Xativa is a small town about 70 km to the south west of Valencia. It is inland of the coastal resorts of Cullera and Gandia. It is home to the spectacular castle of Xativa.

Explore Xativa

Xativa dates back to the 10th century and has Roman, Visigoth and Arab roots. Xativa was famous for its linen fabrics during Romans rule and the Arabs introduced an important paper trade to Xativa which became a centre for learning.

After the Reconquista King James I conquered the town and took it back from Arab rule.

Xativa basilica

Xativa became an important town into the Middle Ages and was the birthplace of several members of the famous and infamous Borgia family. The popes Calixto III and Alexander VI were both born here into the Borgia family.

In the 18th century King Philip V during the Spanish War of Succesion had the town burn down. Because of this many buildings of Xativa were built in the 18th century.

Visit the Fine Arts Museum in town and in the Borbones room you will see a portrait of King Philip hanging upside down in memory and protest of this event.

Another famous figure born in Xativa was José de Ribera born in 1591. Some of his work is also in the Fine Arts Museum.

The centre of Xativa sits behind the Alameda de Jaume I avenue where you will find the the tourist information centre. From here walk south to the Santa Maria Collegiate Basilica.

The basilica dates from 1414 but was largely rebuilt in the 1500s in Renaissance style. It was built on the site of a previous mosque.

Opposite the basilica on the Placa de Calixto III is the beautiful ancient hospital building which was founded in the 15 and 16th centuries. Inside is the Borgia interpretation centre with information about the Borgia (Borja) family.

The Archdeacons Palace is also by here.

From here walk westward to visit the Fine Arts Museum which is housed in an 18th century building with a Baroque doorway and the Almodi Archaeological museum constructed by Joan Ribera and Marti Xixalbo in the 16th century.

It has a cloister patio with Ionian columns and exhibits from Roman and Islamic times.


Now head northwards to the Sant Francesc Church which was once part of a convent founded by Jaume I. Its fountain has an image of the saint and was built in Baroque style. Walk from here to the attractive Placa del Mercat where a market takes place every Tuesday and Friday.

There are a couple of important buildings by here, the Marquis of Montortal's Palace from the 15th century with wrought iron balconies and decorative tiling, the Sant Ramon Bonhivern's Palace, and a 19th century mansion known as Diego's house with original tile work and window grilles.

Continuing eastwards you will get to the Santa Clara Convent built in the 14th century and renovated in the 17th century.

Also to note is the Alarcon's Palace built in the 18th century, this attractive building has asymmetrical door and window openings and at the top of the palace a row of arched windows illuminating the top floor.

Outside is the oldest fountain in Xativa, the Royal fountain of the Trinitat. Around its edge are the coats of arms of Xativa and of Valencia. It is one of the few Gothic fountains that remains in Spain.

Continue eastwards to Alexander VI Square and the birthplace of Rodrigo de Borja (Borgia) who became Pope Alexander VI Borgia. This square is decorated with the Aldomar's Royal fountain, a fairly simple round fountain with a polygonal crown.

Next the Church of Sant Pere was built in the 14th century and is one of the oldest in Xativa. It has a wooden coffered ceiling in Gothic-Mudejar style.

Nearby is the Convent of San Onofre which was built in the 18th century. It has a two-storey square cloister and a church decorated with tiled friezes and frescos in Baroque style.

Just behind here is the Twenty-five Spouts Fountain, a large Neo-Classical drinking trough from the late 18th century.

Here and there in the town you can see remnants of the original Medieval Wall of the town.

Placa del Mercat, Xativa

Attractions nearby

Of course the main reason to visit Xativa is to visit the superb Castle of Xativa which spreads out along the hilltop above the town.

Valencia is a fabulous city to visit and should definitely be part of your visit to this area. When in Valencia be sure to visit the City of Arts and Sciences on the edge of the city.

You can find more local travel ideas in the Valencia guide, and the Valencia and Murcia guide.

See also Find Xativa hotels

Photos of Xativa

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Map of Xativa and places to visit


Xativa places to visit

Xativa Castle

Xativa Castle

Xativa Castle is a stunning castle whose Major and Minor castles spread out with their fortifications along the hilltop.

Xativa Castle guide


Cullera is a popular resort town with eleven beaches. It is about 40 kilometers south of Valencia.

Cullera guide
Albufera Nature Reserve

Albufera Nature Reserve

A beautiful wetland site to the south of Valencia. It is home to a large bird population.

Albufera Nature Reserve guide


Guadalest is a very pretty mountain village with a belfry perched on top of a rocky outcrop. It also has a moorish castle.

Guadalest guide
Valencia Aquarium

Valencia Aquarium

The Oceanografic Aquarium of Valencia is the largest in Europe. It is located in the wonderfully modern City of Arts and Science on the edge of the city of Valencia.

Valencia Aquarium guide
City of Arts and Sciences

City of Arts and Sciences

Valencia's City of Arts and Sciences is a spectacular collection of modern buildings housing arts and science exhibitions.

City of Arts and Sciences guide