The Weekend of Castles and Castles

December 6-8

Let’s go to Marina Baixa in Alicante to spend 3 days there, visiting Castellet and Los Arcos in Castell de Castells; the castle, reservoir and mircominiature museum in Castell de Guadalest, and walk around Fuentes de Algar.

Friday: Castell de Castells

In the morning we will drive from Valencia to Castell de Castells, have a coffee there and start with one of the routes with the best views of the province of Alicante – the one that takes us up to Castellet, located more than a thousand meters above the sea level, in one of the most impressive mountain ranges, the Serrella.

Difficulty: medium/low (9.6km with 470m elevation gain)
More info and photos: Más allá de la Ciudad

Saturday: Embalse de Guadalest

On Saturday morning we will go to the Castell de Guadalest to do the circular route around Guadalest reservoir. Just below the town, surrounded by 3 of the most rugged and beautiful mountain ranges of northern Alicante (Aitana, Aixortá and Serrella), lies the Guadalest river reservoir, whose northern slope (solana) is crossed by an asphalted track that begins at the dam of the reservoir and goes to Beniardá, while on the southern slope (umbria) there is an unpaved track (in some parts a trail) that goes back to the starting point, forming together a circular route around the reservoir.

Difficulty: low (9.66km with 166m elevation gain)
More info and photos: Más allá de la ciudad
Route: Wikiloc

Since the route is easy and will last about 3 hours, we can have lunch at a restaurant in Guadalest. Interesting fact: Guadalest is the town with most museums per inhabitant in Spain. Thus we cannot call the visit to Guadalest complete without visiting any museum. The Museum of Microminiatures seems to be the most interesting to me. So, after lunch we will enjoy the views from several viewpoints of the town and then visit the museum.

Sunday: Fuentes de Algar + Ruta de los Arcos

We will dedicate the morning to the visit of Fuentes de Algar. The visit consists of a tour of a 1.5 km long circular route along the Algar (“cave” in Arabic) riverbed to see the landscape – the result of karst formation of limestone rock: the spectacular waterfalls; the numerous springs sprouting from the rock; the “tolls” (water backwaters) where you can take refreshing baths of pure and crystalline waters, formerly considered as “source of health”; the old dam, the imposing canal and the century-old ditches, still in use today.

More info:

After the fountains we will have lunch and drive to Castell de Castells to do a short route that will take us to a unique natural wonder formed by the slow dissolution of the limestone rock, the double arch of Castell de Castells. If we no longer want to walk much, we can cut the route and go directly to the Arches.

Difficulty: low (8.2km with 230m elevation gain)
More info and fotos: Más allá de la Ciudad


We will spend two nights in a castle El Almendro y La Montaña guesthouse in Tárbena. There are 5 rooms in the house, three with double beds and two with two single beds. This allows 7 people to sleep there, or up to 10 if there are couples who can sleep on a double bed. The house has private bathrooms, heating, a bar, towels and bedsheets.

Tàrbena, a village proud with it’s Mallorcan origins

The expulsion of Moors from the Kingdom of Valencia, now 409 years ago, meant the emptying of dozens of population centers and the abandonment of large areas of cultivation. Quite a few of these places were repopulated with Mallorcans, just like a big part of what is now the Marina Alta and the surrounding areas of Marina Baixa, Comtat and Safor.
Hundreds of people from the Balearic Islands settled there, with the presumable mediation of nobility and landowners of the time, in locations that had been completely or almost deserted. One of them was Tàrbena, where four centuries later the Mallorcan footprint is still clearly perceived.
This municipality in the interior of the Marina Baixa, with 640 inhabitants today, retains numerous features of its Balearic origin in speech and customs. The most prominent, and by which the Mallorcan origin of the neighbors is most identified, is the so-called parlar de sa: the use of the article ‘es’ or ‘sa’, and the plural ‘ses’, to identify things, as it is common in the Balearic Islands.