Earlier this week I visited a medieval village (weird, I know) called Chulila. I had not heard of Chulila before this trip and only learned of it when I found an Airbnb listing for a darling cabin in the woods about half an hour north of Valencia. The photos were so cute and the description so attractive, that I booked the cabin without really having any expectation about where I would be traveling. What a great shot in the dark!
My hosts were Jason and Georgina from London. They moved to Spain about 10 years ago and have a lovely house with a pool (that they had put in themselves…I can’t imagine a concrete truck getting up the drive!) all nestled into a mountain above the town of Chulila. The cabin was one that Georgina used for writing but they recently began to rent it and Airbnb. I am likely one of the lucky few who might have the privilege of staying in the cabin with such wonderful hosts, as they are trying to sell the property and move back to London. If you are in Spain and find yourself in this area, don’t hesitate to book a few nights here.
Upon my arrival I was greeted with a bottle of champagne by the pool and each morning, a charming basket full of breakfast goodies was left on my front porch. There is something so fantastic about a) a champagne welcome and b) having breakfast delivered to you in a picnic basket!
The first full day I spent in Chulila included a gorgeous hike through a canyon below the village down to a lagoon called Charco Azul (blue pool) where, unbelievably, I stumbled upon a group of people attempting to cross the lagoon on a Gibbons Slackline (modern-day tightrope). It was incredibly windy so it was not surprising that they did not make it very far across the line. But it was darned entertaining…watch the video here.
The valley is really a gorge with steep rock walls where I spotted numerous rock climbers. If you like to climb rocks, this is a great destination.
After I hiked up out of the gorge, I enjoyed a light lunch in the center of the village and then walked up to the remains of the old 13th century castle that dominates the town from the top of a hill that Georgia said is nicknamed, “the molar.” I can see that.
I had planned to leave the next day but over wine later that night, Georgina and I made a plan for me to stay one more day so we could get massages at a thermal spa called Balneario the next afternoon. I mean, who passes up a thermal spa?
Unfortunately the spa was closed but there was the Emerald Lagoon around the mountain, not far from the spa so we challenged the Skoda rental car to a somewhat perilous climb. After a few extremely narrow switchbacks on a gravel road that hugged the side of a mountain, we came to a point where the road was impassable. With no other option, I put the Skoda in reverse and backed down the hill. Fortunately, there was just enough of a patch of grass at the bottom of that slope for me to get turned around. Would have seriously put my driving skills to the test if I had had to back UP the opposite side of the ravine (with a stick shift!).
Later that night, Jason cooked up some steaks for us and we had a fabulous dinner and even more fabulous conversation under the stars. I feel so lucky to have had the pleasure of spending time with Jason and Georgina and hope that our paths will cross again someday!