Tuesday 5th April Castella to Alcoi

I must admit that I was starting to think that I had seen all the fireworks in Andalusia and that the landscape was not going to be as interesting at least until I got to the Pyrenees. Today's a walk, however, had just about everything and has raised my expectations as to what else I might see in Valencia.

In total the walk was about 34 kilometres with 1000 metres of climb. We started walking at 8.15 and were in Alcoi by about 4.30. The weather was warm but not too hot, a good walking temperature.

Walking through the gorge to the north east of Castalla
Castalla sits in a fairly broad valley going roughly east to west and the first thing to do is finish crossing the valley and get to the mountains on the northern side. The route takes you to the mountains, parallel with them and then through them, firstly via a gorge and then, turning east, along a gentle valley. Particularly at this early part of the day this was a really nice walk, a mix of pine trees and cleared fields.

Once you get to the top of the first pass, at about 900 metres, you see the higher mountains on the other side of the second valley which form the centre piece to the Parc Natural del Carrascal de Font Roja. Getting up to them involves a brilliant ridge climb which levels out at 1200 metres. The climb is about 500 metres and although it wasn't that clear you could just make out the Mediterranean to the south and the passes crossed on the three previous days. Towards the east you can see Alcoi and to the north tomorrow's walk to Bocairant.
Climbing up Menejador (1352 mts)

The next bit was may favourite involving a gentle descent down through ancient woodland. Trees included different types of evergreen oak, Valencian and Holm, as well as maple, flowering ash and white beam. This was a special nature reserve inside the natural park and the ancient woodland had perhaps survived because it was hard to get with a steep valley on one side and limestone cliffs on the other. At the end of this stretch was a very nice visitor centre.
In the Font Roja Natural Park

It was then a steep descent to the bottom of the valley, a wrong turn which took us to a wonderful but impassable gorge. Retracing our steps we found the right route into Alcoi only to loose it again after about three kilometres. Deciding to take the road for the last stretch we were rewarded with some really interesting victorian industrial buildings clinging to the cliffs above the town.

Gorge near Alcoi

Alcoi is quite a big place with a population of around 150,000. It looks a great place, lots of fabulous turn of the century buildings including some which look like the Guadi buildings you see in Barcelona. I was particularly impressed with the street lights.

Amazing street lights in Alcoi


  1. I'm heartbroken after tonight's score. Bloody Spurs and that self-destruct button. What were the Spaniards like where you watched it?

    Also Dad, you keep now spelling Andalucia with an S not a C as you were before, it's bugging me!

    Missing you lots.

  2. Couldn't believe it, Crouch of all people. Where I watched it they wanted Spurs to win as they were Barcelona fans.

    Think I will go for a long walk to get over the result.

    My spell checker says an s but will go back to a c.

    hey I'm missing you lots as well

  3. Now you both know what its been like being a Hammers fan! You'll get over it.

    We missed you at the Chaps drinks John.


  4. Roger, things are bad but, knowing what it's like to be a Hammer, not that bad!

  5. Think what it's like being married to a Boro fan!!

  6. I watched the match among Ghanaian Real Madrid fans and none of us gave Tottenham Hotspurs a chance - like the Spurs refused to do themselves. But plenty Ghanaians are fans of Chelsea, so a slight realignment may send you to the winning camp! Menno