Banyeres de Mariola bicycle route

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Out in nature

Today we present a bicycle route for those who like to ride the mountain bike and spend a day in nature. Discover this route that leads us through the Sierra de Mariola, the mountain that gives the name to Banyeres de Mariola. The highest municipality in the Alicante province from where we start this circular tour that we propose.

banyeres bicycle route

The Sierra de Mariola forms a natural park in the interior of the provinces of Alicante and Valencia. This place was declared a natural park in 2002. The mountain range is located between the regions of L’Alcoià, the Comtat, and La Vall d’Albaida (Province of Valencia).


The highest peak of the mountain range is the Montcabrer of 1390 meters. That makes it the third largest of the province of Alicante. In addition to this, there are numerous peaks over a thousand meters. Such as the Alto de Mariola (1,158 m), El Contador (1,232 m), and El Portín (1,081 m). It gives us an idea of what we can expect, although the proposed route is moderate in difficulty. Therefore it is suitable for advanced amateurs of all ages. But we must take the orography and the possible complications of the area in mind. It is a busy route, but as always we recommend you to carry a charged phone, and an extra battery.

banyeres de mariola bicycle route

The start of the Banyeres de Mariola bicycle route

The route begins at the tourist office of Banyeres de Mariola, located in the Park of Villa Rosario. From here we go down la Creu street.

banyeres de mariola bicycle route

Once we reach the Church of Santa Maria we continue on San Jorge street. From here we arrive at the cemetery of the town. There we cross the Avenida 25 de Abril to leave the urban center.

We ascent a track that takes us to the area known as La Font de la Coveta. In this first part, we gradually gain altitude and alternate areas of ascent with small flat areas.

banyeres de mariola bicycle route

After that, we continue along this road known as Camí de la Mallaeta. Meanwhile, we enjoy the excellent views of the area around the source of the Vinalopó River and the Montcabrer.

After a while, we arrive at the CV-794. If any problem has occurred, this is a good point to return to Banyeres de Mariola. Because the road to Bocairent goes down towards the tracks of the Vía Verde del Xixarra that end in the town where we began.

When we continue, we follow the path that runs parallel to the road towards Alcoy. At this point, the landscape changes remarkably from mostly Mediterranean pines to mainly Carrascas and totally different aromatic shrubs. Right at Km. 7 of the route, we cross the road to get into the forest. A place to enjoy the different aromas offered by nature, famous for the local variety of aromatic and medicinal herbs.

On this road, that changes in path in some sections, we arrive at the Santa Bárbara fountain. This fountain has given its name to the hermitage next to it and to the area where we pedal at this moment. From here on it takes us to the Camping de Mariola.

banyeres de mariola bicycle route

The climb

It is at this point when we have done 12.5 kilometers that the hardest climb of the day starts. It is the climb up to the mythical “Cava Gran” (the great cave). The climb is not technically difficult but requires that you are in good shape. Because the slopes of this dirt road are steep which makes it hard to stand on the pedals while going up.

While we climb we see the Alt de Mariola (1,158 m) and the Sima del Caball on our right side. Through La Solana de la Foia Ampla we continue to reach the Vulture Cave, prior to our goal: “Cava Gran” (the great cave).

This cave is located next to the Refuge of Montcabrer, at an altitude of 1220 meters. It is famous for the arched structure that also gives it the name of Arched Cava.

banyeres de mariola bike tour

Although it is not essential, we recommend that you do an effort to climb from the refuge to Pico del Teix. This place offers spectacular views, with the Beniarrés Reservoir, the Alcoyan municipalities, and the Sierra de Aitana in the background. It is considered a natural border that justifies the landscape difference between the province´s coastal area and the interior. The climb to this viewpoint is a hard climb of only 400 meters in length but with an ascent of about 50 meters in that distance. If you decide that to go up by bike is too hard, we advise walking up, Because we believe that the effort is definitely worthwhile.

The return to Banyeres de Mariola

At this point, we begin the return to Banyeres de Mariola. Although most of the effort is already done, we must not lose sight of the fact that the terrain is mountainous. This means there are still have several climbs ahead of us. Because we do not want to go back over the same track, we take the track in the direction of Alt del Cernical.

We keep this mountain on our left side and go along the north face of the rocky mass of Montcabrer. in the direction of the Mas de la Foia Ampla. When we reach this old farm we keep to the left of it and continue on the track towards the Font de Prats until we reach the CV-794. We can make a quick stop at the Font de Mariola to refill our water cans before we cross the road to enter the other side of the mountain. There we reach the source of the Vinalopó River.

Vineyard area

We will pass through Mas de Reiner and Mas de Guidella. You will discover that this last estate stands out, surrounded by vineyards and horses, reminiscent of colonial-style houses. It is noted for its ocher almost yellow color, a color that is rather unusual in this area. Finally, before we reach the town, we cross the Vinalopó River through the Blanes factory.

This factory is known as Molí de D’alt and Molí de Baix. They started as flour mills but were converted by the paper industry in the middle of the 20th century. They show nostalgia on all four sides, waiting for the beauty of their industrial architectural ensemble to be appreciated.

In the end, our Banyeres de Mariola bicycle route says goodbye to us as it can not be otherwise. With a strong ascent that ends in the urban center. Thanks to the spectacular scenery and the number of roads enjoyed, you already think about new routes to discover in the area.


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