Welcome to Ares del Maestrat, a tiny, remote, and slightly forgotten Spanish village. It’s known as Ares del Maestre too and due to its strategic location, it was populated by different cultures over the centuries. As for 2023, no more than 180 people are living in Ares! Vamos, let’s discover things to do in Ares del Maestrat.
Interesting fact. Winters in Ares can be very harsh and cold and it’s frequent that during the snowfalls the village gets isolated and the inhabitants are obliged to a certain self-subsistence.
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Ares del Maestrat, Spain FAQ
Ares del Maestrat is a tiny Spanish village located in the north of the Province of Castellon in the Valencian Community. It sits at an altitude of 1195m a.s.l. Which gives it the title of the second-highest village in the region! Ares is located close to other popular places like Peniscola, Morella, Benicassim with Via Verde del Mar, or Castellon de la Plana.
Even though Ares is tiny and remote, it’s worth visiting. In the village, you won’t find many exciting things to do, but those that it can offer will take you on a fascinating journey hundreds of years back in time. And the lack of any touristy things helps that even more! Without a doubt, Ares is one of the most interesting places in the Province of Castellon.
Things to do in Ares del Maestrat, Spain
Over the years many cultures left their mark in Ares del Maestre. First, Romans built and fortified the village. Later it was destroyed, fortified, and expanded by the Muslims. Spanish king, James I of Aragon, reconquered it in 1232. Today we can admire various bits and pieces from its rich history.
Ares del Maestrat village streets
There’s no better way to discover all the nooks and crannies of Ares del Maestrat than taking a slow stroll among its streets. Admire quaint old houses, lovely squares, and historic buildings. Among Ares streets, you’ll find points of interest like Plaza Mayor – the main square of the village with the Town Hall, castle ruins on the highest point of the village, an old prison building, 18th century Assumption of the Virgin church, La Cova museum, and Tourist Office.
Ruins of Ares del Maestrat Castle
At the highest point of the village, you’ll find remains of the Ares castle (es. Castillo de Ares del Maestre) dating back to the Islamic period. It could be described as a rock castle as part of it was excavated directly into the rock which now hosts La Cova museum. We won’t lie – the castle isn’t spectacular at all as there are hardly any remains of it. But… Amazing panoramic views over the Ares and its surroundings are worth the short climb! Entrance to the top of the castle is free.
Mirador Ares del Maestre viewpoint
Mirador Ares del Maestre viewpoint is located about 3.5km from the village, on the road CV15 leading to it. It can offer you amazing views over Ares and its surroundings from afar.
About 8km from the Ares village you’ll find Cova Remigia, a place where you can admire prehistoric paintings that are a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Cove Remigia can be visited only with a guide and booked in advance. For more information and reservation visit altmaestrat.es website.
How to get to Ares del Maestrat, Spain?
Travel tip. You can easily connect your visit to Ares with a trip to Morella.
Where to park in Ares?
Your best option is to leave your car in a parking lot near Restaurante Coll d’Ares and then walk about 1km to the Ares del Maestrat village. You can either go up the main street or choose a small path, walking next to the fields.
To Ares by bus
From some places, you can get to Ares by bus. For example, a trip from Castellon de la Plana will take 1h45min (€6-10) and surprisingly 2.5h (!) from nearby Morella (€5-6). To learn more about bus connections that might interest you visit rome2rio.com website.
Things to do in Ares del Maestrat, Spain – Summing up
Now you know what Ares del Maestrat and its surroundings are all about. It’s a really beautiful place and unique in the Province of Castellon, isn’t it? If you want to escape bustling coast towns and spend time in a peaceful environment or just step back in time to medieval times – Ares will be the perfect choice. It’s an ideal place to slow down for a bit or even get trapped in the winter. Enjoy your trip!
Our opinion about Ares del Maestrat
For us, a visit to Ares was a day trip from Benicassim (combined with Morella and Peniscola) where we lived for a few weeks. We visited the village in September and back then it was super quiet and we came across only a few people. What can we say, we really liked Ares! Strolling among its streets was a delight and the views over the surroundings were magnificent. We also loved how quiet the area was – no city sounds, cars, or loud people. Nowadays such situations are rare and we appreciate them whenever we can experience them.
Restaurants, accommodations, and map
Check out various recommended places below.
Where to eat in Ares del Maestrat?
Here are your best, high-rated options in Ares del Maestrat:
Where to sleep in Ares del Maestrat?
Balcón De Ares
Balcón De Ares is a charming rural hotel located in the picturesque village of Ares del Maestrat. The hotel offers comfortable and spacious rooms, some with a balcony and stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Guests can enjoy the peacefulness of the mountainous landscape, go hiking, or explore the nearby medieval villages.
Casa Rural Virginia
Casa Rural Virginia is a charming rural house located in the heart of Ares del Maestrat. The house has been restored respecting the traditional architecture of the area and features comfortable and cozy rooms with beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. Guests can also enjoy the garden and terrace, perfect for relaxing and enjoying the peaceful atmosphere of this beautiful village.
Accommodations photos source: booking.com