We start our route from the town centre, from Avda. Gabriel Miró. We begin by going up this avenue until we get to Avda. de la Diputación. This first kilometres will be very useful to start warming up, while we enjoy the view of the
El Saladar lake to our left and the always magnificent
Peñón de Ifach to our right, standing out over the buildings.
We soon leave the urban area to enter a part of the itinerary which, despite being leg-breaking, offers a beautiful sight of the Mediterranean, while going along the CV-746 road. After the first 8.5 km of the route, we start the first ascent of the day: La Fustera. To do this, we'll turn left onto the CV-745 road, also known as Avda. de La Fustera. Even though it's not considered a mountain pass, it goes up continuously for almost 5 km until it reaches an area where the road ascends and descends several times, with a majority of uphill sections, before getting to the next town in our route, Benissa.
Once we arrive at
Benissa, we join the N-332 road, which goes across the whole town. Before leaving Benissa, we recommend you visit the
"Iglesia de la Purissima Xiqueta" (in Valencian, "Church of the Most Pure Child"). It's a Neogothic-style building, consisting of three naves, with a particularly beautiful central dome. Don't forget to check out the viewpoint on the left just as you leave the town. From there, you will get an amazing view of Calpe and all the areas that we have already gone through. At that point, we'll easily understand why our legs feel so tired despite not having covered a very long distance.
It's important to pay attention as we are get out of Benissa, because we need to turn right from the N-332 road onto the CV-750 road, and then onto the CV-749 road just a few metres ahead. We won't leave this road until we finish our ascent to the
Bernia mountain range and we go down to the town of
Xaló. We begin the ascent when we cross the AP-7 motorway through an overpass at the 20th kilometre of the route. This is a very tricky ascent, since it features quite a mild slope which allows us to enjoy the view of Calpe, the Peñón de Ifach and the Mediterranean sea, until we reach the 31st kilometre of the route and we come to the start of a very steep 3-kilometre section, with gradients of up to 18%. Once we reach the top, the road goes flat for about 1 kilometre, just until we begin the descent to
Xaló through a very enjoyable road, full of curves and reverse curves, which runs along almond and olive fields.
After going past the halfway point of our route, we head for the town of
Teulada, first through the CV-7475 road and then through the CV-741 road.
We resume the descent from
Moraira through the CV-743 road to get to the start of the ascent to
Cumbres del Sol (Category 1 mountain pass) through the CV-737 road, the same way the professional cyclists did during the Vuelta a España in 2015. To be precise, it was on the 9th stage of that edition of the race, and many cyclists found in it a new challenge to add to their agendas.
We start this ascent after having cycled for 64 km and quite worn out after all the hard work so far, so at this point it's possible to cut the route short and head back towards
Calpe. However, if we still feel strong enough, we can go on through a short but very demanding uphill road. We start the way up at the junction between the CV-743 and CV-737 roads to go 400 metres higher in just 5 km. There's not much to add here. The slopes, with gradients that sometimes go over 20%, will test our resolve, but the effort will be rewarded by the view from the top of
Puig Llorença, which is the original name of what we now know as
Cumbres del Sol. Once we've recovered from our last efforts, we'll start the descent to the town of
Benitatxel so that we can go back to the same point where we began the way up, and head towards
Moraira. On the way back, we'll be able to enjoy the view of the Mediterranean sea without having to leave the CV-746 at any point, all the way to
Villajoyosa/Vila Joiosa (La)
Alicante / Alacant
Alfàs del Pi (L')
What to see
Natural park of Penyal d'Ifach.
Iglesia Purissima Xiqueta in Benissa.
What to eat
All sorts of seafood from Calpe's fish market, and its most genuine dishes: The "Llauna de Calp" and the "Arrós del Senyoret".
One of the most traditional dishes from Benissa is the Octopus stew.
Try the Marina Alta wines (PDO Alicante) and, especially, the Mistela from Xaló and the adjoining villages, together with their well-regarded cured meat products, which combine perfectly with these types of wine.
Did you know?
Llíber is the third municipality in Spain with a higher number of non-Spanish residents.
In Benissa, we can visit the Monumento al Riberero. This is a monument dedicated to men from Benissa in the old days, who had to migrate on foot to the Júcar riverside during the rice harvest season. They are represented here by a praying figure, since that was the way they used to say goodbye, in front of the image of the Puríssima Xiqueta, patron saint of Benissa.
One of the most traditional dishes from Calpe, the "Arrós del Senyoret", is named after a "Senyoret" ("little lord" in Valencian") because all the seafood used to cook it is peeled beforehand, so that the "little lord" doesn't have to get his hands dirty.
We can also visit the Mercat de la Terra in Xaló the first Saturday of every month. This market offers a variety of organic and traditional products, focusing on a different one each month. It's the perfect opportunity to find out how traditional products are made through workshops, exhibitions and tastings, and to enjoy the local cuisine in any of its bars and restaurants.
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