This route starts and ends in one of the most beautiful towns in Spain, according to many different specialised travel guides:
Castell de Guadalest.
It's a small but very touristy town, and its characteristic castle, which overlooks the whole valley of the Guadalest river. The town is located in that valley and it's surrounded by the highest mountains in the region. The town has the following mountain ranges around it: Sierra de la Xortà (1126 metres of altitude) on the northern side, the Sierra de Aitana on the southern side (1558 m) and, to the West, the Sierra Serrella (1361 m). The town is located at an altitude of 595 m and the highest mountains around are: Els Parats (1147 m), Morro Azul (1124 m) and Morro Blanco (1084 m). All these, together with the Guadalest river, which crosses the area from west to south-east and discharges into a reservoir of the same name, make the views from the town incomparable.
Before starting the route, we'll leave our cars at the parking area in front of the tourist information office. The Plaza de La Era square, starting point of our route, is only 50 metres away. We've chosen this square because it's a quiet spot that cars can't access, where it's easy to gather everyone together, but also because of the amazing views it offers. From it we can see the whole valley, with its Mediterranean pine and loquat trees, and the Mediterranean sea in the distance. We can also take some time to have a look at this charming classic Mediterranean town.
From the square, we'll turn onto the Camino de Costeretes road, which will take us straight to the dam of the Guadalest reservoir. If we have young children with us, we can also leave the cars there in order to avoid having to go back up at the end of the route. There's not much space to park, though, so it should only be done if it's strictly necessary. Please remember that the route is open to traffic, even though cars don't usually go through it.
The road we'll follow goes counterclockwise around the reservoir (it can also be done clockwise; we'll choose what way suits as best depending on the position of the sun during the different seasons of the year). This route is neither physically nor technically demanding. We'll go around the reservoir without losing sight of the town of
Castell de Guadalest.
Just after crossing the dam, we'll go past an area known as La Solana, on our right-hand side, which belongs to the municipality of
Benimantell. We won't leave the paved road at any point of the route.
As we keep going, we'll be able to enjoy the views of the villages of
Beniardá. Once we reach the northwestern end of the route, after 7.8 km, we'll cross the Guadalest river through a small bridge road and we'll head towards
Beniardá. After 500 metres, we'll leave the road that leads to
Beniardá and we'll turn left onto a trail that will lead us back to the dam through a place called L´Ombria del Castell. Once we reach this point, we will have no choice but go back up to
Castell de Guadalest.
Alicante / Alacant
Alfàs del Pi (L')
Villajoyosa/Vila Joiosa (La)
What to see
San José Castle, the municipal musem of Casa Orduña, La Alcozaiba Fortress and the Baroque Catholic Church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción.
What to eat
All the traditional dishes in Guadalest are created using local products. Rice with beans and turnip, stuffed peppers, minchos (made with flour and vegetables), rice and rabbit, grilled vegetables, wheat stew, olleta (a moist stew with meat, rice, beans and vegetables) and wheat balls are examples of its diverse cuisine, which we'll be able to enjoy in any of the multiple bars and restaurants in the town.
Did you know?
Apart from its amazing location and the beauty of its historic centre, Castell de Guadalest is also renowned for the amount of museums it houses, some of them being quite peculiar:
The Antonio Marco museum, the ethnologic musem, the medieval history museum, the Microgiant museum, the museum of microminiatures, the municipal museum of Casa Orduña, the museum of salt and pepper shakers and the Valle de Guadalest museum of historical vehicles.
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