10th of December
Let’s go to the Southern edge of Valencia to hike up one of the most emblematic peaks – el Benicadell. This is also a summit that has the most mountainous feel to it in the entire province.
We’ll meet in Valencia in the parking lot on av. Aragón in front of Mestalla stadium and drive to Beniatjar. Once there, we’ll have a cup of coffee on a terrace of a bar before starting the hike. After the first steep part, the ascent becomes very gradual, zigzagging along the Western face of the mountain along the single track trails. The very last 100m require some scrambling, but going till the end is optional (the part on the photo above is easily reachable). Once at the peak, we will have lunch there. After lunch we will go back, along slightly different route. Finally, we’ll have a drink on a terrace in the village and return to Valencia.
Sierra del Benicadell, a natural border that separates Valencian region of La Vall d’Albaida and Alicante’s del Comtat, extends as a continuation of the Serra de Agullent from the port of Albaida to the imposing walls of its summit that reaches the 1,104 meters above sea level, acting as a condenser of the humid winds from the north, increasing resources thus differentiating the two aspects of the sierra: the sunny and the shady, declared at the beginning 2006 as a protected landscape.
The slope that affects us is characterized by being cold, humid and with pine forests where it is easy to find morning fogs or see the clouds hooked on their ridges. Limestone walls molded by the water that give rise to ravines like its own Benicadell through which part of the route runs
or the so-called del Fuster, on the other side from the forest house of les Planisses.
The hand of man can be found from prehistoric times as evidenced by important deposits of the Coveta del Mig or the Iberian town of La Covalta. From the Middle Ages are testimony of the castle of Carbonera or that of La Peña Cadiella, named in the Cantar del Mio Cid in the the knight’s forays through the south of Valencia or the battle fought by the troops of King James I during the Al-Azraq uprisings. Already in times more recent days, the terracing of its slopes for the agricultural use and refrigerators for conservation of snow in the highlands are signs of pre-industrial times.
Difficulty: medium/high (12km with 700m elevation gain)
Technical level: medium (most of the route goes along wide trails)
Meeting point: Mestalla, parking lot on av. Aragón, 9:30 (return to Valencia ~18:30)
Price: 32 euros (28 euros signing up before Thursday, 08.12) / 12 euros coming to Beniatjar.
The price includes professional guide, transportation, accident and public liability insurances.
Bring at least 1l of water, lunch, long-sleeve clothes and hiking shoes.
Become a member and get a 6-euros discount for every hike.