The Castro Snow Well

3rd of January

The first hike of the year shall be in Sierra Espadán. We will go to Chóvar to do a mix of hiking and scrambling to get to Nevera de Castro. The route will also present us very impressive rock formations of Barranco de Ajuez.
You can check out the report of our previous hike along this route here: Nevera de Castro
We’ll meet in Valencia in the parking lot on av. Aragón in front of Mestalla stadium and drive to Chóvar. Once there, we’ll have a cup of coffee on a terrace of a bar before starting the hike. The first part of the hike goes along the official Barranco de Ajuez route, but soon we will get off it to get on a steeper path and do some optional scrambling. As we get to the top, the trail will turn into a gravel road, later switching to a short descent to Nevera de Castro. We will make a stop for lunch here. The return is along a different trail with great views of sandstone rock formations in the valley. We’ll have a drink on a terrace after the hike and return to Valencia.

Nevera de Castro

The boom in snow utilization from the XVI century, coupled with favorable weather conditions, led to the construction of an extensive network of snow wells in the Valencian territory. Castro’s snow well dates from the XVII century, and it used to supply ice to the towns of La Plana. It was restored in 1995.
Traditionally, snow and ice were used to preserve food, for medicinal purposes, and it also had gastronomic uses: cooling off on hot days (cool drinks, slushies or ice cream). In modern times, the ice is being displaced by the industrial cold, we are left with the sights of this valuable cultural heritage, which brings us closer to understanding those old and hard jobs in the mountains.

Difficulty: medium/high (12km with 550m elevation gain).
Technical level: medium/high (some scrambling on the ascent).
Transportation: 9-seater minibus (alternatively, you can drive to the hike starting point in your own vehicle)
Price: 20 euros (15 coming with your own car).
Meeting point: Mestalla, parking lot on av. Aragón, 9:30 (return to Valencia ~17:00)
Bring at least 1l of water, lunch, warm clothes and hiking shoes.

COVID-19 Safety Measures:
– the temperature of all the participants will be measured prior to getting in the minibus
– hand gel use (provided) is mandatory
– wearing a mask is mandatory in all closed spaces

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