico), you’ll have the necessary strength to walk up to La Torreta, an abandoned watchtower in need of repair set on Jérica’s highest point. From here, you’ll have an amazing view of the region. To the northwest you can see Viver, a similarly-sized town 2 kilometers away, and an impressive cliff face and valley to the south.
A round trip ticket on the Renfe train costs around €8,40. Jérica itself doesn’t demand more than a few hours, but there’s excellent hiking and biking opportunities in the area, as well. In that case, you’d probably want to stay the night.
This was a wonderful day trip. I think next time, we’ll be taking our hiking boots — the Alto Palancia area has a lot to offer the intrepid.
More images from Jèrica: