Any time is a good time for outdoor activities, stepping out of your routine and a bit of sport. And if it also allows you to explore new places, all the better! Hiking combines all of that. And the area around Valencia offers some fantastic routes where you can enjoy unique landscapes, Islamic structures, riverside trails and spectacular natural viewpoints. Pull on your comfortable clothing and shoes and grab some walking poles. Let’s get out there!
Castillo de Serra Trail, 36 minutes from Valencia
This lovely trail in the municipality of Serra follows a circular route and the difficulty is low, making it a great choice for a family hike. It has an elevation gain of 207 m and a total distance of 7 km, meaning it can be done in approximately two hours.
The starting point is the Serra Town Hall, and the trail goes through the traditional farming areas of Tóixima and Ría. The route follows GR-10 and runs past Ría Tower, an Islamic structure used as a defensive position in the 7th to 9th centuries. When you reach the forest track, there are two options to reach Serra Castle: the right-hand path, along the traditional route to the castle; and the one on the left, a trail leading to L'Ombria Fountain.
Both will take you to the base of the castle, where a steep path climbs up to the site. Also in the Islamic style, Serra Castle was built in the 8th century at one of natural passes through the Calderona Mountains. The area surrounding the structure boasts great natural value, a micro reserve of native flora. To get back to the start, take the forest track that runs across Nou Bridge and back into town.
Agua de Buñol Trail, 36 minutes from Valencia
Enjoy the pleasant riverside path and the traces left by water on the landscape on this 7.2 km circular route. It is suitable for children and can be done in approximately two and a half hours.
The trail begins in the town of Buñol, in San Luis Park, continuing on through farmland and a forested area until it reaches the river and Turche Cave. Along this section, you’ll see the water coming up from the spring. The path runs along the Buñol River to the cave, a spectacular geological formation. There, a 60-foot waterfall plunges over a great stone wall, forming a large stone amphitheatre and a small river beach. Another pleasant surprise along the way is the Cueva del Turche Viewpoint, a spectacular overlook offering a fine panoramic view of this typically Mediterranean natural environment.
Dehesa de Soneja Trail, 45 minutes from Valencia
This dehesa (grassland) boasts considerable environmental wealth. The Soneja trail is circular and medium difficulty. Trail PR-CV 320 is 13.8 km long and takes approximately two and a half hours to complete.
It goes from the interpretive centre at the Dehesa Municipal Natural Area – located in the former road worker’s house (kilometre 1 of the Soneja–Burriana Road, CV-230) – and the grassland, running through the municipality of Soneja from one side to the other.
This trail through the Dehesa Natural Area, which offers two incredibly beautiful spaces of great scenic value: El Arenal, with an ancient dry lake and an area which in another time was a millstone quarry; and La Dehesa Lake. Before you come to El Arenal, be sure to stop at Peña la Cagá Viewpoint, which offers spectacular views of the Espadán Mountains. From there, it is not far to La Dehesa Lake, the only endorheic mountain lake in the Valencian Community, meaning that it was formed of accumulated rainwater and has no outlet to other basins or filtration.
Note that the journey from Valencia by car is not easy. Take the A21 and A23. When you come to Soneja, take the CV-230 for Azuébar.
Puentes Colgantes de Chulilla Trail, 45 minutes from Valencia
Officially known as the Pantaneros Trail, this 10-km out-and-back trail runs from Baronía Square to the Loriguilla Reservoir, following the same route both ways. The estimated time required is approximately two hours, and the difficulty is medium–high, due to stretches with elevation gain.
It is the old path taken by labourers working on construction of the Loriguilla Reservoir to travel from the town of Chulilla to their place of work in the 1950s. The suspension bridges of the trail’s name are a reconstruction of the rope and wood walkways they built, along with the rather steep stairs leading to the bridges.
The trail starts in Baronía Square, running along Maestro Amblar Street and leaving town by the same road. You will pass El Altico hostel, and a few metres further along is the sign for the trailhead beside the road. The route runs through Los Calderones Municipal Natural Area. The trail passes along the Turia River Gorge, skirting the top of the cliffs and crossing from one side to the other using two suspension bridges. It runs through various environments with typical local flora, including a gallery forest and Mediterranean scrubland.
Agua de Chelva Trail, 50 minutes from Valencia
This route follows a circular self-guided tourist trail that combines nature and culture on a pleasant walk. The difficulty is low, making it ideal for families. It runs some 7 km and should take a little over two and a half hours.
The trail begins and ends at the Main Square in Chelva, a town that boasts a treasure trove of water. Throughout the municipal area, you will enjoy the crystalline waters of the river, along with numerous springs and fountains.
The Agua de Chelva Trail includes the Molino Puerto Recreation Area, with a picnic area, sports facilities and children's playground. Unique landscapes include La Playeta, whose waterfalls and pool make it a traditional swimming area; and the Olinches Tunnel, carved out of the mountain, which will lead you to one of the steepest spots on the Chelva River.