Places in Spain -
Ruta dels Monestirs (Route of Monasteries), Costa Blanca
On the Costa Blanca, within the region of Valencia there are many interesting historical buildings to see, including several impressive monasteries. So important are the monasteries that a route has been designed to take in the best of them. The starting point for the 'Ruta dels Monestirs' begins at Gandia and heads north to Alzira. There are also two monasteries included, south of Gandia.
The Monastir de Sant Jeroni de Cotalba
One of the easiest monasteries to get to. Very close to Gandia, you can read a full report of our visit here.
The CV60/CV610 and CV675 are the roads that you will follow on the monastery route. Most of the roads are good, however, there are points where the roads is steep, crossing the mountains.
The Convent del Corpus Cristi
Located near Llutxent, this monastery dates from 1422. It was the location of the first Valencian university. The building is undergoing a huge refurbishment. Around the monastery are some superb country walks.
This monastery was one of our favorites. The Baroque style covers the 14th to 18th centuries and the complex consists of several buildings. The painted and sculptured ceilings are particularly impressive. There are audio guides available for a small charge but a normal visit is free.
Restoration work here continues and is being done with a certain amount of taste. There's a small information centre on site and ample parking outside. Over the road are a few small bars for refreshments.
The entrance to the monastery dates from the 14th century and consists of the Portal Nou, a pointed arch, flanked by two square towers. The buildings within the compound include the old oil press (now converted for conferences), the refectory, Abbot's Palace, cloisters and chapter house. The monastery was built on the orders of King Jaume II el Just.
The monastery is now owned by the Valencian Regional Government. Open from Monday to Sunday, 9am-2pm and 4pm-6pm.
Located near Carcaixent, the oldest part of this convent dates from the 13th century however most dates from the 15th century. Here you can see wonderful cloisters and fine examples of Valencian ceramic tiles.
The Monastir de la Murta
Near Alzira, this monastery was founded between the 15th and 16th centuries. The Torre dels Coloms is the most impressive part. The Renaissance style gate has a coat of arms above it. The monastery was acquired by the local town hall in 1989.
Idealspain takes the Ruta dels Monestirs
We spent time on this route in February 2011 and caught most of the monasteries. We found that at points the route was difficult to follow as the road signs left a lot to be desired. A few more signs would be useful and we found that many of the road numbers don't match the road atlas. Many of the monasteries have unusual and awkward opening times so check first or just see the exterior of the buildings. The countryside between the monasteries is really quite special at times. From Llutxent we took a short detour to see the small town of Pinet. This was a disappointment as there is nothing there to see. Pinet is a rural town that depends on the produce of palm trees and the breeding of chickens. The countryside is dotted with large chicken farms. The Calle Major is the high street and the main road through the town. The road to Pinet comes to an abrupt halt and you have to turn round and drive the same way back to Llutxent.