28th of November
A nice route near the sea, starting from Simat de la Valldigna, with a mild ascent along Ruta del Agua, followed by a flat section in Mondúver range. At the end of this section there is a lookout point with excellent views of the sea and the famous mountains like El Montgó and, obviously, Mondúver. The final part of the route is the descent to the castle, which gives the name to the route.
Also known as Moorish Queen Castle o Benifairó Castle this is an ancient muslim fort located in the Benifairó de la Valldigna municipality. The castle is protected as Bien de Interés Cultural.
The castle itself consists of a fort with Arabic origins, constructed in the end of XI century, with later Christian reforms done by Cistercian monks. It has to walled enclosures conserved in the part accessed by the Albacar gate. The first enclosure, well adapted to the topography was used as village housing, made with tapial. The second enclosure, located in the higher part of the castle, is a gothic chapel from XIV century made of ashlar with a ribbed vault and the wall gaps typical for gothic style. This part also has two cisterns: one rectangular and one square, just like the other buildings made of ashlar.
Initially this castle served the purpose of a shelter for the nearby farmhouse inhabitants. In the book of Repartimiento (distribution), this castle has the name Marignen or Marynen while the name Moorish Queen is derived from a legend according to which a queen jumped from a precipice in this castle. Jaime II granted the lordship to the Cistercian monks in 1287, building different structures in the highest part of the building. This castle served as a shelter for the monks during Union War between Castilla and Aragón in 1364 since these lands were invaded by castillian troops. Since XVII century, with the expulsion of moors, the castle has lost its significance.
Difficulty: medium (14km with 450m of elevation gain)
Technical level: medium (rocky descent towards the end)
Meeting point: Mestalla, parking lot on av. Aragón, 9:00 (return to Valencia ~18:00)
Price: 28 euros (25 euros signing up by Thursday) / 11 euros coming to Simat
The price includes professional guide, transportation, accident and public liability insurances.
Bring at least 1l of water, lunch, warm clothes and hiking shoes.