Today we visit one of the most charming valleys of the province of Alicante, surrounded by some of the most emblematic mountain ranges in the region. We will discover a hiking trail suitable for all ages, around the emerald heart of the beautiful Vall de Guadalest (Guadalest Valley).
Summary of the Route
From the dam of the Guadalest reservoir, we walk around it on an asphalted track with very little traffic, between extensive pine forests and terraces of almond and olive trees, at the foot of the magnificent mountains of Aitana, Xortà and Serrella.
The slopes to be overcome are very smooth, distributed along the approximately 11.5 kilometers of the route.
In short: a simple excursion to enjoy a pleasant walk, suitable for the little ones of the house or for seniors.
As the route can be completed quietly in about 3-5 hours, I recommend getting up early and doing it in the morning, to combine it with a visit to one of the restaurants we find in the area, and enjoy the excellent cuisine of Alicante’s mountain.
Another option, and since we visited the town of Beniardà during the route, is to eat in one of its restaurants, also recommendable.
- Mesón Ca Rafel. Specialists in Valencian cuisine, rice dishes and stews. In Benimantell.
- Bar l’Era, in the quiet and pleasant Plaza Modesto Juan, Beniardà.
- Restaurante Mari Pico, in l’Abdet. Terrace with fantastic views.
- Difficulty: Easy, all audiences
- Distance: 11.5 km
- Slope: +300 m approx.
- Estimated time: 3-4 hours (relaxed)
- Starting point: reservoir dam
- Trails: PR-CV 18 (partially)
- See track in wikiloc
Description & Photographs
We left the car in the small parking lot we found before crossing the reservoir dam (early morning recommended if we want to find a place), and we start walking across it.
The Guadalest Dam began operating in the year 1963, and has a maximum capacity of 13 Hm3, or what is the same, thirteen billion liters! It seems a lot, but it is vital to make a sustainable use of this large water reserve, which as we know is a very scarce good in our province.
In this first part, the track winds at the foot of the Sierra de la Xortà, avoiding the branches of the reservoir that penetrate the roots of the mountain.
The threat of Xylella
Along the road, in addition to pines, we find terraces of olive and almond trees. These crops are seriously threatened by “Xylella Fastidiosa”.
A serious problem caused by the bacterium arriving from Italy via the Balearic Islands, and which has already caused many of the almond trees to be uprooted.
Let’s continue with the route.
As I said before, in this first part of the route the road is more winding, since it has to overcome the multiple ravines that tributan their waters to the Guadalest River, whose basin gives place to the reservoir.
About 6.5 kilometers from the beginning of the route, we come to a fork and a small bridge that allows us to cross to the other side of the Guadalest River.
Shortly after, another fork allows us to climb to the village of Beniardà, or continue with the route.We chose to go up and visit the town, having some snacks in the pleasant “Modesto Juan” square.
After the break, we resume the route, already with the lowest sun and the shadows lengthening over the valley. We are at the end of the reservoir, less than 2 kilometers from the dam.
However, in this last part of the route, the road is much more direct, so we will reach the dam in barely half an hour.
As a curiosity, and before concluding the excursion, we will pass by the old jetty of the solar boat, nowadays in disuse.
And here, the pleasant walk today. I hope you enjoyed it, and thank you for collaborating in the protection of our natural spaces!
See you next time!