The land of contrasts.
Arrival in Sax
You arrive in Sax, crowned by its brooding 12th Century castle and steeped in history. As you explore the old quarter you’ll notice the unmistakeable Arabic influence in the layout of the streets and alleyways. Why not try one of the typical local dishes at one of the many bars, cafés and restaurants?
You set off on our adventure amidst a changing range of landscapes: pinewoods combine with vineyards and cellars to make a rustic patchwork of greens. The scenery is also dotted with fruit-trees and lush market gardens. You will ride into Villena that has one of the best-preserved castles in the district. You then take the green route for the stretch that borders the River Vinalopó and you’ll come across more orchards and small settlements. Later that day you’ll reach the medieval city of Bocairent with its gracious old quarter full of squares old fountains and many nooks and crannies. You’ll have to choose among many attractive places for a meal and you’ll feel transported back in time.
Passing through mountainous terrain, the valley will lead you to the lake of Beniarrés. The next leg of the trip takes in the villages that surround the spectacular range known as Sierra de Aitana with its exceptional landscapes. At the end of the day’s ride you’ll get to the lively city of Alcoi, where you’ll be able to enjoy its own gastronomic interpretations and its range of wines.
This day’s ride is undoubtedly one of the most exciting and spectacular of the whole tour. The rugged contrasts offered by the interior mountain valleys are much greater than those found in valleys closer to the Mediterranean. Pedalling through the higher terrain overlooking Lake Beniarrés, it’s possible to appreciate the impressive views of such instantly identifiable mountains as Benicadell and Montcabrer. By taking a route with many vantage points around the gorge you follow a green path above the River Serpis. Waiting for you will be small villages set amidst a lush landscape of orange groves and it will soon become obvious, from tell-tale sea breezes, that the sea lies ahead, and not too far away!
You start the day riding past orange groves and soon come across small remnants of marshland known as marjals, a favourite nesting spot for birds, and a birdwatcher’s paradise. You venture into a pretty little valley to follow part of the pilgrimage route that linked different monasteries and where there is the opportunity to explore the imposing monastery of Simat de la Valldigna.
Amongst rice fields, you’ll arrive in Cullera, a coastal city with beautiful sea views where you’ll be able to taste some of the rice specialties of the area. This town has plenty of beaches that you can enjoy even in winter if the sun is shine.
If you choose the longer option, you’ll start off along the banks of the River Xúquer, the waters of which irrigate the many, prolific fields and groves of the whole district.
You venture into the natural reserve known as Parque Natural de la Albufera, one of the most valuable ecosystems in the Mediterranean. You’ll be able to marvel at different natural environments such as lakes, marshes, sand-dunes and pinewoods that border the seafront. All of these ecosystems have their corresponding flora and fauna.
It is well worth enjoying one of the typical dishes of this rather special district. You can go for a stroll by the port and see the fisherman at work before they return home to picturesque El Palmar.
Upon reaching Valencia, you’ll explore the formidable old quarter with its cathedral and central market – a cathedral of a market, indeed! Not to be missed are the narrow streets and squares that offer so many kinds of cafés, bars and restaurants. The lovers of good food will be pleased. The city’s nightlife is also famous.
Departure or extension
After a good breakfast, the trip will be formally over.
For the first two days, the route follows a former railway line, which is traffic free. For the others we have chosen small quiet roads where cars are seldom seen. The route hence does not demand a high level of fitness; notwithstanding this, we have different alternatives that can either shorten or lengthen a day’s ride.
- Accommodation as already mentioned
- Breakfast buffet or an extensive breakfast
- Luggage transfer between the hotels
- Detailed travel documents
- GPS-data is available
- Service hotline (in English)
Arrival / Parking / Departure
- Sax and Villena train station
- Alicante and València airport
- Transfer without fee from Villena possible, reservation is necessary