We went to Chera National Park for a 15km route around the Buseo Reservior, including swimming in the reservoir as well as in the nearby rivers and waterfalls.
The route started in Chera with a trip to the excellent Horno a Leña bakery and of course coffee. Once sufficiently fuelled by baked good and caffeine we walked along the pretty river that took us out of the town.
We soon moved on to an easy trail that was mostly flat or downhill and much of it was shaded by trees. On this trail we found delicious grapes and blackberries to snack on. Wild fruit is one of the many joys of hiking in September.
We continued downhill until we reached the dam and stopped for multiple photos of the the reservoir. The 40m high dam can hold back up to 7.5 cubic hectometres of water. After crossing the dam, we walked up another forest trail to the Hoz Ravine.
The Ravine has many interesting rock formations and although the rocks were slanted, it was straightforward to walk across them. Here we saw the waterfall that cascaded from our first swimming destination. To get to the pool we had to climb up the rocks but metal stairs and ladders were in place. However, some of us took the more precarious tree trunk ramp.
The first swimming spot has crystal clear water and fishes. The water was very refreshing and parts of it were deep enough to jump into.
We returned the way we came via the ladders, steps and rocks. The trail down to the reservoir had chains attached to the rock face. As the path was dry and not slippery, we found the chains unnecessary this time.
The Buseo Reservoir is part of the Reatillo riverbed, at the entrance to the Tormagal gorge. It is 2.5km from Chera and 15km from the River Turia. There are many campsites around the lake as well as opportunities for fishing, paddle boarding and swimming. We went for our second swim of the hike. The water in the reservoir was noticeably warmer than in the Hoz Ravine.
After swimming and lunch we followed the gravel road around the edge of the reservoir. As there was not a lot of shade from the afternoon heat, we needed another swim to cool off.
To get to our third and final swimming place, the Chorrero de la Castellana Waterfall we had to walk through a shallow stream first. The waterfall is very impressive and just down the river from the Waterfall of Garita which Valencia Mountain Enthusiasts visited in February. The water here was the coldest water of the day but it was welcome after the dusty road.
On the way back from the waterfall, we found the actual path so we didn’t have to walk through the stream again. After a quick stop at Fuente del Rio we started walking uphill to Chera.
The road to Chera had great views of the valley and the Chorrero de la Castellana waterfall. On the way back we walked through groves of almond trees. Of course, we stopped to eat some almonds before arriving in Chera for a well deserved drink.
Chera is a fantastic area for hiking and the route we took around the Buseo Reservoir is no exception. This route has some great trails and beautiful swimming places and is certainly worth a visit.