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 can also have lunch in El Salt restaurant, known for their paellas.
We’ll meet in Valencia, in front of Mestalla stadium (the parking lot on av. Aragón) and drive to Náquera. Once there, we’ll have a coffee on a terrace and start the hike. We will first pass by the ‘Dragon of Náquera’ and then continue on trails until we reach the base of Moncudio (the highest point in the municipality). From there a trail through the ravine will take us to a spot that gives the name to the trail – Pi del Salt. From there just a bit more hiking and we’ll get to Fuente del Oro – a spring where many locals get their drinking water, with a nice restaurant, specializing in paella. Finally, we’ll have paella (or another meal, your choice) on a terrace there and return to Valencia.
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.
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.
Difficulty: medium/low (10km with 250m elevation gain)
Technical level: medium (most of the route is on gravel road)
Price: 10 Euros (does not include lunch)
Bring at least 1l of water, snacks, cap, sunscreen and hiking shoes.