Nov 062010

Hiking Holidays Spain

Out latest guests from Germany on the Spanish walking Holiday in the Lasafor Mountains, around Gandia.

A group of friends from near Munich arrived in the early hours of Tuesday night/Wednesday morning to stay with us for 4 nights and to use Villa Florencia as a base for hill walking and hiking expeditions.  They had chosen to come to this part of Spain, rather than the Sierra Nevada for their walking, because it is a less touristy area and one that they felt might be worth exploring.
Wednesday morning found them eager to depart for the mountains nearby, and they went to the La Drova and Barx area only a few kilometres away.  They spent the day following two hiking trails, one of which took them up Monduver – the highest mountain in the La Safor range – and provided them with spectacular views of the area.
They went further afield on Thursday and spent the day in the Jalon valley to the south of here – still only about 40 minutes drive away though.  Again, they followed recommended hiking routes, had a great time and enjoyed the superb scenery of the region.
Friday was a different story – they went underground!!!  At least for part of their walking, anyway!  They walked along the recommended route that follows the path of the old Alcoi – Gandia railway line, taking in the tunnels along the way – a well-known and popular hiking spot in the area.
And then all too soon it was Saturday morning and time for them to prepare to return to Germany, but they all agreed they had had a great time walking and hiking in the La Safor region and had no regrets about coming here rather than to the Sierra Nevada.  There are still many other routes to explore, so maybe they will come back for another visit, or maybe next time even to enjoy the beaches and coastline in the summer – who knows!

Walking routes

The Parpalló Cave is one of the most emblematic and unique sites of prehistoric mainland because there were more than 5,000 stone slabs with representations of animals and geometric shapes. It has been identified as a cave-shrine began to be used 21,000 years ago. Together with archaeologists from the University of Valencia, a study was conducted archaeo the site, finding that the winter solstice sunrise and a few days before and after this, the sun illuminated the inner zone of the cave for a while. To date, this is the earliest indication of a possible relationship astronomical orientation of an archaeological site.

Cueva de les Malladetes
Following the mountain range that contains the monduver to simat, is at a high point with excellent views of the cave they valldigna “Mallaetes”, one of the most important archaeological sites in Spain. It was followed by several stratigraphic levels with different settlements belonging to the Upper Palaeolithic, and even closer to the surface coming in the late Neolithic or early Neolithic.

cueva  malladetes

The natural shelter has three entrances to the interior. The center, which would mark the entrance mouth wider, on the same arc of the roof of the mouth cavity is a second smaller and next to it, a third similar to the previous opening. It is thought that in ancient times the cavity was much larger than today. Limestone is excavated in the Touraine-Senonian period. The cave is on the same mountain range where the cave is Parpalló.

