The route suggested here is completely suitable for bikers of all ages. It's completely flat and covers a distance of slightly over 15 km. This route is known as "Ruta de las torres de la huerta de
You can visit the Torres de la Huerta easily by bike, following the itinerary provided by
Alicante's Councillor's Office for Environmental issues. However, we can only visit the outside of the towers, since most of them are privately owned, and the rest aren't open to the pubic anyway.
The original purpose of these towers was the defence of the area, since the richess of
Alicante's huerta (all the cropland area surrounding the town) was strongly sought-after by the pirates who reached its shores. Therefore, during the 16th and 17th centuries, land owners had no choice but build these towers as a shelter for themselves and the people that worked for them when the area was under siege. Currently, only about 20 of those towers are still standing and, even though only some of them have been restored and others have seen better days, we think it's a very nice stroll through the history of Alicante, since all the towers have information boards explaining their history.
We've chosen to start our route from the recreational area of Alicante's golf course. We've selected this starting point because it's well known and it's next to a TRAM stop (TRAM is Alicante's public tram system), which makes access easier to those who want to enjoy this route from any one of the towns and villages the TRAM goes through. Please note that TRAM's management states the following on their website: "If you wish to take your bicycle with you, please check before the times and terms relating to bicycle transportation on the Tram".
We start our route by taking the bike lane on Avda. de las Naciones to go through Calle P.P. Condomina, and then we turn left onto Calle Licia Calderón, where we'll find the first tower in the itinerary:
Torre Ferrer (Second half of the 16th century).
From this tower, we'll take Avda. Historiador Vicente Ramos up to the next one:
Torre Mauro (1898). This tower is currently part of a restaurant, and it's located within a shopping centre and a recreational area with a play park for children.
We continue our route onto Sergio Cardell roundabout, famous for its restaurants and terraces and commonly known as "The Cheese Roundabout", due to the architectural peculiarity of the TRAM stop located in it, and then we go down Avda. Deportista Miriam Blasco, until we get to the next tower:
Torre Sarrió (1544). This tower was restored recently, but it has ended up in the centre of a roundabout, which makes it quite difficult to access,
Very close to it, not even 200 metres away, we can find
Torre Santiago (Second century of the 16th century). This is one of the towers that have been better preserved, due to the fact that its owners stay there quite often and have excellent taste and a lot of respect for the architectural heritage.
At this point in our route, we leave the urban area and we cross the level crossing of the TRAM's track to get to Calle Caja de ahorros, where we'll have to go past two well-known supermarkets in order to visit the
Torre de las Águilas (17th century). After doing that, we take Avda. Padre Ángel Escapa. In about 30 metres, just after going over the first bridge by the Juncaret riverbed, we turn right onto Camino de Benimagrell, in order to get to one of the most prominent towers on the route:
Torre de Rejas (16th century). The tower is now attached to a house with a remarkably singular architectural design. The property, which is currently a restaurant, is named after the three big barred windows, which overlook the old road to Benimagrell.
We follow the road now to Avda. Dr. Pérez Gil, where we'll turn left towards Santa Faz. Before reaching this famous village, we'll take a small detour to visit some other towers.
The next one we will find is
Torre del Soto (17th century). This tower, very much like Torre Santiago, is in very good conditions thanks to the maintenance carried out by its current owners.
From Torre del Soto, we take a dirt road, known as Camino de la Cruz de Piedra, towards San Juan, which will take us to
Torre de Don Vicent or
Torre del Capitán Boacio. It's named after captain Boacio, who had it built in
1698, at a time when the invasions had ceased and the construction of towers showed the high financial status of the owners.
The next tower in our route is
Torre Cacholí (1903).Despite its being well preserved, the buildings next to it make it very difficult to see it properly. We're back at the roundabout on Avda. Dr. Pérez Gil. From here, we'll head straight to Santa Faz, through a service road that runs along the riverbed up to road N-332, where we'll be able to access Santa Faz's main square using the bike-friendly overpass (don't forget pedestrians have priority, though). In this square, we'll find our next stop:
Torre de la Santa Faz (1575). Out of all the towers in the town, this is one of the latest to have been erected. This is probably the reason why it's also the one about which we have the most information. It's a four-storey squared-based building of about 8 metres per side, with a terrace on the top and four sentry boxes, one on every corner, which makes it different to the rest of the watchtowers in the area.
At this point, we've nearly finished our route and we can go back to the start if we through Avda. Dr. Pérez Gil. However, we'll take another small detour to visit
Torre Plasía and
Torre de la Mitja Lliura. Both of them were built on the
second half of the 16th century and are not very well preserved. The advantage of this detour, especially if we have children with us, is that we can avoid using the overpass for the TRAM track on Avda. Dr. Pérez Gil and reach the start point using the bike lane on Avda. Locutor Vicente Hipólito.
Note that Alicante's town council has listed a total of 20 towers, and this route has allowed us to visit more than half of them.
Alicante / Alacant
Alfàs del Pi (L')
Villajoyosa/Vila Joiosa (La)
What to see
The Santa Faz monastery, also known as the Veronica monastery, is a monastery belonging to the nuns of the order of St. Clare, located in the city of Alicante.
What to eat
Both the shopping area next to the golf course, which was the start point to our route, and the square by the Santa Faz monastery (and also San Juan's beach, only 500 metres away from the end of the route) have a few bars and restaurants where we can enjoy some typical Mediterranean snacks and a wide variety of rice dishes. We recommend you try "arroz a banda" and turron ice cream.
Arroz a banda ("arròs a banda" in Valencian), a fisherman's dish, is a typical rice dish from the coast of Alicante. Its main peculiarity is that you can make two dishes out of one: first of all, you make some fish broth, usually from "morralla" (different kinds of strong-tasting fish with a lot of bones and not much flesh), nora peppers and alioli sauce; then you cook some rice separately in that broth (this is where the name for the dish comes from, since "a banda" means "on the side" in Valencian) and , some other day, you make a stew with the broth using the alioli, some potato and the flaked fish. Most restaurants nowadays just make the first rice dish, but some of them still keep the original recipe and serve it as a first and a second course.
The turron ice cream is proof of the skills of local artisans to take full advantage of one of the worldwide known sweets of our region.
Did you know?
Inside the Santa Faz monastery, you can find Alicante's Santa Faz (Holy Face), a relic which is, according to the tradition (even though there has been no scientific research on that subject), one of the pieces of the cloth used by a woman, Veronica, when she wiped Jesus Christ's face on his way to the Calvary Mountain.
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