Ayora is an inland town in the Province of Valencia. It takes you more than an hour and a half by car from the capital city.
This lovely villages is surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes, so it is an ideal site for hiking, biking, birdwatching or walking with your pet. The most important natural spaces are:
- La Hunde: it is a perfect camping area.
- Montemayor: it is a summit which is located 2 km from Ayora and it is at 1,200 metres above the sea level, therefore you can enjoy the astonishing views.
- Sierra de Ayora: it consists of 20,000 hectares, its flora and fauna are outstanding. From here, you can watch Ayora valley and La Canal de Navarrés.
- Sierra Palomer: it is the highest point of this region. Here you will discover Cueva Negra (Black Cave) whose depth is 200 metres. Also, there are several galeries, stalactites and stalagmites.
- La Hoz: it is lush vegetation where you could enjoy birdwatching.
If you prefer cultural tourism, you could enjoy La Ruta del Hilo Rojo (The Route of Red Thread). The starting point is the Tourist Office and this route consists of a tour of Ayora in order to know its history, anecdotes, customs, monuments and the most important buildings. Why this route was called like that? According to the legend, in San Francisco Convent, a girl grew and she was hidden from the eyes of citizens. One night, she jump out the wall to explore the world. During her escape, her cloak hooked up when she jumped the wall. She went on walking and she left a long red thread. Nowadays, you can come across with a red line painted on the floor which indicates you the path. Also, there is another route, La Ruta de las Ermitas (The Route of the Hermitages), where you can know eight marvellous hermitages of Ayora.
Inside the villages, you could visit Duque del Infantado Castle-Fortress that was built on an ancient Arabic building from the 13th century. It was destroyed during the War of Spanish Succession, so you can observe its ruins. At the present, you can find: the Keep, the trap door, walls, cistern, moat,…
Nuestra Señora de la Asunción Church was built between 16th century to 18th century. It consists of a mixture of different architectural styles. Inside, you can bump into panel paintings which were coloured by the famous Spanish artist Fernando Yáñez de Almedina ( 1505-1537) who worked with Leonardo da Vinci in the Mural of Battle of Anghiari. This excellent painter introduced the artistic style of Quattrocento in Valencia and Castilla la Nueva. Also, you can discover other important pictorical works such as El Ángel Tutelar de Ayora by Vicente López and the Gothic altarpiece.
Another building that I want to point out is Saint Anton´s Cross. It is next to the entrance of the town. This structure is Gothic and the cross is under an aediculum with four columns. It was built by Miguel Molsós in 15th century. The Saint Anton´s Cross is made of stone and it is composed by an octogonal column whose height is 2 metres and it is crowned by a cross which is decoracted with The Virgin and Crucified Christ. This monument was declared Listed Building in 2011.
An important site for citizens is Los Morerales Park where you can enjoy pleasant stroll and different concerts shows, an open-air cinema that held in spring and summer.
If you love everething related to Prehistory, you could visit the Ancient Iberian Village of Castellar de Meca. It is put in Murgón Mountain and it was one of the largest Iberian cities of Iberian Peninsula in the Iron Age. It was a fortressed town that was on the rock. Nowadays, it is preserved gigantic walls, defensive towers, houses, staris, drinking trough,… This city was declared National Historic-Artistic Monument in 1931. It is open on Sundays.
Also, I suggest you to visit Tordesilla Small Cave because it was declared World Heritage Side by UNESCO in 1998, and you will watch impressive cave paintings of Levante art such as scenes of hunting, fighting or honey harvesting.
Ayora is well-known for its honey. The Fair of The First Honey Harvest is held in October where you can taste the typical dishes for example gazpacho ayorino, gachamiga, el aguamiel (it is a dessert which is made of pumpkin and honey), lettuce with honey or nougats.
Some of the main festivals in Ayora are:
- The Festivities of August.
- The patron siant festivities on 30th November.
What are you waiting for to visit Ayora?