Mount Mongo- Denia

Rio Serpis Railway Track

Gandia is the ideal base for your Spanish walking holiday

La Drova & Barx walking Route
The La Drova and Barx tourist route goes through the hills of Marchuquera and the “Ermita” village of the same name.
From the Passeo Germanias going towards the hospital you will find signs and indicators for the route.  We will follow the road until we meet the towns of La Drova and Barx.  All the way you will enjoy the countryside of Mediterranean forests so typical of the region.
Along this route you will travel through a countryside of orange groves and mountains that is typical of the La Safor region.  Every Sunday a market takes place in la Ermita de Marchuquera.  Firstly we arrive at La Drova – the majority of houses are of a rural type and we can enjoy facilities here like the café in the main road through the town.  From there you can take the road to visit the summit of Mt Monduver or eat in a restaurant with a swimming pool.
Further on we come into the municipality of Barx where we can relax and enjoy a rest.  The return to Gandía can be done by retracing our steps along the same route, or by following the road down to the municipality of Simat de la Valldigna, where you will find the monastery of Santa Maria.
Racó del Duc – Antigua Vía del Tren Alcoy – Gandía Cycling Route
The “Racó del Duc”, also called “Barranc de l’Infern” (Riverbed of Hell) is the stretch of the river Serpis that runs between the municipal districts of Villalonga (Valencia) and Orxa (Alicante).
The suggested route has a distance of 2kms and for the most part follows along the old railway track used by the Alcoi to Grau de Gandía train.
Given that the railway line takes in five unlit tunnels, one of which is 250m in length, it is recommended to take a torch.  Water can be obtained at the beginning of the route at the La Reprimala source (Fuente), or also at another two that are passed along the journey (Fuente de la Mata and Fuente de Botero.
Except for a short slope at the beginning, the rest of the itinerary is almost flat and runs parallel with the river Serpis or the Alcoi.  These characteristics make it suitable for people of any age using a mountain bicycle as a means of transport, although with a little more time we can better appreciate the beauty of the countryside by following the itinerary on foot.
The river passes through a mountain canyon with the mountains of la Safor (1011m above sea-level) and la Cuta (680m above sea-level), in which the significant descents offer a unique landscape in the area along with  highly interesting flora and fauna.
Gandia – Oliva Bicycle Route
La Vía Verde (The “Green Road”) of Gandia-Oliva in la Safor connects the coastal towns by means of a 7km track which picks up the old raised railway line of the Carcaixent to Denia train service which was constructed in 1884.
This is a bicycle route which shows us a Valencian landscape of orchards and canals where the perfume of orange blossom is all around during the flowering season.
The suggested starting point for the route begins in Gandia’s Parc de l’Estacio – site of the former narrow gauge railway station which is no longer in service today.  Opposite you will find the Tourist Information Office.
From the park, take the Calle del Tossal, which will lead us via an alleyway to the Serpis riverbed.  A concrete bridge enables us to cross the river Serpis and to carry on in a south-west direction.  We cross the road which goes along the right bank of the river and down to the area of Gandia known as the Grau.  From this point on, the route continues through orchards and orange groves, and after 3 kms we cross the Bellreguard road.  We cross the river Serpis once again and pass through the towns of Palmera and Piles.
After 5kms we cross another canal which takes us on to the municipality of Oliva.
Technical Details:
Bicycle Tour
7000 metres
Low level of difficulty
No descent in altitude
Simat de la Valldigna – Barx Mountain Bike Route
A journey through the mountains of Barx and the Valldigna area, it is a 9km route where you will pass through and can visit the Font de la Puigmola and relax at the viewing point at La Visteta.  With a maximum altitude of 800 meters, this route is of low difficulty.
Simat de la Valldigna – Sima del Toro – Detour to viewing point (575m) – Crossing with the Corralls road – Detour to the viewing point of la Visteta – Font de la Puigmola – Barx.  The PR has a variant: from Barx to the viewing point of la Visteta.  Connections with the PR-V60 in Barx and with the PR-V51 at the Monastery of Santa Maria de la Valldigna (Simat).
Places of Interest:
Avenc del Toro
La Visteta viewing point
Font de la Puigmola
Pla dels Surars
Camping Places:
Font de la Sangonera (Tavernes, Centro Excursionista de Tavernes).
Recreation Areas:
Font de la Puigmola (Barx)
We begin our journey taking the road from Simat in the direction of Barx, where we travel 1.7kms to the beginning of the path.  After covering this first stretch, a tree situated on the left of the road indicates to us with yellow and white the beginning of the path that will lead us to the town of Barx.
There begins a winding and demanding ascent of 3.5kms.  Once at the top, we arrive at a plateau that enables us to view a landscape of potholes and chasms.  The most important of these is the one known as Avenc del Toro.
We will carry on by following the path between the potholes before beginning the descent into Barx, enjoying the views of the town from the mountain as we approach.  On arriving at the last stretch of the journey, we must take care not to take the wrong road, as the signposting is in a poor state.
The path leads us to an asphalted stretch, which we take in a right-hand direction and lastly when we reach the next crossroads we turn to the left, the pathway to Font de la Puigmola, situated some 250 meters from the crossing.  In La Puigmola we can regain our strength before travelling the last 1.5kms of the route and arriving in Barx.  We will also find on the right a detour which connects up to the PR-V60.
Technical Details:
Distance: 9kms
Maximum altitude: 800 metres
Time: 3hrs
Difficulty: Low