Sagunto is the city that actually originally inspired my love for travel. I moved there for a semester while in college, and literally left the city in tears at the end of my semester abroad. If you are looking for a place that has a true small-town Spanish feel, and a rich history, you should certainly take time to visit Sagunto while in Spain. Learn about all of this and more in this 2-Day Sagunto, Spain itinerary.
Brief City History | Sagunto
The true founders of the city are unknown, but there is speculation that it was either founded by Armeanians or Achaeans from Zakynthos before the 5th century B.C. During the time of Roman rule (2nd century B.C.), Saguntum had grown to be a prosperous town.
During Rome’s war against Carthage, the town and local colonists sided with Rome against Hannibal during his siege of Saguntum. This event ultimately started the Second Punic War, and led to the capture of the town by Hannibal.
The town was ultimately captured by Rome 7 years later, and you probably know how the story ended for the Carthigeans. This led to a time of romanticization of the town (not an easy feat), but ultimately it flourished as seen by the circus, amphitheatre, and its 50,000 inhabitants.
Following it’s Roman heyday, the town fell under the rule of the Visigoths, then Arabs, and finally the Spanish once James I of Aragon conquered the Muslims in 1238.
Today, the town is best known for the ancient ruins in the city and the mountain that overlooks it. As I mentioned above, it’s a lovely little town with the most friendly people that you’ll ever meet. Perfect for those of you who’d like to get a real Spanish experience.
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Know Before You Go | Sagunto
Getting There: There is no airport in Sagunto – you’ll need to fly into the nearby Aeropuerto de Valencia (Valencia Airport). Note, if you’re coming from the US, it’s likely that you’ll have to transfer at a major European hub like Charles de Gaulle in Paris before touching down in this smaller Spanish airport.
After flying into Valencia, the best way to get to Sagunto is by train. The Estació del Nord is the main train station in Valencia, and trains to Sagunto only take about 30-40 minutes.
Where to Stay: In keeping with finding that authentic, Spanish, feel, I recommend staying at the B&B Domus Atilia. This cute place offers views of the castle, a sun terrace, and free breakfast.
If you want to stay close to the beach / prefer a private residence, check out the Airbnb below:
Getting Around: Sagunto is a town and is very walkable. When I was a student we’d regularly walk the whole town and it probably is about an hour’s walk end-to-end. If you have lots of items to carry around or plan to see more of Spain, I recommend using Uber or renting a car.
Currency Situation: You’ll use the Euro in Sagunto (no surprise there). At the time this article was posted, the exchange rate was €1 = $1.21. Click here for the latest exchange rates.
Language: Like many Spanish towns, English is not widely spoken. I recommend brushing up on essential Spanish phrases before your trip. In addition definitely don’t forget the power of Google Translate and just good ol’ gestures. The Spanish are very expressive so acting out what you mean tends to work well.
Sagunto, Spain Itinerary | The Best Thing to do in Sagunto
Day 1 | Sagunto Castle, Saguntum Forum, and Sagunto Theatre
On your first day in Sagunto, I recommend you spend time getting to know the history of Sagunto.
I recommend that you start your tour at the Castle and work your way down. The castle offers impressive views of the city and has lots of information tidbits that you can find throughout the site. Within the castle you’ll also find remains of the Sagunto forum. What I love about traveling to any historical site is just thinking about how much these ancient structures have seen. This castle was used in the Siege against Sagunto, just to give you an idea on how old it is.
Next up, it’s time to visit the Sagunto Theatre. This theater served the population up until the fall of Rome and stayed in great condition until damaged by Napoleon’s troops in the 18th century. You’ll be in for a treat though – the theatre has been restored partially, so you will be able to envision what it could have been like in its full glory.
Finally, if you feel like you need more history, don’t forget to check out the Museo Historico de Sagunto. It’s a great way to tie up all that you’ve learned while exploring the ancient part of the city.
Close out the day by grabbing dinner at Andana Aljibe, which is one of the top restaurants in the city. It features typical Spanish food and is even vegetarian friendly.
If you don’t want to plan out all your historical excursions yourself, you should check out the Historical Sagunto tour. This tour will take you to all the historical sites in addition to covering some of the city as well. Note, it is meant (and priced) for a group vs. an individual tourist.
Day 2 | City Stroll and Sagunto Beach
On your second day in Sagunto, I recommend that you spend time getting to know the city. The two areas that you should definitely see are the Plaza Mayor and the Juderia de Sagunto (Jewish Quarter). This is the best preserved Jewish quarter in the Valencian community, so it is certainly worth checking out. To take it up a notch you can book a tour via Juderia De Sagunto to learn more on the history there.
Following your stroll through the city, it’s time to head to the beach! From the old city center, it’s a bit easier to reach the beach via car / bus / Uber. The beach is usually quiet, especially when it’s not the August vacation month. Pro tip: Mediterranean waters are typically cold, so just brace for a bit of an adjustment period. There are plenty of places to eat by the Port of Sagunto, so eat your heart away in peace.
If you’re looking for a recommendation on where to spend your beach dinner, try Restaurant Frida, which is a Mexican restaurant serving Vegetarian and Vegan fare.
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Sagunto, Spain Adventist College
If you’re reading this itinerary, there is a chance that you are interested in, or will be attending the Escuela Superior de Español (esdes). Even if you had no knowledge or interest in the school before, it’s certainly worth a quick visit. There are orange groves right outside the campus that are just lovely. In addition, since the school sits on a hill, you have great views of the city and the beach too!
For those of you unfamiliar, this quaint college offers Spanish language studies for students from around the globe. I can speak from experience that the instructors here are excellent! Learn more about the school here.
I’ll caveat, it’s not very typical to plan excursions from Sagunto, but TO Sagunto. And most typically these tours go to Sagunto from Valencia, which is much more tourism focused. Here is a Valencia tour that you should check out if you plan to travel to Sagunto from this latter city for a day trip: The Sagunto Day Trip Tour. This tour covers several of the locations mentioned in Day 1 above, such as the Castle and Theatre. You’ll get a knowledgeable tour guide who will give you all the details on the history of each, so you don’t miss anything.
And while we’re at it, if you plan to stay in Valencia, here is a great tour of the city you should consider: The Valencia City Center Tour. This tour includes stops at the following locations in the city:
- Torres de Serranos
- Plaza de la Virgen
- Valencia Cathedral
- Plaza Redonda
- La Lonja de la Seda
- Central Market of Valencia
- Plaza del Ayuntamiento
- Plaza de Toros de Valencia
- Estacio del Nord
- Palacio del Marques de Dos Aguas
It’s a very comprehensive tour and quite cheap! (All things considered).
Sagunto City Map
Sagunto Map Key:
All the locations mentioned in this post can be found in this map. Should be helping you in mapping out your day, changing out the order of things to meet your needs.
- Sagunto Castle
- Sagunto Theatre
- Museo de Sagunto
- Plaza Mayor
- Juderia de Sagunto
- Sagunto Beach / Port of Sagunto
Final Thoughts | 2-Day Sagunto, Spain Itinerary
That wraps this short 2-day Sagunto, Spain Itinerary! I hope that you found this insightful as you start to think through your trip to this beautiful Spanish town. I hope you feel inspired to get a taste of the nice slow pace and can experience some tranquility there.
If you’ve visited Sagunto before, let me know in the comments below!