Alt del Pi is one of the best view points in the Sierra Calderona national park. From the 716m peak there are views of the coast including the cities of Valencia and Sagunto. We started in the town of Serra and our route included a castle, fonts, a church and a good variety of trails.
The route started steeply, and continued steeply! The trail was rocky and dry so we had to tread carefully. The views were stunning and we found some of the last madroños of the season which definitely made the climb worth while.
We soon came to the Castle of Serra – or what’s left of it. The castle was originally 600 square metres and part of a defensive network of castles along the Valencian coastline. Now, all that remains of the castle are some of the walls and a tower but the views were far more impressive. We could see over to Valencia and Sagunto in one direction and the mountains of the Sierra Calderona in the others.
We took a short trail down from the castle through the forest before continuing on the road for a short distance. We turned onto the steep path again, this time to go even higher to the peak Alt de Pi at 716m. At the top of the peak there are lots of satellite and radio towers (great mobile phone reception) and yet more spectacular views across the mountains and to the sea.
The descent started with a woodland trail, a short part of it was runnable however it soon became far too sheer to do anything but slide, scramble and sometimes slip down! The loose rocks and sharp angle made it particularly difficult to stay upright.
Fortunately the difficult descent was also a quick way down. We joined the GR10 path and enjoyed a much gentler path through the forest and back towards the town. The trail was clearly signposted and there were many autumn colours. There were inclines here as well, but much less severe than on our path to the peak.
There are some interesting short walks around town of Serra. After stopping for lunch at Fuente de Umbria we continued on to Fuente Marianet. The path crosses the water multiple times and although the path was easy, we had to be careful for slippery rocks and later on sheer drops on one side of the path. We found a small house which protected a notebook where hikers can leave messages, so of course some of our group imparted words of wisdom…or not.
The walk to the fuentes was an interesting diversion before we headed back to the town. We took a short path down the Torre L’Ermita, a 9th century watch tower that is right next to the Church of Sant Josep i La Creu. From here we had views of the town as well as our path up to the castle. The path from the Church zig-zagged through the graveyard and lead us back in to town and to our start point.
The hike was a good variety of trails and difficulties, the beginning was challenging but the views were worth it and the GR10 made for some easy hiking to enjoy the autumn colours. The town of Serra makes a great starting point for the many trails and points of interest around the Sierra Calderona.