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El Castellet

Castell de Castells - Penya Castellet - El Castellet - Alto de Tronca - Mallaes - Cueva - Fuente dels Olbis - Fuente de la Retura - Castell de Castells

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How to get there: Drive on the CV-720 through Castell de Castells from north to south. When the CV-720 meets the CV-752, park you car. (Roadmap of Marina Alta)

Distance: 5h32min/19km

Start out from the junction of CV-720 and CV-752 in Castell de Castells by following the sign for "El Castellet". Walking on the CV-752 turn right on a narrow unpaved road signposted to "El Castellet" and "Penya Castellet", and marked with white-yellow stripes (3min) (540 m). When you meet a house on the right hand side of the road (10min) (605 m), take a track on your right. Keep an eye on the white-yellow waymarks that lead you on a narrower track on your left (20min) (675 m). Soon this track peters out into a path that curves left and starts following the Barranco de Gaspar.

The path climbs up to a sand road, where you encounter signposts (35min) (815 m). Turn left for "Penya Castellet". Towering above on your right is the castle, which looks like a part of the rock formation. The track ascends gently throught a pine forest to the next junction (43min) (830 m),where you go right, still following the sign for "Penya Castellet". The next signpost you find in Collado Castells (46min) (855 m), where you keep right, on a track signposted to Castellet. Part of the way uphill, this steep track is lined by impressive rock walls. When you reach the highest point of the track (1h) (985 m), take the path on your left to the ruins of the castle (1h07min) (1050 m), that are resting here and there on a grassy field. More spectacular than the ruins is the view. On top of the peak, you can see both the northern Valley of Pop with Castell de Castells and the southern Valley of Guadalest with the Guadaelest reservoir and the villages on the slopes of Aitana. Other prominen mountains in the South are the pointed Puig Campana and Ponoch. In the Northeast, the view is rimmed by the rugged Cocoll, and in the Northwest rise the Alfaro, Safor and Monduber mountains. Extending from East to West are the mountain ranges of Aixorta and Serrella with the gorge of Canal.

Return to the track (1h14min) and turn left. The track descends to an altitude of 880 meters, and starts ascending to the Plain of Tronca. After curving sharply right (1h33min) (955 m), it slopes gently uphill towards a reddish rock wall with cavities. Before you reach the wall, look for a small red dot of paint on a rock, which is a sign for a path that forks left (1h38min) (960 m). Take this path, which in the beginning is hardly visible. Further up, small piles of stones serve as waymarks. When the ascent almost ends, the path forks (1h50min) (1015 m). Do not go down towards the Valley of Guadalest, although this fork is wider, but curve sharp right. Now starts the most charming and spectacular part of the route. You stay almost an hour in the altitude of 900 meters surrounded by a beautiful mountain scenery, before starting a zigzag descent towards the ruins you can see below.

The path comes to the beginning of a track (2h55min) (770 m), which soon forks (2h58min) (755 m). Go right on the track that keeps curling in the almond tree groves. By a blue hut you meet signposts (3h08min) (695 m). Follow the sign for "La Cova", and descend on a zigzag path to the cave with impressive dimensions (3h11min) (670 m). Continue on the path that rises to the ruins of a large building, where it forks (3h17min) (700 m). Go left and start following the white-yellow waymarks.

The path ascends to Olbis fountain (3h40min) (815 m). After Olbis you ascend to an altitude of 860 metres, before the descent along the crest of Pinar. The path is lined by colorful twigs. When the path forks (4h25min) (685 m), take the left fork. The right fork descends to the CV-720, if you want to make a shortcut to Castell de Castells. The left fork brings you to the Retura fountain (4h27min) (685 m), and soon after that, to another fountain without a name (4h29min) (685 m).

Walking to the South, you come to the CV-720 (4h34min) (660 m). Turn left, and after some 100 meters, take a track that forks right downhill. The track keeps winding through Racó del Forat and peters out into a path (4h46min) (600 m) that slopes down to the junction of Barranco de la Retura and Barranco de Famorca (4h59min) (525m). If it has been raining, you'll probably find a pool of water, big enough for swimming. At this junction, the path joins a sand road that crosses the Barranco de Famorca. When you come to a junction (5h05min) (515m), take the paved road to the left. Soon you reach signposts (5h15min) (495 min). Follow the signpost pointing right to Castell de Castells (5h32min) (530 m).


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