16th of October
This time we are going to the province of Cuenca to hike the Hoz de Alarcon trail. The route that goes along the banks of Júcar river is one of the most beautiful routes not only in Cuenca, but in Spain in general.
The Hoz de Alarcón trail offers us a trip to the past, to the time of borderlands, armour and swords. We will be walking amongst walls and towers, which will transport our imagination to the Middle Ages, while enjoying a scenery deserving a movie setting. Not surprisingly, as the fortified town of Alarcón 9the starting and ending point of the trail) is at the top of a small peninsula formed by a deep gorge of the Júcar river.
Although there are vestiges of Iberian and Roman settlements, the name of the town has its origins in the time of the Arab domination. From this same period is its magnificent castle (today converted into a parador) and the walls. The circular trail takes us out of the town through its wall and takes us along the outer defense walls, always with magnificent views of the town and the meanders of Júcar, to later get fully into the excavated narrow paths in the limestone rock, on a route of great historical, geological and landscape interest.
In a deep gorge of the Júcar River, the rock that supports Alarcón rises above the flatland and the gap in the valley. Alarcón is both a viewing point and a natural defence, if ever there was one. It’s not surprising that it was chosen in the past as a place of settlement; its natural moat and its watchtower designate it as strategic at first sight. But it was the Arabs who erected the first fortress and the place name comes from their language.
Its nature, which is haughty per se, was increased by the intervention of man that, with his hands, constructed its viewing points and defences. From the road, the castle draws the rock which scratches the sky, and the entrance to its walled premises submerges us in the cultures that inhabited it and corrected its architecture and its layout without affecting its wall, which is almost intact and can be crossed using the gateways that have been preserved: la Puerta del Campo, la Puerta del Calabozo or la Puerta del Bodegón.
Difficulty: medium/low (9.3km with 250m elevation gain)
Technical level: medium (single track trails and gravel roads)
Transportation: private bus (19 people maximum)
Price: 27 euros (21 euros for members)
Meeting point: Mestalla, entrance on av. Aragón, 9:00 (return to Valencia ~18:30)
Bring 1l of water, lunch, sunscreen, cap and hiking shoes.
COVID-19 Safety Measures:
– the temperature of all the participants will be measured prior to getting in the minibus
– wearing a mask is mandatory in all closed spaces