The Hanging Bridges of Chulilla

Chulilla is one of the most popular travel destinations in Valencia. This is, mostly, due to the presence of hanging bridges over the Turia river. These bridges allow you to hike through the canyon made by the same river, making it one of the most beautiful hiking routes in the entire Valencian Community.

The route starts from the main square of the village – Plaza de la Baronia. The best way to do this hike is in a clockwise direction, this way you will leave the hanging bridges till the very end and get to enjoy the scenery, anticipating the excitement of crossing the bridges. First, you head down towards the Charco Azul, following the signposts from the main square. As you make your way down into the canyon, stay on the right side to walk on the narrow path next to the irrigation channel.

Soon, the path will bring you to Charco Azul – the most Instagrammable spot in Chulilla. Recently the local town hall installed a floating boardwalk that helps you to walk further into this pond and take beautiful pictures. On the right side you will see the remains of a gangway. It was used by the people who built the Loriguilla dam, finished back in 1965. The workers had to walk to and from the dam every day, so they built these gangways as well as the hanging bridges, as a shortcut, which made their commute easier.

After exploring the area around Charco Azul, take the wide gravel path which will take you through the canyon and around the village of Chulilla. Soon, you will see the signposts for PR-CV 77 trail, which you will follow for the rest of the hike. The gravel path changes into a single track trail here, which starts going uphill gently. After some 40 minutes of hiking through pleasant scenery you will get to the cave paintings of Barranco de Falfiguera. The cave paintings are on the other side of the ravine, so you will need to either take the steep trail down or follow the path until you get to the bottom of the ravine and turn left making your way back for about 300 metres. Here you will need to look for a narrow passage in between the rocks, which takes you to a ladder that facilitates the ascent to the cave paintings.

In order to get back on the trail, just take the path through the ravine, heading West until you see the white and yellow blazes of the trail again. After a bit of easy scrambling, you will find yourself on another wide gravel road. Take a right turn here and follow the road, which goes upwards for about 2 kilometres from here. The ascent comes with a reward as at the pass you will get great views of the Loriguilla reservoir. The same road continues downhill and takes you almost all the way down to the blue waters of this reservoir.

Finally, you are getting closer to the hanging bridges! After following the paved road for a while, you will pass a small parking lot and then see another PR-CV 77 signpost, indicating that the bridges are very close now. You will enter the canyon again and get to gaze at its immense red and yellow walls as you hike through. Make sure to pay attention to the wall on your right, as in winter you will see plenty of rock climbers all along this way. Eventually, you will arrive at the spot where the two famous bridges are. Take your time to take plenty of photos and use the opportunity to touch the fresh waters of the Turia river.

The final part of the trail goes slightly uphill. Again, it does come with a reward, as you will get better and better views of the river below you. At the end of the ascent you will get to see the boardwalk at the Charco Azul, but this time from the very top of the canyon. Here you will also find a lookout point and a sign reminding you not to throw rocks down into the canyon. You will pass by another parking space and after some 5 minutes of walking along the road you will be back to Chulilla. There are plenty of bars here to have a refreshing drink or an energising coffee after a long day of hiking.

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