The province of Alicante, which includes the popular holiday coast Costa Blanca, offers not only sunny beaches but also unique experiences for hiking enthusiasts. The route in this article is often referred to as the ‘Cathedral of walking’.
This is the Barranco del Infierno route. It is one of the most challenging and spectacular hiking trails in the province of Alicante and the entire Valencia region.
A challenge for experienced hikers
This hiking trail is classified as moderate to high in difficulty. Thus, it is an excellent choice for experienced hikers looking for a fun walking adventure in Alicante. The route, known for its steep slopes, narrow paths, and sometimes slippery surfaces, requires good physical fitness and experience in hiking. Therefore, do not forget to wear sturdy footwear.
With a length of approximately 14 kilometres, the circular Barranco del Infierno route takes hikers back to their starting point. The route passes through impressive gorges, past old watermills, and through areas of lush vegetation, offering breathtaking views of the mountain landscape and the Mediterranean Sea.
On average, it takes four to six hours to complete the Barranco del Infierno route. It is recommended to start early to avoid the heat and take advantage of the natural light throughout the hike.
Starting point in Fleix
The picturesque village of Fleix, located in the Vall de Laguar, serves as both the starting and ending point for this walking route. Fleix is the perfect base to start and end your hiking adventure in Alicante. The village has plenty of opportunities to recover after the walk. With whitewashed houses and narrow streets exuding a sense of old-world charm, the architecture in Fleix reflects the traditional Spanish style.
The village is surrounded by the characteristic Moorish agricultural terraces, known as ‘Los Riu-raus’, which testify to the ingenious use of the land for agriculture. In Fleix you will find parking near the starting point of the Barranco del Infierno route. Make sure you arrive early, especially during peak season, to secure a parking spot.
Highlights along the route
The Barranco del Infierno route offers more than just a physical challenge. Hikers can enjoy spectacular waterfalls and natural pools, ideal for refreshment in summer or a break in winter. In addition, the route is home to various plant and animal species, an additional delight for nature lovers.
The Barranco del Infierno route is a must for anyone interested in hiking in Alicante. With its challenging trails, beautiful views, and rich biodiversity, this route offers an unforgettable experience for adventurous hikers. Don’t miss this opportunity to discover the hidden natural beauties of Alicante. Put on your walking shoes and prepare for an adventurous journey of discovery!
Cultural and historical context
The route passes through what was once an important area for local agriculture. The trails that hikers follow today were originally built for agricultural purposes. There are several old water mills along the route. These date from an era when hydropower played an essential role in the local economy. These mills were used for grinding grain and other crops, which was crucial for the region’s food supply.
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The presence of these historic structures along the route provides an interesting insight into rural life and past communities in this part of Spain. In addition, along the Barranco del Infierno route, there are signs of ancient irrigation systems built by the locals in medieval times to supply water to the agricultural lands. These systems testify to the ingenious ways in which people in the past adapted to the dry climate of the region.
Flora and fauna
The route offers the walker insight into the typical Mediterranean flora, including shrubs and herbs. Think of rosemary, thyme, and lavender. Which certainly provides your walk with a wonderful aromatic atmosphere at certain times of the year. Pine trees and various types of oak are found in higher and cooler parts of the route. Ideal for a break to enjoy a snack in the shade. Some plant species are unique to this part of Spain, including certain types of ferns and orchids.
Bird watchers can enjoy a variety of bird species including the swift, rock pigeon, and several species of birds of prey such as the peregrine falcon and the golden eagle. Although generally less visible, the area is home to mammals such as wild boar, foxes, and several species of small rodents.
Tips for an optimal experience
Prepare well. Bring plenty of water and snacks, wear comfortable walking shoes, and check the weather before you go. It is also advisable to have a map of the route with you and possibly a compass or GPS device for navigation.
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