Roman ruins of Valeria.

© Ana del Castillo/Shutterstock

Ruinas Romanas de Valeria

Castilla-La Mancha

The fascinating archaeological site of Ruinas Romanas de Valeria is located just outside the village of Valeria, 34km south of Cuenca. Though not as extensive as the nearby ruins of Segóbriga, Valeria is less known to tourists meaning you'll have the rare, evocative pleasure of wandering around the site of a former sizeable Roman town without the distraction of coach tours and school groups. The location is fittingly sublime, set amid meadows and flanked by dramatic gorges.

There are also remains of a medieval church and castle crowning the hillside. Stretching below this, dating from 82 BC, are the remains of a forum (the best preserved in Spain), as well as a basilica, four reservoirs (used for water supply), urban streets and the well-preserved remains of a vast extravagant fountain stretching over 80m in length with 12 spouts. There is also the original casa colgada here, its upper floor still clearly constructed to cling to the rock side, with the lower floors visible below. The views of the surrounding ravines are magnificent and probably little changed in 2000 years.

The visitor centre is located by the entrance and has a modest display of photographs and explanatory plaques, as well as a well-preserved Roman Corinthian capital excavated from the site. There is also a short audiovisual film about Valeria's history.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Castilla-La Mancha attractions

2. Cerro del Socorro

18.47 MILES

This hill across the Río Huécar gorge from Cuenca's old town is crowned by a giant statue of Christ, which is illuminated at night. A 2km trail marked by…

3. Museo de la Semana Santa

18.48 MILES

This museum is the next best thing to experiencing one of Spain's most spine-tingling Semana Santa parades first­hand. Spread over two floors, the…

4. Túnel Calderón de la Barca

18.48 MILES

A mole hill of tunnels lies under Cuenca's old town. Over time they have served multiple purposes as aqueducts, crypts and, most recently, air-raid…

5. Torre de Mangana

18.49 MILES

The Torre de Mangana, near Plaza Mangana, is the last remnant of a fortress that was built by Cuenca's Muslim rulers. It is all that remains of Cuenca's…

6. Museo de las Ciencias

18.55 MILES

This family-friendly science museum should pacify kids who are bored with churches and monasteries. While not large, it has well-presented interactive…

7. Museo de Arte Abstracto Español

18.59 MILES

From the outside, they look as if they’ve been sawn off from some high-altitude Tibetan temple, but, from the inside, Cuenca’s famous casas colgadas …

8. Casas Colgadas

18.59 MILES

The most striking element of medieval Cuenca, the casas colgadas (hanging houses) jut out precariously over the steep defile of Río Huécar. Dating from…