To start (or on a lazy rest day), take a look at the beautiful view near the villa. At the highest point in Solana Gardens, Mirador Cocó del Garbell, you have a nice view over Alcalali and the Jalon valley. You only have to walk a few hundred meters, and the first 60 altimeters are in the pocket.
Away from the motorway, between the almond trees, olive trees and grape shrubs. This route starts just south of Alcalali, at the ‘ viewpoint ‘ at the end of Carrer Forn. There you follow a path that runs down, through the high reed, and crosses the usually dry riverbed. Here climb up and go left to Jalon. For the exact route on GPS click here.
With a small adjustment at the beginning this route is also suitable for strollers and bicycles: in that case you start in Alcalali west of the water reservoir, at the ‘ Ecoparc ‘. Down the paved road, turn left and you will end up on the route above.
Lliber hinterland. From Lliber you can walk several beautiful routes.
This hike first goes up over the asphalt, then down through the forest and further along the riverbed.
At this the climb is a bit more serious and the sun is a little burner, but the view brilliant.
Lliber – Valley views. In this walk you don’t start in the village but at the Font (water well). First a sturdy climb, but then you are rewarded with really nice and wide views (360 degrees) over the whole coastal region (Marina Alta) and the neighbouring valleys. ***
Senija – Cave, Cross & Collado. Not too difficult but varied walk from Senija. First to the cave, then to the large cross on the mountain and then up and down through the Collado.
From Benimaurell you can walk up to the Collado de la Garga, where you enjoy walking over the ridge (sometimes more like scrambling) with a fantastic 360-degree view. To the left you’ll see the Vall de Laguar and Vall de Orba, to the right Vall de Pop (Jalon-valley). At the top you can find a nice restaurant (La Venta del Collao, but be warned that you can only pay in cash).
From Murla: een afwisselende tocht tussen de sinasappelbomen, langs de stierenfokker, door de kloof en via een (donkere) tunnel naar het klooster-complex van Fontilles.
Around Tarbena the capricious landscape turns into another beautiful view after every turn. ***
Absolutely recommended is also the Bernia circuit. Although the southern side can be pretty hot in summer, so better to start early, or visit in spring or fall. Ultimately of course one combines this tour with a (late) lunch at Refugio Vista Bernia (see our page on Eating and drinking).***
Halfway the route to the Bernia lies the Maserof-area, which also can be reached with a nice walk from Jalon. Only 300 altimeters, a half-shadowed climb through the woods in the beginning, followed by a relatively easy descent. Again a very favorable balance between altimeter efforts versus views and variety rewards.
Circuit around Guadalest lake. Few climbing, easily combined with a visit to the village of Guadalest. The village itself is very touristy, although still worth a visit. If afterwards you want to return to the real Spain, this walk is a welcome change. Also suitable to walk with kids, plus there is the posibility to enjoy a tapas-pitstop in Bar L’Era in Beniarda.
From Alcalalí you can make a challenging trip, behind Almazara to the top of the Solana. For this you really need good shoes. Some walking experience may come in handy as well, because now and then the close vegetation challenges your path findings skills.
The most beautiful 360-degree view can be found right above the villa, on the top of the Tossal Gros.*** But this is a serious route, which requires good footwear and a good orientation. After going up from the river, cross the road and follow the indicated green and white official route (left below the ramp). This route takes you through the forest, in a small loop past an ancient cave painting and the first beautiful views. There you could turn around and take the easy route back, but then you miss the real spectacle. Although it is not an official path, you can continue up to the top of the Tosal Gros. First follow an existing path to the left around the rock, then turn right and then climb a bit up through the terraces. It is sometimes a bit of a search here, but for the somewhat experienced hiker, using the GPS and sense of direction it will cause no problems because it is a wide area. No more dense forest here: in the sun, but if you choose a day in the summer with a little wind, it will blow here all the time to cool down. Finally, the big trees show you the way to the top, where all effort is paid back in full. If every climb would be rewarded in this way! 🙂 Views from Cullera to Javea, the Bernia massif, the Col de Rates, the tip of the Penyal Roig, the valleys of Jalon, Benigembla, Vall de Laguar and Orba, and much more can be seen here. The descent is an official path, but sometimes a bit overgrown, so watch out for the cairns here. Just before Alcalalí you get a nice view of the pass to Pedreguer, after which you reach the asphalt again directly above Villa Arbolada. In short: directly from the villa, a tour in 6 km with still 300 meters in altitude.
From the motto: ‘Where are we looking at from the villa terrace?’
From the villa you can walk to the Maserof-area in in 1,5 hour, through a sort of mini-canyon (250 altimeters). With a small detour you can visit the Alcalalí Ermita on the way. Once on top you discover a completely different vally, full of agricultural terraces. In that vally you can refuel before returning by having lunch at Casa Susi (see our Eating and drinking page). On the way back you have several views on Villa Arbolada. (link, link)
A must-do challenge of course is climbing the Col de Rates. Than can be done starting from the villa (link). The first part is a flat walk through the oranges to Parcent. Then you can climb the Col from the northwest, and descent on the eastern flanks. This route leads you straight back to the villa, but there is nothing to stop you from taking a detour to have a drink in the village…
With the above route you have visited the Col already. But the ridge leads much further! An even bigger challenge is to get to the real top: Cim Carrascal. Only, this is much harder, specially the second part of the climb (after the water well) contains some steep parts. But when the sun is not too hot, and you allow yourself enough time, it is really worth the effort.