PR-CV 325 Novelda – Sierra del Cid

  1. 1. From the Plaza de la Magdalena, we start walking along the Paseo de los Molinos and the road that leads to the Castillo de la Mola (PR-CV 311). After 750 metres of walking, we turn right and cross the Vinalopó river, arriving at a fork in the road, crossing the hamlet of La Teulera, (250 m) (1,30 km) (20′).
  2. 2. In La Teulera (250 m) (1,30 km) (20′), we take the asphalted road on the right (N), and passing immediately by the hamlet of La Teulera we arrive at the Barrio de la Estación, (285 m) (2,20 km) (35′).
  3. 3. In the Barrio de la Estación, (285 m) (2,20 km) (35′) from the Parish of San Pascual, we go along the Camí de Castella, and crossing the railway tracks by the existing level crossing we continue between numerous marble factories along the service road parallel to the A-31 dual carriageway. Cross the dual carriageway over a bridge and turn right, taking the new road heading south east for about 300 metres. After 300 metres, turn left and follow the new road, heading clearly northeast, to the southern base of El Montagut, where the asphalt ends.

Now on the Vereda de El Montagut, you go around the spectacular rocky escarpments of the steep limestone pyramid on its western slope, which extends northwards along the no less striking cliffs of the Serra les Penyes. On the gentle ascent, the view, to the south and west, opens up to us in panorama: the valley of Novelda, Monforte and Aspe, with its fertile lands occupied by the monoculture of «Vinalopó’s Table Grape Embolsada»; the mountain ranges of l’Aforna, la Ofra, Crevillent, el Rollo, l’Algaiat? Closer, to our left, a view of marble factories are the exponent of the prosperous industrial development; above them appears the monumental complex of the Sanctuary of Santa María Magdalena and the Castle of La Mola; closing the panorama, the mountain ranges of La Mola, Betíes, les Pedrisses, la Zafra, la Umbría de Monóvar and Salinas stand out.

This way we will reach the highest point of the path, starting a slight descent to a crossroads, next to two huge reservoirs, very close to the Vereda de las Fuentes de Aspe, (422 m) (6,60 km) (1 h 45 min).

  1. 4. In the Vereda de las Fuentes de Aspe, (422 m) (6,60 km) (1 h 45 min), we descend by the path on the right (southeast), connecting immediately with the asphalted Camí del Montagut, which we follow on the right for about 350 metres, to follow another dirt track that starts on the left (east) and heads towards the pipes of a canal. We then go down to the Barranco de l’Aigua Amarga ravine, which we cross and reach the end of the Camí de la Serreta, next to a reservoir and an electrical tower, the «Central de los Navarros», owned by the «Sociedad Canal de la Huerta de Alicante S.A.».

From this point, with a good view to the south of the Serreta Llarga, follow the tarmac road to the right for about 50 metres and turn left next to an electricity pylon, taking a path in a northeasterly direction.

We soon pass by two interesting and well-preserved lime kilns on the right-hand side of the path. We then reach El Pantanet, (395 m) (8.50 km) (2 h 15 min).

  1. 5. At El Pantanet, (395 m) (8,50 km) (2 h 15 min), we find the junction with the variant «Banys de Salinetes-El Pantanet».

Here we can admire a magnificent work of traditional hydraulic engineering. It is the unfinished dam of the El Cid reservoir, built during the Second Republic. It has a double wall, made of masonry and lime mortar (no doubt the nearby lime kilns were built to provide the necessary material for the work). Although the purpose of this construction was to retain and dam the runoff water from the ravines for later agricultural use, perhaps the real reason for its construction was to provide work and wages for a good number of unemployed people in times of economic and social difficulties.

Next, after passing the dam, to the left of the path, next to a solitary pine tree, we can see a small cave that would have been the humble refuge of the stonemasons and workers of the reservoir. Along the path, transformed into a road, we reach a large reservoir that we border on the right, arriving at the Pla Cafeu path, (396 m) (9.10 km) (2 h 25 min).

  1. 6. Arriving at the Pla Cafeu path (396 m) (9,10 km) (2 h 25 min), the new path takes a northerly direction, crossing large areas repopulated with Aleppo pines. On the ascent we can appreciate the grandeur of El Cid, and at the top we can see the antennae. At a fork in the path, follow the branch to the right (northeast), running under the large vertical walls of a ravine. Then the path becomes a path, along which we reach the Collado del Pla Cafeu, (662 m) (11,70 km) (3 h 15 min).
  2. 7. From the Collado del Pla Cafeu, (662 m) (11,70 km) (3 h 15 min), we will still have the hardest part of the itinerary, so those less physically prepared and with few mountaineering habits could consider giving up the summit and start the return.

From the Collado we turn off the path that heads west towards Loma Badá via Loma Rasa. We turn right (east and northeast) and climb a steep, steep slope until we come out onto the wide western slope of the mountain range, overlooking the southern and eastern slopes, where the lands of Vinalopó and l’Alacantí slope gently down to the nearby Mediterranean. Continuing the steep ascent along the wide, deforested ridge, we reach the pre-summit, populated by numerous antennae, (995 m) (13.10 km) (4 h 10 min).

  1. 8. From the pre-summit, (995 m) (13,10 km) (4 h 10 min), in about 20 minutes of walking, and by a rudimentary path surrounded by pines and holm oaks, we reach the summit of El Cid, (1.104 m) (14,10 km) (4 h 30 min).
  2. 9. From the summit of El Cid, (1,104 m) (14.10 km) (4 h 30 min), we can enjoy a splendid panorama in all directions.