Updated: Oct 13
Just a scenic rail journey from sun-kissed Valencia city, a verdant tapestry awaits. Charming Requena is perhaps one of a clutch of beautiful towns near Valencia, home to a labyrinthine Old Town featuring medieval architecture and gothic facades, flourishing wine valleys, and just 20,000 people.
Situated 45 miles inland, Requena sits beside a second wine town, Utiel, and together they form the Designation of Origin Utiel-Requena winemaking region. Steeped in history, this Valencia wine region has been attracting more interest in recent years for how local winemakers are elevating the Valencian Bobal red wine grape.
The town itself is also a charming spot steeped in history, with a man-made cave network below the town, first created during Islamic rule.
Where to stay
While Requena is well within reach of the city for an enchanting day trip to truly dive into its history and vinicultural heritage, why not book a longer stay? Here are some of the town’s best accommodations.
Looking for an atmospheric Valencia weekend break? Housed within a renovated cave house in the heart of the medieval Old Town, this hotel blends Old World elegance with a truly personalised service. With just six rooms, an incredible breakfast spread and a host who knows all the wineries and what to do, you’ll never want to leave this picture-perfect spot. Book in our favourite!
Steps away from the landmark neoclassical church San Nicolás, Alojamiento Turístico La Tinaja is a haven of rural comforts and a welcoming ambience. Exposed beams lend a charmingly rustic feel, while views of the main town square invite you to explore your historic surroundings. Book now!
Hotel Rural Entreviñas
A sunshine yellow facade could symbolise the warm and friendly welcome at this rural hotel, a project by Bodega Nodus. Equipped with nine sun-flooded rooms hosting wrought iron furnishings and cooling ceramic tiles, this romantic sanctuary is one of the most peaceful boutique hotels near Valencia. Reserve!
Several wineries near Valencia offer tranquil stays. Nestled within the lush vines, hotel Pago de Tharsys. Spend a night among nature at Pago de Thasrys and savour an artisanal homemade breakfast, indulge in a Requena wine tasting and enjoy a sun-kissed afternoon exploring the fragrant vineyards. Reserve now!
What makes a holiday more memorable than sipping wine surrounded by the vines that produced it?
Lush vineyards unfurl away from the cobbled town of Requena, as they have for some 2,500 years. The region today hosts almost 99,000 acres of vineyards, which fall under the Utiel-Requena Designation of Origin. The most famous grape of the area is the dark Bobal, but ecological Valencian cava is also making waves, along with fruity whites.
Explore more than 100 Requena wineries within easy reach of the town, or duck into some of the wine cellars in the centre for an indulgent tasting session.
At Bodegas Hispano Suizas, a 1.5-hour tour will guide you through the process of achieving the highest quality hand-picked Bobal harvest, followed by a tasting session of oak-aged wines and a gift of a bottle of your choice. For a little more, you can pair those wines with a gastronomical exploration of the area with a gourmet tasting menu.
One of Requena’s prized bodegas with its own Designation of Origin, Chozas Carrascal was born in the 1990s and introduced a new technique to the wine area. Here, grapes are picked during the night rather than at dawn, meaning they are harvested at a lower temperature. Explore the caves, the olive groves, and slip into bliss in the Wine Spa.
At Bodega Pago de Tharsys, another immersive experience awaits with a guided tour of the vineyards and wine cellar, along with an optional wine tasting for a small additional cost. Don’t miss the nighttime harvest if you choose to spend the weekend in their boutique accommodation.
Rather than heading to a vineyard, when you explore one of Requena’s most emblematic Valencian wineries, you don’t even need to leave town. Bodegas Murviedro has its wine cellar in the old town, and here you can explore the subterranean labyrinth of caves where the wines used to be stored. Take a subterranean tour, then enjoy a wine-tasting table paired with the best Iberian hams.
And if you time your trip right, the summer season brings the spectacular festivities of the grape harvest, featuring a festival queen and her court, grape stamping and no shortage of traditional Valencian pyrotechnics. The Vendimia Festival takes place in August and September, an unmissable Valencian event.
Step back in time
Weaving together Islamic architecture with medieval cottages, Requena offers a world steeped in myth and legend. One of the most historic towns near Valencia, it provides plenty of intriguing ways to fill your day.
Explore the castle and grand city walls, and you’ll be standing on the centuries-old frontier between the catholic Kingdom of Castille and the Islamic stronghold in Valencia city. With Islamic elements and more modern Christian additions, the remaining Torre del Homenaje tower also offers fantastic views over the rooftops below. A great educational video is available in English and Spanish to explain its history.
The Casa Mayor del Arte de la Seda museum offers a unique insight into the Silk Route’s passage through the Valencian region. A small museum set within the old Islamic ramparts, here you can explore the rich silk-making history of a town which once held 800 looms.
Situated on one of the oldest streets of Requena, Calle Somera, 15th-century Palacio del Cid is a Gothic masterpiece. A fabulous facade, a centuries-old wine cellar and heavy wooden beams create an atmosphere of nobility and charm.
An exploration of contemporary art awaits at the Florencio de la Fuente museum, where approximately 80 pieces are held in a temperature and humidity-controlled environment. An unexpected but very welcome modern addition to this historic town.
Where to eat
Located in the heart of Valencia's picturesque interior, Requena's cuisine is influenced by long-standing traditions and locally-sourced seasonal ingredients. With a variety of options ranging from cosy countryside dining to charming restaurants on sunny squares, there is no shortage of choices.
Restaurante El Yantar Mesón La Villa
Noted in the Guia Repsol, Spain’s take on the Michelin Guide, this traditional restaurant in Plaza Albornoz focuses on chargrilled fishes and meat, served in aesthetic surrounds. All are welcome with vegan and vegetarian options, while a secluded cave corner offers a romantic evening for two.
Restaurante El Yantar La Cocina de Pilar
Just steps away, the sister restaurant of Mesón La Villa, La Cocina de Pilar has been awarded a Michelin Star for its vanguard approach to Valencian cuisine. Soak up the enchanting intimacy of the caves, dine on award-winning cuisine and sip fine local wines on the perfect evening out.
Canela En Rama
Sweet tooth? Head to chic Canela En Rama for a spot of indulgence. Located on Avenida de Arribal, this vibrant cafe tempts you inside with exquisitely decorated cakes and a chocolatey aroma wafting out the door. We recommend stopping by for breakfast or brunch, or to escape the afternoon heat.
A sophisticated setting for a special dinner or celebratory drink, the atmospheric dining room of Mesón Fortaleza combines deep red walls with a traditional tiled floor and heavy wooden beams. Using the best raw materials, the team crafts the region's most authentic dishes, steps away from Plaza Castillo.
How to get there
A verdant idyll within easy reach of Valencia, this winemaking town is the perfect choice for Valencia short breaks or a longer trip. Fly into Valencia Airport, and you’re just 45 miles away, with plenty of choices on how to get there.
Ave regular high-speed train will have you in the area within 20 to 25 minutes, although we recommend booking your taxi to reach the centre in advance because the train stops outside the town. If you don’t have transport organised, a bus passes sporadically, and a noticeboard with local taxi numbers you can call.
Alternatively, a slow local train offers a captivating journey through Valencia’s rolling hills over about one hour and 40 minutes and arrives in the heart of the town. Equally, you can rent a car and drive there within an hour.
Requena is one of the most beautiful towns near Valencia. You spend your days exploring the wineries, relaxing in the sun-dappled squares, and wandering around the old town. But if you’re looking for more action or coastal relaxation, please check our Valencia city break guides to discover what this wonderful region offers.