31 of October
The Cavas route in Sierra Mariola offers a representative sample of the snow wells commonly found in these mountains of the Valencian interior. The trails between the sanctuary of Agres and the Cava Gran and the mountain refuge in el Contador will surprise you with ample views over the Agres valley and Benicadell.
Difficulty: medium (11.5km with 500m of elevation gain).
Technical level: medium (mix of trails and gravel roads).
Price: 20 euros (includes professional guide, transportation, accident and public liability insurances).
Meeting point: Mestalla, parking lot on av. Aragón, 9:00 (return to Valencia ~17:00)
Bring at least 1l of water, lunch, warm clothes and hiking shoes.
Cava Gran de Agres
This snow well or “nevero” is the emblem of the Sierra Mariola Natural Park, sometimes wrongfully called Cava Arquejada. It is located in the heart of the natural park within the municipality of Agres and dates back to the 15th century. It is one of the largest wells and is in the best state of conservation. Moreover, it is the first open-air museum in the province and the entrance is free. It is 14.90 m. in diameter, 12 m. deep, and has a capacity of 1960 m3. The well has been used until 1906.
Cava de Don Miguel
The Don Miguel well is located on the northern ridge of the Sierra Mariola at an altitude of 1,050 metres. Its external appearance is characterized by the buttresses that were necessary to raise the height of the deposit. The interior of the plant is circular, covered with large masonry and mortar. In the lower areas you can see the carved rock with signs of drilling. It has a diameter of 14.50 metres and a height of 10.20 metres. The snow well has three access points located at different levels. Two of the entrances are of convex depressed arch, and the middle one has a flat lintel formed by a single piece. The ceiling is vaulted.
Cava del Buitre
It is sheltered by a small valley to the west, by the Cava Gran and by Cava de Habitación. It is one of the best preserved and presents a building similar to the Cava de Habitación, surely coinciding with its date of construction. It is a circular shaped well, with an inner diameter of 8 meters and a depth of 6 and 7 meters. The dome is perfectly preserved, and the marks of the reeds that covered the dome can be seen.
Santuario de Agres
The sanctuary of the Mare de Déu d’Agres was built on the remains of an old castle. It is a pilgrimage destination, in memory of the apparition of the Virgin in 1484 found by a shepherd under a hackberry in the ruins of the castle. Agres has a rich heritage based on water and the sources have a lot to do with the life of the town. Among them are the font of Mig, the fonteta, the font of Barxeta, the font of Raval, the font of L’Assut and the font of Convent.