Callosa d´en Sarrià, Fonts de l'Algar and Castell de Guadalest
This trip is one of the most popular tourist routes and is of special interest due to the beauty of the waterfalls at the Fuentes del Algar and the traditional mountain village of Guadalest situated on the summit of a mountain.
Trip to Callosa d’en Sarrià. The route you are now following through the interior has some beautiful countryside and you will pass by the Coll de Rates area, situated around Parcent-Tárbena- Bolulla, although please be advised that this is a very windy mountain road indeed!
An alternative route would be to take the AP-7 motorway, direction Altea, (exit 64). Just before you come to Altea, at the top of the road, you will see a signpost with the turn for “Callosa d’en Sarrià”, and 3 kms from here towards Bolulla you will come to the Algar Falls (las Fuentes del Algar).
CALLOSA D´EN SARRIÀ
Callosa d’en Sarrià is located about 10 kms from this junction.
Callosa d’en Sarrià offers the visitor a full cultural sightseeing programme, with its numerous cultural, ethnological, archaeological, religious, and anthropological places of interest as well as its welcoming festival celebrations.
The town has been completely restored and well signposted to guide you during your visit.
Of great interest in Callosa is the Iglesia Arciprestal de San Juan Bautista, with its neo-classical façade. Look out also for the Museum of Ethnology and Archaeology, where you can learn about the way of life in the town right up until the recent 1960’s. At the last house on the main street in the town centre, the El Calvario district begins, and leads to a little Chapel up a zig-zag path.
In Callosa you will also find el Portal (the Gateway), with its rounded archway, forming part of the remains of the wall which protected the town in the 14th century. The town also has numerous ceramic plaques portraying the saints after which many of the town streets and various chapels and hermitages are named, amongst which we should mention the Chapels of Sant Antoni, Aurora, Santo Cristo and Santa Bárbara. Of special interest in the village is the Poador de la Fuente Mayor (communal laundry), with its fountain in the shape of an animal´s head and a sculpture depicting King Jaime 1, both of which have been restored and are one of the town´s most impressive features.
Typical dishes: here you should try the following local dishes: stuffed peppers, “olleta de blat”, “conejo al all i oli” (rabbit with garlic) oven roasted vegetables, “putxero amb pilotes”, (stew with dumplings), “minxos”, fresh nísperos and other nispero based products (such as syrup, juice, honey, jam and liqueurs), and “pastissets d’aiguardent i a l’aire” (little fairy cakes made with brandy liqueur).
After your visit to Callosa continue your day out with a trip to the Algar Falls (Fuentes del Algar).
Some interesting information about Callosa: this town is the foremost producer of nisperos in the whole of Spain. Look out for the brand name “Nísperos de Callosa d’en Sarrià”!
From Callosa to les Fonts de l’Algar. From the town, continue to the roundabout and take the exit signposted for the Falls. Leave Callosa in the direction of Bolulla and after about 3 kms take the right hand turning leading to the rest area.
FONTS DE L´ALGAR
The whole area around the Fonts de l’Algar waterfalls has been made into a Visitors´Centre, with easily accessible places next to the carpark specially for swimming.
You can gaze at the waterfalls, and learn about how this incredible hydraulic power was harnessed in the past for use as irrigation, by means of a dam, water channels, canals etc. On a fine day bathe in the waters (there are various different ‘tolls’ or natural pools) all along the course of the river. Since ancient times the waters here have been thought to be health-giving and rejuvenating. Walk down the avenue planted with medicinal and aromatic species and visit the Arboretum with its many trees native to the Mediterranean area.
Afterwards you can visit the special exhibition area and shop selling aromatic and medicinal plants, and find out about the distillation process for producing perfumes and essential oils from them. About 800 m from the entrance to Les Fonts you will find the picnic area and campsite, clearly marked.
About half way down the path between the campsite and the picnic area you will come across the footpath marked PR V-48 taking you up to the Fort de Bèrnia built in 1562. This is a prime example of Renaissance architecture, and has been declared a Site of Special Scientific Interest (B.I.C. in Spanish) here in Spain.
The PR V-48 footpath runs for a distance of 5,5 km, and the walk (medium difficulty) will take two and a half hours to complete. The views from the Bèrnia mountain are absolutely magnificent.
The Algar Water and Cactus Museum (el Museo del Agua y Cactus de l’Algar) is located 300 metres away from the campsite. The Museum highlights the important role of water as a natural resource and its various different uses in the history of the Valencian Community, and you can also see a wide selection of cacti plants from all over the world.
There are 5 restaurants to choose from here, serving food ranging from the traditional fare to specially created gastronomic delicacies using local ingredients, such as new nispero-based dishes.
From Callosa to Guadalest. To get to Guadalest, take the CV-755 main road.
CASTELL DE GUADALEST
Castell de Guadalest is perched on the summit of a rocky outcrop and is accessible through a hollow entrance cut into the mountain. This town, in existence since Moorish times, was declared a Site of Artistic Heritage (CONJUNTO HISTÓRICO ARTÍSTICO) by Spain in 1974.
At the foot of the promontory is el Arrabal, where there are many craft shops, museums and restaurants.
The two Miniature Museums of Guadalest (El Museo Microgigante and El Museo de Microminiaturas) are very popular, as well as the Museo Etnológico, the Museo Belén, The Museum of Instruments of Torture, The Museum of Transport (El Museo de Vehículos Históricos), the Museo Ribera Girona of contemporary art, and the Casa Orduña, which in addition to being the Municipal Museum also serves as the access point to the San José Castle.
In Guadalest there are various other interesting historical places for you to visit, such as The Church of Our Lady of the Assumption (La Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción) dating from the 18th century, the Alcozaiba Fort and the 12th Century Prison, situated on the ground floor of the Town Hall.
But, without a doubt, the most outstanding historical site for the visitor is The San José Castle. The wonderful views to be enjoyed in Guadalest from anywhere in the town, and especially from the San José Castle, make this little village in the interior into an international ‘must-see’ tourist attraction.
Now, at the end of the trip, make your way back to Dénia via Callosa d’en Sarriá – Altea- AP7 driving back along the scenic route.