The Route of the Windmills is a 10km circular route that starts from Gátova and passes two restored windmills and Eagles Peak. In addition to the historic interest there are some of the best views of the Sierra Calderona.
We started in Gátova and followed a dirt road upwards from the village. On this path we soon we found some delicious blackberries and early season almonds to enjoy. It quickly became clear why this route is known for its views. They were certainly impressive on the way to our first destination, Eagle Peak (Pico de Águila). To reach the peak we took the trail but it can be accessed by road with a 4×4 car.
Eagle Peak is 878m above sea level offers great vistas over Gátova and the Sierra Calderona. Although it is only the third highest peak in the natural park, the views are certainly some of the most impressive. There are also a couple of interesting man-made features here such as the small refuge and the warden’s hut for spotting forest fires.
After a debate on the pros and cons of the park wardens fire watching job we started out descent. The road down was quite easy as it was the same one that cars use. We soon returned to the trail to start the ascent for our first windmill, Molino de Iranzo. The restored windmill stands at an altitude of 814m. We went inside the restored windmill and up the steps for more great views of the area.
We continued on the trail and went into the forest which provided some welcome shade. The path became rockier, with loose stones and some steep parts as we descended to the second windmill, Molino de la Ceja.
We explored the windmill and nearby abandoned building. This windmill was equally well restored as the first one. We then amused ourselves by trying to to knock a pine cone off a wall by throwing stones, which is a lot harder than it sounds.
From the windmill it was a short walk via road to Gátova. We walked past the Fuente del Tormo and back in to the village. Whilst enjoying a drink in the pretty village, a very loud festival started! Although not everyone was in the festive spirit as we found out when the waiter seemed offended when we asked for bravas.
The route of the windmills is a moderately easy route with well restored windmills and stunning views throughout the trail. Gátova’s location at the heart of the Sierra Calderona makes this trail one of the best ways to appreciate the park’s natural beauty.