from Alfafara to Banyeres de Mariola


A beautiful route that lets us discover the Serra de Mariola Natural Park, included in the European "Natura 2000" network and where bird lovers can watch birds of prey such as eagles, hawks and owls. It runs through two counties, El Comtat and L'Alcoià. During the tour you will discover the beauty of this spot and its abundant vegetation of special botanical interest, interspersed with olive groves, almond trees, cereals and vineyards.

We set off from Alfafara via Font del Tarragó, entering a pine forest, between groves of almond and olive trees, on a steep path that we will travel along for approximately 1.5 mi (2.5 km). It will be in this section where we do virtually all the climbing on this stage.

After the climb, we can walk comfortably along a dirt track, a pleasant walk among pine trees where we can appreciate the beauty of the Natural Park and where we can appreciate its varied flora, with abundant aromatic species.

In this part the route heads towards the West at the heart of the mountains in a forest atmosphere among kermes oaks, pines and big bushes. We continue our tour until we reach the shrine of Santa Barbara, with its century-old black poplar and its fountain,  a  nice  spot for taking a rest. From here we start a slight descent. We will continue to find out that gradually the landscape   is becoming wilder, among cereals and vineyards. We will encounter numerous country houses on our way.

Around the 13 km mark, we will see in the distance the ruins of the Vinalopó Castle. A little further on we will make a detour that will take us to the Font de la Coveta, which is popularly known as the source of the river Vinalopó, with a little riverside forest, very well preserved.

On our way towards Banyeres de Mariola, in this modest, but very well preserved riverside forest, we  will come across some paper mills like the Factory of Blanes or mill of Dalt i de Baix to head towards the town.

Banyeres de Mariola

​​A mountain village with a marked geography and harsh winters, in which snowfalls are frequent.

An Almohad castle crowns the village, located at the top of the Tossal de l'Àguila. A highlight of the fortress is the Torre del Homenaje, which houses the Museum of the Festival of Moors and Christians.

The old part isworth a visit, with its steep streets and medieval architecture, the Torre Font Bona, inside which is the Archaeological Museum, its shrines and numerous fountains. The Museum of the Espardenya and the Church of Santa Maria.

The municipality had an important industry related to harnessing the driving force of the river Vinalopó, so it had numerous flour mills, paper mills and fulling mills, some of which are  still preserved.

Surrounded by a habitat of great environmental and landscape value,  we find ourselves in an ideal place for practising hiking and mountain biking.


From Banyeres de Mariola we can go along the PR-CV 4 to the source of the river Vinalopó, the PR-CV 313 Peña de la Blasca and the PR-CV 35 Banyeres-Biar-Elda.

There are numerous trails that run through the municipality and paths where the old "Xixarra" train used to run. Several trails start from Molí l'Ombria such as the Route of the Mills, which reveals three emblematic paper mills. Another beautiful and interesting tour is the Natural Park Blue Route, a Water Route along the headwaters of the Vinalopó.


Beautiful routes that will enable us to discover the region and the beautiful nature spots. Routes on which we will have the opportunity to discover ice pits and other architectural and cultural elements that we will find along the way, as well as getting to know nearby towns such as Agres and Bocairent.


The Serra de Mariola is the source of the river Vinalopó, declared a Natural Park due to its landscape and environmental value, with a wealth of aromatic and medicinal plants, many of them endemic.

It has many natural springs located in very environmentally attractive natural sites, such as Font del Cavaller, Font del Sapo and Font de la Coveta.

Other natural spots of great importance are Molí l'Ombria and Rosario Villa Park, which includes a Nature classroom and the Valencian Paper Museum.