Vall de Pop
Angel Vives, the owner of Hotel Castell de la Solana looks forward to welcome you to Vall de Pop
The villages and towns that have joined the “Commonwealth of Municipalities of Vall de Pop” form an area of great scenic beauty and high ecological value. From the shoreline coves of Benissa to the high peaks of Castell de Castells one mountain and valley leads on to the next, but it is actually the river, with its calm summer waters and raging autumn floods, which acts as the real spine connecting and sustaining La Vall.
The Vall de Pop is inseparable from the course of the Xalós (in Valencian language) or Gorgos (in Spanish) river, whose source is at Castell de Castells and which flows through several municipalities, amongst them Alcalalí, location of Boutique Hotel Castell de la Solana.
This is an area full of contrasts: imposing mountain ranges, winding gorges, valleys bathed in the scent of vines and an abrupt coastline with welcoming coves and dramatic cliffs. Here, the rhythm of life is still marked by the sun. The streets are filled with life during the summer nights and locals take our their chairs to chat outdoors with their neighbours. In winter, they gather around their fireplaces that fill the villages with a welcoming aroma.
How to Get There
The nearest airports are those of Alicante and Valencia. Alicante airport is at approx. 95 km distance, Valencia Airport at approx. 120 km.
Motorway E-15 and National Road N-332
Alsa offerst connections between Alicante and Valencia
Railway line Valencia-Alicante, unstaffed station Benissa
Vall de Pop: Plan your journey by public transport
Train station in the town of Alicante, Costa Blanca/Spain, with connections to Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia etc.
Tram network in the province of Alicante, Spain, with four lines.
Central Bus Station of Alicante, Spain
Valencia airport (Manises) offers flights to Spanish and international destinations.
Departures to Spanish and international destinations.
Vall de Pop weather forecast
|Alicante, España||70°F few clouds|
Wind 8 mph, E
Pressure 761.31 mmHg
Places to go
Natural Park Marjal Pego-Oliva
The Marjal is an extensive wetland, almost flat, with an underground water table that leads to changes in the water level throughout the seasons. Besides the sediment left by the rivers, the waves and currents have formed a coastal deposit known as La Restinga, which has gradually transformed gulfs and bays into marshes.
TO SEE: The 1,000 hectares of this wetland, framed by the Segaria and Mustalla mountains, houses several plant species and animals. It also has a thermal water spring with curative properties, called Font Salada. Llavador 5, 03780 Pego
Nature Park by the Valencian government 9 January 1995. This nature reserve has a dune system. It is composed of swamp areas and paddy fields. The formation of this park is due to the silting process suffered a former bay that made lagoon and later went on to make it the current marsh. Because this is an area with numerous uniform reed rafts of clean water being traversed by two rivers the Bullent, which borders the marsh to the north and Racons, located south of the site,. For its fauna and flora has an important value ecology.
Near the Natural Park is the Fountain Salada, a hot spring with healing properties for skin.
TO DO: Extensive wetland surrounded by the Segària and Mustalla mountains, which are home to a vast array of natural phenomena.
The Marjal is an extensive wetland, almost flat, with an underground water table that leads to changes in the water level throughout the seasons. Besides the sediment left by the rivers, the waves and currents have formed a coastal deposit known as La Restinga, which has gradually transformed gulfs and bays into marshes. Once these marshes filled with sediment, the Marjal was born. The natural drainage of its waters reaches the sea by way of canals, rivers and underground waterways. The Pego-Oliva wetland takes water from the Gallinera and Mustalla mountain ranges via ditches and water pockets known as ullals, or via rivers such as the Racons, Molinell and the Vedat. The latter is considered the most efficient at storing water in Europe, given the number of natural reservoirs along its stretch.
The Marjal is, therefore, a flat area that floods seasonally as a result of rainwater and subterranean water pockets, or aquifers, amongst the mountains inland from the coast. These environmental features create unique vegetation and wildlife comprising mainly migratory birds that need these ecological islands to be able to complete their vital cycle. Rich flora provides a thick carpet of vegetation that gives shelter and food to birds as well as an ideal place for them to rest and build nests.
The Spanish government included the Pego-Oliva Marjal in the Ramsar Agreement list in 1994, a list in which the world’s major wetlands figure. A year later, the Marjal and the rivers and mountains surrounding it were declared an officially-protected nature reserve.
RECOMMEND: Golf, windsurfing, sailing, kite surfing, hiking, mountain biking, swimming, fishing, beach volleyball, horseback riding, a wide range of experiential entertainment are just some of the options offered surrounded by sea, mountains, rivers and nature reserve.
Bodegas Casta Diva
Family-run winery in the small mountain village of Parcent, Costa Blanca.
TO SEE: The winery is located in the small mountain town Parcent, province of Alicante, an area shaped by tradition and craftsmanship and considered the birthplace of wines.
