10th of March
A spectacular route walking along both sides of a river, with impressive views from above, a visit to one of the biggest caves in Valencia – Cueva Negra and even the possibility of swimming in thermal waters at the end of the hike. We are going to combine two routes: Los Estrechos trail and Cinglo de Los Castillejos trail. After the first one there is an option of staying in a bar next to a river with a possibility of swimming in thermal waters. Those who want to hike more, can go up to Castillejos. In any case – everyone will have a chance to swim.
Distance: 8.5km and 200m elevation gain – los Estrechos;
3.5km and 200m+ – los Castillejos;
Tecnical difficulty: easy (Estrechos), medium (Castillejos).
Meeting point: in front of Mestalla, at 9:30 a.m.
Montanejos is located at 418 meter altitude in Alto Mijares, in the province of Castellon, in a mountainous area with rich landscape near Sierra Espadán. Since water was of central importance in Muslim culture dozens of springs sprouted in this village, Arabs chose Montanejos to build thermal baths. The Arab Baths were relaxing places where people gathered to expand cultivate friendships and stay healthy. In 1863 these waters were declared a public utility.
Today, Montanejos presents an opportunity to enjoy leisure time and to admire the natural splendor of the waterfalls in a beautiful environment- connecting health, tradition, nature, sports, culture and gastronomy all in one place.
Fuente de Baños
This is one of the main attractions of the town – a hot spring with a flow rate of 6,000 litres per minute, which allows the river Mijares to recover part of the decline that it suffers upstream for the diversion to the course to the Cirat dam.
Its water was declared public utility by the Royal Order of October 13, 1863. For its constant temperature of 25 ° C, the water has hypothermal effects and makes bathing pleasant throughout the year. It also has hydro geochemical and biological properties beneficial to health.
According to legend, the Moorish king Zeit-Abu-Zeit had built a bathhouse for women of his harem to be maintained always beautiful and young. Nowadays it is an excellent rest area, which is also equipped with picnic areas and playgrounds.
La Cueva Negra
La Cueva Negra is the best known cave, from the 30 cavities catalogued around Montanejos, and the one which most stories are told. The lore of the area indicates that the cave has access to the nearby ravine of Maimona, in an area known as the Horse window. However this alleged link could not be demonstrated by an expert group of speleologists from Castellon, who have studied the cavity in detail and have not found any passes.
Caves in the area are often places of accumulation of paleontological remains as they have had various uses for prehistoric people. The black colour that covers the roof of this cavity is due to soot fires, demonstrating the existence of human settlements in past times.
Although it is on a different trail, those who can’t get enough of local trails can make an extension to visit this spectacular sideways waterfall with the water coming up from Arenoso reservoire.