MTB - La Nucia


etapa de montaña

La Nucia

When we think about mountain biking in the province of Alicante, La Nucía is one of the first places that come to mind, due to the amount of cycling-related activities and events carried out in this town by the local cycling clubs, in order to promote the use of all sorts of bikes.  

This route is full of steep uphill slopes and technically demanding descents. We recommend not to try this route by yourselves and, if possible, we advise you to do it either with someone who knows the area or using a GPS navigator, since there are multiple junctions and diversions on these trails and roads and it's easy to get lost.   

We'll start our route at the Camilo Cano sports complex. We'll take the different roads and paths that lead to an area known as Carbonera and, shortly after that, we'll turn onto a road that takes us West and leaves La Nucía's quarry on the right side (we won't be able to see it). This road offers an amazing view of the Serra Gelada nature reserve ( and the Mediterranean Sea on our left-hand side. We'll cross the CV-70 road through and underpass that will lead us to a path known as Camino de la Monja. After exactly 5.8 kilometres, we'll come across a fork in the road, and we'll take the right exit. A few metres ahead, we'll get to the end of the paved road and we'll follow the trail to climb to an area called El Marmoig, with the stunning and magnificent view of the Puig Campana in the distance. We'll reach the highest point of the route at 480 metres of altitude after having covered a 9-kilometre distance.

We'll then start a 3-kilometre long descent on a road that gets quite narrow at different points. This is why, even though it may not be the most technical part of this route, we'll still need to stay focused while riding through it, so we recommend stopping for a while if we want to admire the views.

As we start getting closer to town again, we'll go around some building complexes through a very steep road, just before arriving back at the Camino de la Monja. At this point, we'll take quite a charming path that runs parallel to it and crosses the CV-70 road through the same underpass we used before, in order to get back to the start point of the route (after 18 kilometres) and face the most technical areas of the route, which are also the most fun to ride through.

As we said at the beginning of this description, following directions within this area could be very difficult, due to the amount of junctions and diversions we'll come across. That's why we recommend either bringing someone along who knows the area or using a GPS navigator.

It's easy to get misled if we merely look at the distance and the total elevation gain, since these figures are not too high: 29.57 km and 791 m. However, the fact that all climbs are quite steep and descents are very technically demanding makes it very difficult to find a moment to recover and will put a lot of strain on our legs.


What to see

The best way of getting to know La Nucía is taking a stroll through its charming streets. We can start at the Font de la Favara park and follow a road that goes through the Carrer del Calvari viewpoint and leads to Plaça Major square. There we can visit the Church of the Immaculate Conception (18th century) and its staircase. We'll keep going through Carrer Major until we reach the old public washing site (the Lavadero, from 1924), and the really well-preserved outdoor ethnological museum.

What to eat

Even though La Nucía offers a very wide variety of international food due to the fact it's a well-known tourist destination in the Costa Blanca, it has managed to preserve many elements of the local cuisine. Some of the most traditional dishes are arroz cocido (a rice dish), cooked blood and onions, meat and corn balls and, of course, paella. Cured meat, cheese and lupin beans are also very popular, together with the following desserts: loquats, jams, pastissets de moniato (sweet potato pies), pastissets d'ametla (almond pastries), berlina and  coca dolça (sweet pastries). If there's something that we may notice when walking through the streets of La Nucía's old town is the abundance of artisan bakeries, which have supplied the whole subregion with sweets and pastries for decades and give the town a very characteristic scent. The most popular drinks are Mistela (sweet wine) and a type of local soda drink.

Did you know?

Traditionally, inhabitants of La Nucía have grown and harvested lupin beans and then sold them in the streets, which has earned them the nickname "tramussers" (tramús means lupin in Valencian).

La Nucía has its own Protected Designation of Origin for its fresh unripened cheese and a soda factory, where this popular drink (which is used for so many other drinks as well) is made, being one of the few factories of its kind that remain open, after four generations of history.

The building for the Administrative Extension in La Nucía received an Architizer Award (something like an Oscar Award for Architecture) for the Best Public Building of the Year. Apart from that, there are at least 12 sustainable buildings in La Nucía. Both facts have made this town a must-visit destination for many travellers who are interested in the artistic and technical way of expression that architecture is.