Felipe Gutiérrez de la Vega and his wife founded their winery in the 70’s, installing modern winemaking equipament inside a converted mill in the remote mountain village of Parcent.
In 1982, the winery relocated to the old oil press in Parcent, where they began to sell their products, which little by little became known nationally and internationally, allowing the family to enlarge their facilities anad increase the production.
In 2008, a fabulous new reception facility was opend including a small boutique featuring homemade olive oils, vinegars and preserves made by Felipe’s wife.
Every details is taken into account: the casks are stored in an underground cave with natural stone walls that creat a humid surrounding and precise temperature which are optimum for the storing and aging of wine.
TO DO: Taste and buy wines and olive oil.
Casta Diva Fondillón (1996) – Made from 100% Monastrell, [this wine] is a saturated purple, offering aromas of plums, prunes, and raisins. On the palate this intensely sweet wine remains slightly tight and tannic. It is reminiscent of an Italian Recioto. All of these wines should be consumed within 2-3 years of purchase.
Casta Diva Fondillón (1997) – Dense violet. Dark berries and candied plum on the nose, with notes of cured tobacco and espresso. Lush and moderately sweet, with fresh, chocolatey blackberry and boysenberry flavors framed by gentle acids and supple tannins. Finishes broad, quite sweet and very long, with an exotic Asian spice quality.
Alcalalí – Coll de Rates – Alcalalí
Ancient route that linked the Marina Alta (upper shore area) with the Marina Baixa (lower shore area). This paved road leads up to the Coll de Rates from whose vantage point and on a clear day you’ll see Ibiza, the valley and the coastal towns of the region of Valencia.
This route is a great option to approach the cultural heritage and landscape of the Vall de Pop valley.
From Alcalalí, along terraces of almond, olive and orange trees and vines, you’ll walk up to the Coll de Rates, a stunning viewpoint that offers one of the most spectacular panoramic views of both the Vall de Pop and the Vall de Tárbena valleys.
From there you’ll make your way down to Parcent, known for its Moorish past, but before reaching the village you’ll find the path back to Alcalalí which traditionally was used by the inhabitants.
Almost at the end of the route, a short detour leads you to the Ermita de San Joan Mosquera hermitage, a Moorish vestige of the past, still present in the Vall de Pop.
Time: 3 hours 40 minutes
Distance: 10,57 km
Difference in height: 395m
Trail Type: Circular
Alcalalí – Coll de Rates – Parcent – Alcalalí
Benigembla – Cocoll – Castell de Castells
Mountain trail that leads to forgotten places of the Marina Alta (the upper shore area) and the the mythical Cocoll peak.
The Cocoll is an easy accessible peak amidst the cape that shapes the “nose” of the Iberian peninsula and therefore surrounded by water on all sides except the west. From here you can see the most important mountains in the provinces of Alicante and Valencia and on clear days even the Penyaglosa peak in the province of Castellón.
The route has its starting point in Benigembla and leads to Castell de Castells. Once there you can visit the Museum of Macro-Schematic Art that interprets the cave paintings of Pla de Petracos, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
When making this route please take into account that the signage is not complete and some sections are not signposted.
You should also provide the way back by car because the distance between Benigembla and Castell de Castells is considerable. On the way back you might like to visit Pla de Petracos – the access is well signposted on the road between the two towns. The route can also be done in reverse.
Distance/Time: Time: 5 h 40′ one way
Distance: 14.16 km
Difference in height: 725 m
Type of trail: linear
Benigembla – Cocoll – Castell de Castells
Hiking tour: Caminos de pieda y agua (‘paths of stone and water’)
Hiking tour along the Xaló river from Benissa to Benigembla.
This trail links all the municipalities in the Vall de Pop valley and reveals the importance of the local ethnological heritage derived from agricultural and rural architecture and linked to the use of water from the river Xaló or Gorgos.
Along the route you’ll find the elements that are part of the traditional hydraulic architecture such as wells, cisterns, basins, irrigation channels, waterwheels and water mills.
The trail also takes in various features of the local dry-stone architecture. Typical of the area, this construction technique involves the building of stone walls without using any type of mortar. The most stunning examples of dry-stone architecture can be seen in the terraces clinging to even the steepest of hillsides, but also in the construction of wells, corrals, shelters etc.
The trail mostly follows the course of the Xaló river, which runs through the heart of the Vall de Pop valley and which has not only shaped the ethnological heritage of the valley but is also of great ecological value and has been deemed a Site of Community Importance (SCI).
Time: 5.5 hours
Distance: 19,5 km
Difference in height: Low to very low
Difficulty: Very low
Type of trail: linear
Benissa – Senija – Lliber – Xaló – Alcalali – Parcent – Murla – Benigembla – Castell de Castells