Top ten hikes of Sierra Espadán – my favorite natural park in the Valencian Community. It is a great place for hiking, as it provides countless routes of varying levels.
It has been hard to choose just ten routes. Anyway, here are my favorite ones.
1. Pico Espadán
One of the most epic routes you can do in the natural park – ascent to Pico Espadán (1099m). The peak provides the best panoramic views and is located right in the heart of the sierra. The ascent is quite steep, so it requires you to be in a decent physical shape. Also, there is a two kilometre stretch along the ridge, with some uneven footing. This is all worth the effort though, as the views from the top are spectacular! You may opt for an easier alternative, check out the links to Wikiloc tracks.
Difficulty: high (11.5km with 700m of elevation gain)
Technical level: medium/high (steep ascent to the peak, technical trails along the ridge)
Starting point: Alcudia de Veo
Track: Wikiloc | Pico Espadán / Alternative route (easier) – Pico Espadán por Aguas Negras
More about the route in our blog: Espadán Peak – Valencia Mountain Enthusiasts
2. Castillo de Castro
The scenery on this route is breathtaking! The trail combines easy walking through the valley with a gentle ascent to the castle. First, you will pass by l’Arquet – a part of an old Roman aqueduct. Then, the route will gradually take you up to the castle. There is not much left of it, but the panoramic views are amazing! Finally, you will descend along the Fonteta ravine, which provides great scenic value to finish the route.
Difficulty: medium/high (15km with 650m elevation gain).
Technical level: medium (mostly single track trails).
Starting point: Alfondeguilla
Track: Wikiloc | Castillo de Castro Trail / Alternative ascent – Castro Castle
3. Órganos de Benitandús
Órganos de Benitandús are the most impressive rock formations of the natural park. The name comes from their similarity to the pipe organ. And indeed, the views from the top do make you think of this massive musical instrument. You will also pass by the Onda reservoir, which presents a great sight with its bright blue waters.
4. Piedras de Cullera
If you are thinking about a city on the Mediterranean coast – you would be surprised! Piedras de Cullera are rock formations in the heart of Sierra Espadán, near Almedíjar and right next to Espadán Peak. It is also one of the best vantage points in the area. From this rock formation it is possible to see all the way to Valencia and the sea.
More about the route in our blog: The Rocks of Cullera – Valencia Mountain Enthusiasts
5. Barranco Ajuez / Nevera de Castro
One of the few examples of snow wells, dating back to the 18th century. The wells were used to store ice, later sold to people in villages. The most adventurous way to get there is to scramble up the ridge. However, you may take an easier route and go through Ajuez ravine. In any case, both routes provide some great scenery.
Difficulty: medium/high (12km with 550m elevation gain)
Technical level: medium/high (some scrambling on the ascent)
Starting point: Chóvar
Track: Wikiloc | Nevera de Castro / Easier route – Wikiloc | Barranco de Ajuez Trail
More about the route in our blog: Nevera de Castro – Valencia Mountain Enthusiasts
6. Cork Oak Trail
The surroundings of this route are predominantly cork oaks, making the the trail one of the best examples of this magnificent tree. As a bonus, we will also visit Masía Mosquera – an abandoned cork oak factory. You will also get the chance to visit a century old chestnut tree. All types of trees are represented on this trail.
More about Cork Oaks in our blog: Getting Under the Skin of Cork Oaks
7. The Goat Spring Peak
The scenic ascent to the Goat Spring Peak (Pico de la Font de Cabres) from Vilavella. The village is considered to be one of the entrances to Sierra Espadán natural park, and on this hike we’ll get to know the side that’s closest to the coast.
Difficulty: medium/high (13.2km with 630m of elevation gain).
Technical level: medium/high (some steep rocky trails around the peak).
Starting point: la Vilavella
Track: Wikiloc | Pico de la Font de Cabras Trail
8. Peña Saganta
Peña Saganta is one of the most impressive peaks of Alto Mijares. This route will take us into a silent place to discover its charm. It crosses ravines and some aerial trails. The peak offers an exceptional view of Peñagolosa and Sierra de Espadán.
9. Pico Bellota
This is one of the routes that have been rehabilitated in order to promote inland and environmental tourism in Castellón. The ascent is quite steep and takes you to Puntal de l’Aljub peak. From there you will follow the ridge to Pico Bellota. The views all along the ridge are spectacular, so this trail is a delight for those who prefer to go on a harder hike.
More about the route in our blog: The Acorn Peak – Valencia Mountain Enthusiasts
10. GR-36: Trans-Espadán
Last but not least, the Trans-Espadán trail, crossing all the natural park, from Montanejos to la Vilavella. This is a route for multiple day hiking enthusiasts. As the trail is 62 kilometre long, it is done in two or three stages. Some would argue for doing it in one go, but that’s for the most enthusiastic ones of us.
Difficulty: advanced (62km with 2400m elevation gain)
Technical level: medium (mostly single track trails)
Starting point: Montanejos
Track: Wikiloc | Ruta TransEspadán – GR36 (direction Montanejos – Vilavella)