Hiking the Jalon Valley in Spain
The Jalon valley is one of the most picturesque and popular hiking areas in all of Spain. Whether you are looking for a relaxing stroll along a country lane or a more challenging hike on the mountains there is something to suit all levels of ability.
The Jalon valley is home to some of the most beautiful villages in Spain. It has a privileged location, excellent climate, great transport links and is very close to Valencia and Alicante cities.
1. Alcalali In Flower
Often overlooked but never missed, the spectacular displays of almond blossoms that blanket the valley in January and February make Jalon one of Spain’s most beautiful spots. Sierra Bernia’s slopes, the vineyards that stretch across the valley floor and the imposing blue-domed church spire of Jalon all make for a picture-perfect backdrop.
The village of Jalon is the heart of the valley, with narrow streets lined with traditional townhouses and small bars and restaurants. It also has some of the best wine bodegas in the area including Bodegas Xalo, set in a stunning location overlooking the River Gorgos and boasting a rich history and over 50 years of trading.
On the main square there is a fountain and Tuesday mornings is market day with stalls surrounding the church selling all manner of local produce including clothes, pottery and Spanish handicrafts. On Saturdays you can find an antiques and secondhand market in the riverbed car park opposite bodega Xalo.
Another popular activity in the area is to hike around the Vall de Pop – the valley of the same name, from Xalo to Alcalali. It is a scenic route that takes you through the valley’s quaint villages, surrounded by orchards of grapes and oranges.
The walk from Xalo to Alcalali is particularly good as it doesn’t have too many steep slopes and is suitable for all abilities. The path is also dog friendly and you can take your pet along for the ride.
Alcalali is a small and very pretty town, only two kilometers from Jalon. This traditional Moorish settlement is surrounded by orchards of orange and almond trees, as well as vineyards.
It has a picturesque parish church, plenty of stores and restaurants, and an active community including a shooting club, multiple futsal teams, and a cycling team. It’s also home to a number of historical monuments and is very popular with tourists.
There is a fantastic range of accommodation in the area, from traditional apartments and country houses to luxury villas with large pools and views over the mountains. You’ll find a selection of self-catering, bed and breakfast and glamping options in the region as well.
2. La Babilonia Beach
A visit to this verdant valley is well rewarded with gorgeous strolls through olive, almond and orange groves. The best time to experience this area is in the spring when the almonds are afoot. If you’re looking for something a little more active, consider a trek to one of the many waterfalls that cascade over the jalon valley.
3. Alfonso Park
The jalon valley is a verdant wonderland of orange, almond, and olive groves. With a variety of trails and hiking options to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect hike to suit your needs.
One of the most impressive is a trail that takes you over the majestic Gaitanes Gorge. This steep trek isn’t for the faint of heart, but it’s well worth the effort.
Another notable feat is the park’s alfonso XII monument, which was designed by Jose Grases Riera in 1902. This is the first of many commemorative statues erected in Spain over the century, and it features a grand construction of bronze and marble.
In fact, it’s so impressive that it was even awarded a spot on Time magazine’s list of the world’s top 20 parks. Designed in the heyday of the monarchy, it was built to pay homage to King Alfonso XII, who is widely credited with establishing peace in Europe.
The aforementioned monument also has a few other worthy mentions, including a giant statue that features an equestrian statue of the king riding his trusty horse, a grandiose clock, and an ode to the flora and fauna of the area. A small museum in the museum part of the park also has an interesting collection, but you’ll need to be ready to pay a premium to take advantage of this regal ode to the great outdoors. The best time to explore this hidden gem is during the warmer months, as it’s an ideal place for a family day out.
4. Bernia Mountain
The jalon valley is a popular destination for hiking and a great place to try some outdoor sports. The area is renowned for its beautiful routes and it also has some of the best climbing locations in Spain.
Bernia Mountain is located in the Jalon Valley and it is one of the most popular mountains to hike. It is also home to a number of historic and geographical points of interest that are sure to impress.
There are many different ways to hike this amazing mountain, but the most recommended route is the circular trail around the eastern side of the mountain. This trail offers an interesting challenge that is suitable for all abilities and a unique opportunity to see the ruins of Fort Bernia.
During the 16th century, the king of Valencia, Felipe II, ordered the construction of a fort at the top of the mountain. The fort was used as an outpost to monitor attacks by pirates or Moors and it was manned by a modest garrison.
It is now a very ruined and overgrown fort, but there are still traces of it to see. It is possible to climb the ruins from the top of the fort and you can even explore the tunnel that was created during construction.
This walk is a great way to combine sport with culture and is a wonderful experience. It is easy for the first part, and then it becomes more challenging as you climb along mule trails and rock paths.
The walk will take you around four hours to complete, and you should bring plenty of water with you. You should also pack a picnic.
On the trail you will come across various springs and a few waterfalls, which you can visit if you want to take a break from hiking. In addition, the ruins of a castle called Bernia and a mysterious tunnel are also worth exploring.
The hike starts off in Altea la Vella and you will be walking along old bridle paths. Afterwards you will pass the Penyes ravine, before you reach a spring called Runar. Then you will pass through a cave, and finally you will get to the Fuente del Fort. This ruins are worth seeing and they have fantastic views of the surrounding landscape.