Jávea offers so much more than sea, sun and sangria. From the huge hulking mass of Montgó which extends its protective arm into the sea to the wide open natural spaces of Granadella to the south, the municipality offers plenty of scope for walkers of all ages and all abilities. Five official routes exist, almost 45km of trails opening up the beauty of both the countryside and the coastline and perfect for a brief afternoon saunter along the sea-cliffs or an energetic day-long push to mountain summits. There are gentle strolls winding through the orange groves of the plain or cultural wanders through the narrow streets of the historic centre. There are more energetic wanders to the castle of Granadella or to the iconic windmills of La Plana as well as the amazing carved carverns of Cova Tallada. And there are challenging scrambles to the great open cavity popularly known as the “Eye of Montgó” and, of course, to the very summit of Montgó, standing over 750m above sea level and dominating the town to the north.
There also is plenty to offer within a short drive from the coast, including Aitana, the highest mountain in the region rising to 1,559m, and the enigmatic Barranco del Infierno, a popular hiking destination which is also known as ‘La Catedral del Senderismo’ – the ‘Hiking Cathedral’ – can be explored on the testing PR CV-147, a 15km route that boasts some 6,000 steps carved by the Moorish population that once lived in the area.
So put on those boots, pull on the rucsac, fill the water bottle and get out WALKING IN JAVEA.
THE OFFICIAL TRAILS
One of the best ways to discover the beautiful landscape and coastline of Jávea is through its special network of walking paths. Taking in the wonderful natural spaces of the area, there are routes for everyone from gentle strolls along the headland of Cap Prim to the energetic climb to the summit of Montgó. Created by the Department of Tourism, the five trails total almost 45 kilometres in length and offer the visitor a wide variety of landscapes and ecosystems as well as some of the local cultural and architectural heritage. A council-sponsored free guided service for these routes is offered through the Tourist Office with almost 30 excursions throughout the year. This service also includes the popular annual night-time traverse across the mountain of Montgó, a special excursion which starts at around midnight and usually ends with breakfast and a cooling swim in the sea.
THE MIRADOR CHALLENGE
The Mirador Challenge is a medium-distance endurance walk of approximately 29 kilometres which links a network of 15 viewpoints located along the wonderful coastline of Jávea. The concept behind the development of the Mirador Challenge was primarily to open up this official network of “miradors” to many more people who would be otherwise unaware of their existence. The secondary aim was to create a timed endurance walk covering many different types of terrain that would complement Jávea’s excellent sporting and leisure calendar. The current record is 3 hours and 55 minutes with an average time to complete the route around 6 hours.
LINK: The Mirador Challenge
There is something for all abilities in Jávea and you don’t have to be a seasoned hiker to enjoy the beauty of the area. A gentle walk around the historic centre takes in some of the most important heritage of the town, such as the fortress church of San Bartolomé and the route of the old walls which once protected the village from marauding pirates. The beautiful valley has some hidden delights within reach of everyone, including the ancient olive tree and the old wells of the ancient cattle tracks while the flat plateau of La Plana affords some fantastic views across the region whilst taking the walker to the very bottom of the path of the ascent to the summit of Montgó.
For those who want a bit of adventure without too much effort, Jávea offers a number of opportunities to experience just a little bit more of its natural beauty. The remains of Granadella Castle sit at the end of a promontory which guards the cove of the same name and can be reached by a dramatic path which clings to steep cliffs. The amazing Cova Tallada on the northern flanks of the Cabo de San Antonio can be reached using an exciting loop which also takes in the old watchtower of Torre del Gerro whilst there is an exciting steep ascent to the cavity of Cova Ampla, popularly referred to as the ‘Eye of Montgó’. And of course there are iconic windmills that sit about the town.
LINK: Castell de la Granadella
LINK: The Historic Windmills
LINK: Granadella Coastal Loop
LINK: Cova Tallada & Torre del Gerro
LINK: Cova Ampla (The Eye of Montgó)
LINK: La Plana Circuit (East)
LINK: La Plana Circuit (West)
LINK: Tossal Gros
THE SUMMIT OF MONTGÓ
At 752m high, the mountain of Montgó is the second highest peak so close to the sea in the whole of the Mediterranean area, rising dramatically from the valley floors surrounding it and dominating the skyline for miles around. From its summit, the Balearic island of Ibiza can be seen on the horizon to the east whilst to the south is the Peñon de Ifach (Calpe Rock), the Sierra Bernia and the Morro de Toix. To the west, the Col de Rates, the Sierra de Aitana and the Val de Laguart and to the north, the gulf of Oliva and Cullera stretches up towards the city of Valencia. There are many ways to the summit and all demand complete respect, especially during the more unsettled winter months.
LINK: The Summit of Montgó
“Climb if you will, but remember that courage and strength are nought without prudence, and that a momentary negligence may destroy the happiness of a lifetime. Do nothing in haste; look well to each step; and from the beginning think what may be the end.”
EDWARD WHYMPER (1840-1911)
Mountaineer / Explorer / Author