This is the beginning of a long journey covering the southern part of the Valencia coast towards Calpe. Because of its length, we’ll divide it into sections so that you’ll get a more detailed account of how to do it yourselves…
The first part of the route, leading from the city of Valencia to El Saler, has already been covered in a previous 24/7. In brief: The old riverbed is the best starting point, because the bike path to Pinedo and El Saler begins in Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, out of the riverbed and opposite to the El Saler commercial mall.
We have to cycle to get out of town, parallel to Camino de las Moreras; the bike path is new and in good condition, they did a good job. All we have to do is follow the bike path and we’ll arrive first in Pinedo, a really nice place to stop and have a drink. Pinedo was a little village of fishermen, now you can enjoy a lovely promenade full of bars and restaurants. Once we leave Pinedo, we’ll get into the natural protected area of El Saler.
El Saler is the most beautiful jewel of Valencia. You can admire the incredible pine tree forest, full of bushes and typical Mediterranean plants, or be delighted with the long beach. To keep on with your ride and get to L’Albufera, you’ve got to find the village of El Saler. When you are cycling from the beach to the village of El Saler, you’ll find the Valencia to Cullera asphalt road, and alongside it is a bike path that leads you to El Palmar and L’Albufera. The first part of the bike path will show you what we were talking about before… this amazing forest and then we’ll change the landscape and get into the marshes.
Just after L’Albufera the route which will run most of the way to Calpe begins. The first village along the route is Perellonet, where tourism and traditional farming happily coexist. Then El Perelló is an old traditional fishing village; the largest village until we come to the built-up town of Cullera. The next town is Las Palmeras, another traditional tourist area and once past this, there is a stretch that really shows how this area used to be. The Marenys are a group of small fishing villages that still have an ‘olde worlde’ feeling with low-built houses, some of which have been converted into summer homes.
Once past these villages, take either the coast towards Cullera, or the inland road has the best views over rice fields, especially if you cycle it late afternoon just as the sun is beginning to set. The rice fields are a beautiful changing landscape. At this time of the year, you can see a huge green expanse of flooded fields with the rice growing. This road will lead you to the back side of Cullera, but if you take the coastal road, you’ll find another beautiful landscape, cycling close to the seashore and getting to Cullera lighthouse before discovering the ugly buildings full of tourists in the summer months.
In the next issue of 24/7 Valencia, we’ll cycle from Cullera to Gandía… don’t miss it!!
Editor Manuel Aguilar,1