Towering over the town of Xodos (also known as Chodos in Castilian) you could find this remarkable hermitage standing alone and wild surrounded by rare low growing Spain conifers (forgot the name, but they are a protecting species). At 1064 meters above sea level the views are understandably amazing. Both Xodos and its hermitage are not far from the beloved mountain of Penyagolosa.
Xodos is hewn from on a rocky outcrop and beyond it stretches the El Maestrat. It is striking from the distance, but used to be rather forlorn once you got to it. Sort of empty. Despite this, there were a few bars and a passable restaurant, Casa Ana. In recent years however more bars and restaurants have opened, people are doing up the old houses and it is definitely worth a visit. The nice thing about it is that it is not a tourist trap type of place. Its real!
Apart from Xodos and a few scattered fincas, there is nothing but an open expanse of mountains and valleys and sky, but most of all sky. The figure next to the hermitage at the top is my husband, James. He is very tall, and yet looks dwarfed next to this handsome building. Unfortunately, the powers that be have recently installed phone masts next to it. Will those in charge never learn?
Never mind, hmm. Let’s concentrate on the positive, like the secret corners you come across walking through this tiny village and that it will be a lovely, just long enough, walk for an excuse to stop at one of the bars or restaurants!
And if you ever do spend a day at Xodos and leave in the dark, don’t forget to look back and up at its mysterious and startling beauty. You won’t regret it!