Why not come to Spain’s Costa Blanca and enjoy a walking holiday within one of its National Parks. The Serra de Mariola National Park and situated just inland from Costa Blanca’s famous coast. Its rich landscape a culture makes this walking tour an interesting hike with its forests of pines and oak which are dotted with a wide variety of aromatic plants. On the other hand, you shall also some across extensive olive groves, almond trees and of course vineyards which occupy its valleys. In addition to these features, its mountains are the source of rivers that fill its slopes with springs and streams. It is fascinating that there are still remains of Iberian settlements of the Arab civilization that once inhabited this region in past centuries.
Bocairent – Hotel L’Estació
Agres – Pensió Mariola
Alcoi – Sercotel ciutat d’Alcoi
It is a requirement of booking this tour with Hooked on Cycling that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the chosen activity and for emergency evacuation and hospital care.
You arrive in Bocairent, which is a town in the Sierra de Mariola (the Mariola mountain range) Natural Park. You shall straight away get a feeling that it’s an enchanting, medieval town perched on a rocky outcrop that will captivate you with its breath-taking views. Enjoy a walk exploring the narrow winding traffic-free streets or visit the quaint, old town where you can see plentiful evidence of the different cultures that once shaped this place. In addition, Bocairent offers a wide range of gastronomic experiences for you to try. Why not sample some typical local dishes at one of its numerous bars, cafes and restaurants.
Leaving Bocairent, you walk into the Sierra de Mariola. You head for the Vinalopo River’s source, passing many waterfalls and historic farmhouses that were once inhabited by families who farmed the land. These are surrounded by impressive, old holm oaks. When you reach Toll Blau (the Blue Pool), you can cool off beside pools of crystal-clear water. Next, you pass the Font de la Coveta, a spring of crystalline water which is the source of the important Vinalopó River.
You set off from Bocairent in the direction of the Barranc dels Tarongers known as the Orange Tree Gorge, a gorge full of old stone watermills that were once driven by the waters of the Clariano River and which gave life to this place for centuries. You can also see a complex network of irrigation channels created by the Moors. Originally the purpose of these mills was to grind corn but, later, they became the foundation of Ontinyent’s textile industry. At the end of the valley, you reach the Pou Clar (the Clear Pool), an iconic beauty spot, a string of natural pools where the locals flock to enjoy the sparkling, pure waters in summer. Travelling in both directions you pass very close to Les Covetes dels Moros (the Caves of the Moors), a feature not to be missed. This is a series of caves carved out high up in the rock face, once home to families of Moors.
Today you leave Bocairent to enter again the Sierra de Mariola Natural Park, where you can enjoy impressive views and the tranquillity with which this idyllic place surrounds you. You will pass the Iberian village of “Cabeçó de Mariola”, a mysterious place with spectacular views, once inhabited by our ancestors. Continuing, you come to Alfafara, a small village where you can stop for some refreshments and visit the old wash place, whose clear but freezing water is still used by locals. Finally, a beautiful path will lead you into Agres, a village situated in the Natural Park.
You leave Agres and go back into the Natural Park to see the enormous, impressive structures known as “Cavas”. Between the 16th and 19th centuries, a period is known as “the Little Ice Age”, the weather was colder with much more snow than at present. This explains the reason for the construction of the so-called, “Cavas”. They provide the most fascinating archaeological evidence of past, economic exploitation of the Mediterranean mountains. Until the 19th century, “Cavas” were functional constructions, ice houses, built to preserve and store the snow collected during the winter and used as centres from which to distribute it, as necessary, all year round. The presence of ice houses also helps to explain the tradition of ice cream production in certain areas of Alicante Province.
The alpine character of the last stage of the tour will surprise you. You set out on a lush path that takes you to Mariola’s shelter. From there you can contemplate the majesty of Montcabrer’s peak at 1.390 m. You approach it, with the option to walk to the summit if you wish. From there you can see the island of Ibiza on a clear day. You follow the Coll de Sabata, from where you get magnificent views of the surrounding valleys. Finally, you enter the Barranc del Cinc, a deep mountain pass with spectacular cliff sides, that will lead you to the city of Alcoi.
Depart after breakfast.
Fly to Alicante airport the by train to Villena Railway Station (45mins. and 10 € per person), where a taxi will be waiting to drive you to Bocairent.
Fly to València airport and the by train Villena Railway Station (1hr. 15mins. and 15€ per person), where a taxi will be waiting to drive you to Bocairent.
2021 Prices – For complete tour price breakdown please click the book now button and select your holiday tour date. Prices will then be listed.
|Tour Code||Prices From (per person)||Book Now|
|SMariola (6 Nights)||from £666||Book Now|
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