4 of October
A classic route starting from Náquera, the gate to Sierra Calderona. Along the itinerary we will observe (from below) various notable peaks of the natural park and visit an old quarry, which now serves as a recreational area – Pi del Salt. After the hike we will drive to San Francesc shrine to see the sunset.
Difficulty: medium/low (10km with 250m elevation gain).
Technical level: medium (most of the route is on gravel road).
Price: 20 euros (includes professional guide, transportation, accident and public liability insurances).
Meeting point: Mestalla, parking lot on av. Aragón, 16:00
Bring at least 1l of water, snacks, cap, sunscreen and hiking shoes.
This time we are going to start the route from Fuente del Oro – a spring where many locals get their drinking water, with a nice restaurant, specializing in paella. After a flat section we wil go the first ascent of the day till we get to les Galgues pass. From there we will start a descent, while having great views of Moncudio (the highest point of the municipality of Náquera), and the valley, with the town of Serra being in the middle of it. After that we will pass by a place known as Náquera dragon’s lair and start the second ascent. This time we will have good views of the Serra castle, after which we will make our way around the before mentioned Moncudio.
Finally, we will get to the spot, which gives the name to the trail – Pi del Salt.
Pi del Salt
The name comes from a pine tree (pine – Pi, in Valenciano), a monumental tree, presenting a great botanical and scenic value for the hikers who visit it. The area has various info panels detailing the history of the place and it’s prior usage. In the middle of XX century this place used to be a quarry, mining sandstone, plaster and marble. Most of the rocks obtained from this quarry were used locally, while a part of them were carried to Valencia and even used to pave Plaza de la Virgen.
Another notable thing is the examples of dry stone building techniques, which used to be very common in these regions. This technique did not require any bonding materials and was relying solely on careful placement of best quality rocks. Back then the majority of local inhabitants were familiar with this technique.
San Francesc Shrine
Inaugurated on October 16, 1922, the current shrine was built between 1917 and 1921; although the first construction begun in 1912, collapsing the following year. However, there was an older one – known as Ermita de la Ràpita and already documented in 1603 – which was located at the entrance to the current Calvary. This primitive shrine was in ruins around 1890, which led to its demolition at the beginning of the 20th century.
There was also an old Calvary located next to the path that leads to the shrine, but at the end of the 19th century it was in such a dilapidated state, that it was decided to build a new one in its current location. This Via Crucis was badly damaged during the Civil War, but restored later, although some of the original elements were lost forever.
The exterior of the shrine and the Calvary benefited from a restoration carried out in 2006 in which the ashlar stone of its walls was exposed and the decoration of the façade was cleaned up. An attractive night lighting system has also been installed.
The origins of Nàquera go back to prehistory. Different archaeological sites show us the evolution of the settlement. The oldest finds date back to the Paleolithic era, although from this era there are only isolated finds; same goes for the Neolithic era. Already in the Bronze age we find different deposits of greater importance that confirm that the mountainous area of Nàquera was inhabited at this time. Among the different preserved deposits, we place Els Trencalls, Cerro de la Patada, Montaspre, or the Puntal del Moros among others and numerous less important sites. Although it may seem strange, no sites of Iberian origin have been found, although a theory has been used that placed an Iberian necropolis on the ascent to the current shrine, but no vestiges of this have reached us, so it remains unconfirmed. Moving to Roman times, we find some new deposits. Various vestiges of this time have been found in the urban nucleus that could support the theory that the current population nucleus emerged already in Roman times.
Nowadays, Náquera has become a second residence for many people living in Valencia, as well as paradise for trail runners and cyclists. Among some of the most interesting things, you can find a Barack Obama street running through the middle of the town, as well as other things to love about Náquera.