When I decided to visit Sagunt, I wanted to follow ancient history. To see the site of the famous siege of Sagunt, Hannibal versus the Romans, the all important Second Punic War, the castle on top of the hill, the Roman forum and theatre.
I did all that, but what surprised me when I made my way to the Port of Sagunt was that there are remarkable structures and buildings related to a much more recent past. The Industrial Revolution and witnesses to the steel making industry in Sagunt which began to flourish in the 19th century and contributed to economic growth.
Alas, such wealth was short lived. The last steel ovens closed in 1984. I took the bus from Sagunt railway station and, at the driver’s advice, got off at the market to see what is known as Horno Alto. By the way, the market was in full swing and is enormous, but I didn’t stop because it’s quite a hike to reach this remarkable structure.
It’s a restored 64 meters high steel oven which you can visit and which is dramatically illuminated at night. It was just me and two American tourists, who exclaimed in awe: “looks like a space ship”. It does, when you are standing at the bottom it’s just huge.
The Port of Sagunt has many more streets and parts which remind you of the industrial times. The barrio de los obreros is one and next to the Horno, now derelict warehouses. The atmosphere is eerie and impressive at the same time.
From the Horno Alto it is another long hike along the Avenida del Mediterraneo to reach the beaches. It’s well worth the effort, because the beaches are fantastic. Playa Almadra, Playa Corinto and Playa Malvarrosa to name but a few cover a total of 10km. White, sandy with dunes and interesting vegetation you should bring swimwear for a dip in the crystalline waters when making a trip to the port of Sagunt.
Even in the height of summer you will be able to find a quiet spot, they are just so vast. Cafes, restaurants and the occasional chiringuitos line the promenade.This side trip is an absolute must when visiting Sagunt.