This stage is located in L' Alcoià, it stands out due to its environmental value and beautiful landscape, included in the Protected Landscape of the "Sierras of Maigmó and El Cid". A mountainous area dominated by large peaks, crests and rocky cliffs. We can enjoy some beautiful views at any time, from views of other summits such as the peaks of Aitana and the Campana Puig, of the Alicante coastline or panoramic views of towns such as Petrer, Elda or Castalla.
We start from the town of Onil on the CV - 8153 road heading for Castalla. For about 3 km. we will walk along the road, crossing an industrial estate, until we reach Castalla. We cross the town centre, when we can take advantage to stock up with provisions or visit the town. From Castalla we continue sou- th, on the CV-817, a not so busy road, through olive and almond groves.
We begin to climb a wide and comfortable forest track, amidst a dense pine forest. A few yards further on we will get good views of Castalla, crowned by its castle. In this section, we will come across the ruins of some ancient gypsum quarries.
A hard climb will take us to the Alto de Castalla, so we must gather our strength. First we pass by the ruins of the House of the Angel and the El Collado de Roque, reaching a height of 1.007 m. Once at the Alto de Castalla, we can get to the summit and enjoy magnificent views over the shady Crestería del Fraile, Pico el Despeñador, the Alicante coast and the peaks of Aitana, Puig Campana and Ponoig.
After a first descent, we climb back up to the summit of the Despeñador, at a height of 1.261 m, along a steep track with rocky stretches.
From the summit we have fantastic pa- noramic views of the Sierra de Algue- ña, the towns of Petrer and Elda, the sierras such as the Bolón, Cámara, La Umbria, Salinas, among others, as well as abundant vegetation dominated by Aleppo pines, holly trees, Kermes oaks and cistus among others.
In this last section, we descend to the Alcoi of Xorret de Catí, where we can enjoy a pleasant rest in the heart of the countryside, passing first by the Pico del Fraile, the Crestería del Fraile and the Mirador de Catí, from where we can enjoy beautiful views at any time.
visit the Convent of San Francisco de Paula, the Town Hall, the Red House,
along the main street, the parish church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, Casa del Fester, Casa Paco Rico, Casa d'Enric Valor, the Auditorium and the Casa de Cultura.
Castalla is very well known in the province for the making of its famous dish los
gaspatxos, a real culinary ritual.
Several routes cross these places, enabling us to enjoy beautiful historical routes, because we will find quarries, gypsum ovens, mills, threshing floors and warehouses, showing where gypsum was extracted, an important economic activity in days gone by.
It has eleven short trails: PR-CV 28, PR-CV 29, PR-CV 30, PR-CV 31, PR-CV 32, PR-CV 33, PR-CV 34, PR-CV 85, PR-CV 86, PR-CV 141 and PR-CV 143.
Xorret de Catí offers us activities such as climbing on the climbing wall or on the Via Ferrata of Xorret de Catí, as well as a botanical route.
Castalla is a famous place for cycling, because the ascent of the mountain pass to the top of Xorret has been part of the Tour of Spain on numerous occasions.
Since its mountains have been declared areas of special protection for birds, it is an ideal place for bird watching. It includes important populations of birds of prey such as the short-toed snake eagle, golden eagle, booted eagle, peregrine falcon and eagle owl. The presence of kingfishers, black wheatear, and red-billed chough
is to be noted.
The municipal district of Castalla occupies the mountains of west and southwest Foia, these being: Sierra de la Algueña, Sierra de Castalla and the north of Sierra del Maigmó, with abundant vegetation dominated by Aleppo pines and aromatic herbs.
There are two beautiful spots where we can enjoy the environment, El Xorret de Cati and Foia Catalina.
Costablanca.org 2014. All rights reserved. Diputación Provincial de Alicante.
Provincial Tourism on the Costa Blanca. C/Jijona, 5 ADDA 1st floor CP 03010 Alicante (ESPAÑA) Phone +34 96 523 01 60