Discovering La Valldigna
The starting point of this amazing route is in Cullera. To get there you can either cycle (as we explained before in other articles… you can cycle down to El Palmar and then just follow the road to Cullera), or take a local (cercanía) RENFE train. As long as you respect regulations regarding when and how many travel in one compartment, you are allowed to take bikes; you can check www.renfe.es/cercanias/valencia for more details.
Once in Cullera, head south, crossing the Xúquer River, and then follow its right side, towards the sea. As a reference point, you will pass the Guardia Civil headquarters on your right as you head towards Tavernes de Valldigna. Having done three or four kilometres you will come to a path marked with a sign that says, ‘El Brosquil’.
We take this route and doing so enter countryside typical of Valencia’s coast; orange groves interspersed with marshes with high reeds and cane growing out of them. This minor path takes us towards the sea, to a little nucleus of houses evocatively named ‘El Silencio’. It’s a really pretty spot, with a thread of houses whose gardens run towards the sea. There is a wall of thick rock dividing them and the sea that is worth walking down, just to check out the houses.
Once you are at the mouth of the river, and when you have checked out the view of the south of la Cullera, head south towards Brosquil beach. This area is under threat from the urban planners in the Cullera Council, who are keen to introduce a golf course and build an urbanisation to go with it. Thanks to the current crisis, we can enjoy this little place because the plan was stopped.
Continuing towards the south, towards the beach of Tavernes de Valldigna, a really beautiful beach despite being a bit touristy, and once there follow the road sign posted towards Tavernes, in the lower part of the Valley de la Valldigna. There, look for the road that leads to Simat de la Valldigna, a beautiful village famous for its monastery; it’s worth it to take a look inside, the entry is free! Very close to the monastery you’ll find a street that leads you steeply upwards… but the view from the top is worth the effort. This road, surrounded by pine trees and other dense vegetation, heads up to the village Barx. A piece of advice; if you go to the fountain de la Puigmola, in the restaurant there you can eat one of the best paellas in the world, and enjoy that little spot with incredible forests and breathtaking views.
Once you’ve replenished your strength, and to add yet more beautiful pictures to the route, head down towards Gandía. From Barx head towards La Drova and then you’ll really start to enjoy one of the prettiest zones of the Safor area. It’s an amazing descent – although take care once you’ve got past La Drova as the road gets really winding, more narrow and the road surface is not what it could be. If you are brave enough, you can try to climb up to Mondúver, the highest peak in the area, where you can have unforgettable views of the coast.
The scenery is really stunning. A bit further on you come to Marxuquera and the road leads you towards Gandía, with pine trees giving way once again to orange groves as you cycle downhills. Once you’re in Gandia, you can either take a train back to Valencia in the RENFE station or follow one of our other recommended routes to somewhere else, heading south or going back to Cullera following the road close to the seashore.
Editor Manuel Aguilar,1