Benidorm, a referent for both local and international tourism, is a key point for those who want to experience some of our most classic mountain routes.
We'll start from
Benidorm on the way to
Finestrat through the CV-70 road, only to leave it a few moments later to join the CV-758 road. The latter has some very steep uphill sections at first which will soon lead us to a nice part of the road that keeps going up and down towards
Finestrat, between the Sierra Cortina mountain range (on our left) and the Puig Campana (the mountain on our right-hand side).
Finestrat, we'll keep going straight until we reach the CV-770 road through a really hard section of the route, where we'll need to try and avoid wasting too much energy before facing the ascent to the Tudons mountain pass (Category 2). This climb, which begins in the town of
Sella, is a big classic and is very well-known by touring cyclists (Tudons can be climbed up through 4 different routes). Even though it's quite gradual, it does cover a very long distance. From our current location, the ascent is 17 kilometres long (you might find some other documentation describing the 22-kilometre-long route from
Villajoyosa), with an average gradient of over 6% that gets even harder in the final stretch, when some slopes hit a 13% gradient. We'll pass, on our right-hand side, the access to the "Escuadrón Ejército de Aire" military base, open only on special occasions, such as the different stages of Vuelta a España. Few will forget the exchange of looks and gestures between Nairo Quintana and Chris Froome while fighting for the first position in the 2016 edition. Those amongst us who know this area, though, will easily remember how good old Luis León Sánchez paid for the efforts done on the first parts of the climb, proving this mountain pass requires us not to use up our energy all at once.
Once we reach the top of Tudons (1,024 metres), we'll begin a quick descent to the charming small village of
Alcoleja, where we'll find multiple drinking fountains and restaurants, in case we need to refill our water bottles and regain our strength.
After doing this, we'll keep going quickly down the CV-770 until we reach the riverbed of the
Penáguila river and face a short but very demanding climb that will take us to the CV-70 road near
Benasau, from which we'll turn right towards the Alto de
From the lowest part of the riverbed of the Penáguila river, we'll start a climb that covers a distance of about 6 km and has an elevation gain of around 300 metres, before taking a road that keeps going downhill practically until the end of the route.
By the time we get to
Confrides, we'll have almost completed all the climbs for the day. This town, which we'll find on the 51st kilometre of our route, can be a good spot to give the local cuisine a try and regain some of our energy, while we enjoy the amazing views of the Valley of the Guadalest river. Historically, this has been the natural route between the regions of L'Alcoià and El Comtat to the region of Marina Baixa.
Confrides is at the top of the valley, between the Aitana and the Serrella mountain ranges.
After this, our route will take us through the lovely towns of
Castell de Guadalest, following a very beautiful road that runs between Mediterranean pine trees, with a great view of the Guadalest reservoir and the magnificent presence of the Sierra de Aitana mountain range on the right-hand side. Amongst the main characteristics of this mountain range are its extremely uneven topography and its very steep slopes, which, together with its proximity to the sea, provide it with a lot of contrast and amazing views. It's precisely from this side of the range that we'll be able to see its highest peaks: apart from the mountain that the range is named after (Aitana, the highest one in the range and in the province of Alicante, with 1,558 metres above sea level), the most important ones include the Peña Alta (1,558 MASL), the Peña Cacha, the Peña del Mulero and the Alto del Carrascal (1.208 MASL).
Once we reach
Castell de Guadalest, we'll go on through the beautiful CV-775 road, which mostly runs along the course of the Guadalest river and which will lead us to the town of
Callosa d´En Sarrià. When we arrive at this town, we'll take the CV-715 road towards
Polop. We really must stop there and check the 221-spout fountain that flows loudly into the town's main square. This iconic square is very close to the town hall, and there is a viewpoint next to it that will help us appreciate the amazing sights this area has to offer. We'll then resume our way through the CV-715 road towards the town of
La Nucía, where we can turn back to look at the splendid outline of
Polop and the castle that overlooks the whole town from its highest point.
From here, we'll continue down the CV-715 road, which becomes the CV-70 later and takes us back directly to where we started:
Alicante / Alacant
Villajoyosa/Vila Joiosa (La)
Alfàs del Pi (L')
What to see
Benidorm's castle viewpoint.
Polop's old town. We recommend checking out the medieval wall, the church of San Pedro and the Santuario de la Divina Aurora, Polop's castle and, of course, the fountain. It's located in the town centre and its 221 spouts are probably Polop's most iconic image.
What to eat
Since our route starts by the coast, we can try some international food there, especially the Mediterranean cuisine. But as soon as we start going inland, we'll be able to discover some gems of the local cuisine, such as the "pilotes de dacsa" (corn balls), the "olleta de blat" (wheat stew), the "arròs amb fesols i naps" (rice with beans and turnips) and, of course the "paella alicantina", Alicante's version of the most representative dish of the Valencian Community.
Did you know?
The Escuadrón del Ejercito del Aire military base is located within the municipality of Confrides, at the top of the Sierra de Aitana, with its 1,558 metres of altitude. It holds the triangulation station that marks the highest point in the province of Alicante.
The Vuelta a España has gone through Benidorm 16 times. Out of those, Benidorm has been the starting point of the whole Vuelta on 3 different occasions (1964, 1987 and 2011).
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