The stage that runs through the Carrascal de la Font Roja Natural Park in the county of l'Alcoià. From Ibi we ascend to the top of El Menejador 1.356 m, to then descend to the municipality of Alcoi. In this spot you can enjoy the rich and varied flora and fauna, with four plant micro-reserves (Mas de Cotet, Pilar de Ximo, El Menejador and Torretes).
The route starts from Ibi, entering The Municipal Natural Park of Barranc dels Molins ravine, set in limestone rock walls. The trail runs through beautiful vegetation of poplars, elms and pines. In the initial section you can see traces of channels carved in the rock through which water runs, and which used to power mills.
There used to be eight mills, today there are only two which are in good repair and which we will pass on this stage: the Molí Nou and the one called Tía Roseta. Once we emerge from the ravine we climb until reaching Pou del Barber, one of those which were part of the network of wells which were worked by ice makers from Ibi.
From here we continue our route passing through Mas de Tetuan and crossing the Pilar of Ximo micro-reserve, where we join the forest track, being able to visit, along with this micro-reserve, the Pou del Carrascar, until we reach the top of Menejador.
At the summit we can get our strength back while enjoying the magnificent views of the valley that extends between the Menejador and the Serra de Mariola. We can also appreciate the colours of the deciduous forest; the pine forests provide shelter for goshawks, sparrowhawks, coal tits and crossbills; and wild boar, foxes and shrews live in the forest. The Bonelli's eagle and the eagle owl build their nests in the upper reaches along with the peregrine falcon and the rock sparrow.
We start our descent entering the forest of Kermes oak that gives the Park its name, until we reach the Pla de la Mina, where we find reproductions of a former charcoal kiln and lime kiln. From the viewing platform we can see the Font Roja sanctuary, where we will go to visit the Interpretation Centre of Font Roja Natura.
We continue our descent until we reach another area of great interest, the Canalons-Racó de Sant Bonaventura Municipal Natural Area, a tranquil place that offers a watercourse all year round, and where you can spend a pleasant time under the shade of leafy trees and bird song.
We continue the trail that runs parallel to the river Polop amid lush river bank flora that guarantees us shade until we join the Alcoi greenway over the Siete Lunas Bridge, on the river Polop, which will take us to Alcoi town centre.
The current town of
Alcoi has its origin in a Christian village in 1256 according to the
Pobla (town charter). There are 15th century documents that cite the existence of flour mills and fulling mills in the basin of the
Molinar, which enabled the development of a textile and paper industry originally linked to its rivers. That is how
Alcoi came to be a pioneering town and an industrial reference in Spain, in the 18th and 19th centuries. We recommend the Modernist Route.
A highlight is the
Christians festival declared of international tourist interest and dedicated to St George, and the
Wise Men, of National Touristic Interest.
The gastronomy of
Olleta (stew made with beans, chards, pork and black pudding),
borreta (stew with potatoes, spinach, codfish and egg),
pericana (cold dish made with dry peppers and codfish) and
farcides (peppers stuffed with rice, tomato, chopped garlic, parsley, pork or fresh tuna).
An ideal town for indulging in rural and adventure tourism, where you can enjoy delightful hiking, biking and horse-riding excursions along the countless routes, as well as pedalling along the green route that runs from Alcoi to Ibi.
Practice climbing, in the town with the highest number of authorized climbing schools in the province of Alicante and if you are one of those who like an adrenaline rush, have a go at bungee-jumping from the impressive Siete Lunas Bridge.
Alcoi, a city nestling between rivers, canyons and mountains. Some 80% of the town has some kind of environmental protection, this is evident at Carrascal de la Font Roja and the Serra de Mariola, as well as the Canalons-Racó de Sant Bonaventura Municipal Natural Area.
The municipal area is dotted with numerous rocky projections, such as Menejador, els Plans, Barranc del Cint - les Pedreres or Serreta, among others. The major rivers such as the Polop and the Barxell, which join to form the Riquer, run through it and, together with the Molinar, form the headwaters of the river Serpis.
The cave paintings of La Sarga are a feature, declared a World Heritage Site.
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