Booking.com: best prices
Sagunto, known as Sagunt in the local Valencian dialect is an ancient city with some excellent Roman ruins to explore.
Sagunto was one of the first cities of the Roman Empire attacked by Hannibal when he began his onslaught on the Roman Empire. The town suffered a 9-month siege before burning themselves and the city rather than surrender. Too late help from Rome arrived but the Romans re-captured what was left of the city and set about re-building it. The city then prospered and there is a fine Roman amphitheatre to see from this period.
In the 8th century Sagunto was captured by the Moors and this began another prosperous period with a castle, Mosques and baths being built. It was finally re-captured in the 12th century and there are some fine medieval and Gothic monuments from later years though Sagunto's influence waned as Valencia grew to be the main city in the region.
The Teatro Romano, the Roman Amphitheatre is one of the main sights to see in Sagunto. It has been recently renovated, some say over-renovated, but has the distinction of being the first archeological site in Spain to be declared a National Monument (1896). It was built into the hillside in the first century AD and has extremely good acoustics. It is regularly used to stage concerts and plays and from here you also get great views over the town and countryside below.
The ruins of a large fortress on the hill-top can be explored. A mixture of Roman and Moorish constructions can be seen. The perimeter walls are a kilometer long and inside the highlight is the remains of the Plaza de las Armas. From the fortress you can get the best views of the surrounding countryside.
Walk down from the castle and you get to the Calvary which is a religious park containing the Stations of the Cross, a route followed every Good Friday. At the top is the Hermitage of La Soledad.
Inside the main town the old Jewish quarter is a lovely, attractive quarter with narrow, cobbled streets, medieval houses and arches over the entrances to some streets. It was home of the Jewish community until they were expelled by the Catholics in 1492.
The Santa Maria church and the San Salvador church are both Gothic churches built in the 14th and 13th centuries. The church of Santa Maria has the remains of a Greek Temple next to it. This is the Temple of Diana
Another interesting building is the town hall which is built in neo-classical style and dates back to the 18th century.
Places to visit nearby
The Caves of San Joseph: North of Sagunto at Vall d'Uixo are some underground caves with excellent stalactite displays. The caves were made by an underground river and the Caves of San Joseph are explored by boat!
Valencia is nearby and is a fabulous city with lots to offer visitors.