Just a mere 1 hour and 15 minutes’ drive from the vibrant city of Valencia lies the enchanting village of Montanejos, nestled amidst the picturesque  scenery of the Sierra de Espadan Natural Park. Montanejos is celebrated for its iconic thermal river, ‘Los Estrechos’, boasting waters that maintain a constant temperature of 25ºC throughout the year. While this might seem relatively cool compared to the body’s natural temperature of around 36ºC, the crystalline clarity of the water is believed to possess therapeutic qualities, making it an ideal sanctuary for seekers of tranquillity, away from the hustle and bustle of urban life.

On a blistering summer’s day, it is undeniable these waters would be a welcome dip after hiking through the mountains, following the path along the coast of the Mijares river. Embarking on the scenic three-hour hike reveals the awe-inspiring natural beauty of the surroundings, treating adventurers to panoramic views of the village and guiding them alongside a stream that cascades at a rate of 6000 litres per minute. Additionally, an invigorating 45-minute hike leads to ‘La Cueva Negra’, The Black Cave of Montanejos, steeped in allure with its enigmatic ambience, distinctive geological formations, and rich history, rumoured to have once sheltered bandits and outlaws centuries ago.

The journey to Montanejos from Valencia is a scenic drive through winding mountain roads enveloped by lush forests and stunning vistas. Whether lounging by the thermal river, conquering mountain trails, or simply savouring the company of friends, the trip leaves a lasting impression. Every Sunday, ‘Happy Erasmus’ offers guided tours to Montanejos, presenting the ideal culmination to your week with worry-free transportation and expert guidance, allowing you to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature, indulge in refreshing swims, and relish the journey without any concerns.

Ensure you come prepared with suitable hiking attire, including shoes resilient to mud, and don’t forget to bring along your swimsuit and towel for a rejuvenating dip in the thermal waters. Remember to shield yourself from the sun’s rays by applying sunscreen and wearing a sunhat, and layer up for the cooler winds of the beginning of the year.

Exploring Montanejos with Happy Erasmus allows you the perfect opportunity to savour a picnic amidst the stunning vistas of the Montanejos mountains. Pack a nourishing and delectable lunch along with plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated throughout the adventure. With everything taken care of, you can fully immerse yourself in the wonders of Montanejos, leaving the worries of the week behind.

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Report by Abi Kara-Fernandes

Article copyright ‘24/7 Valencia’

‘Montanejos’ photo copyright Abi Kara-Fernandes / 24/7 Valencia

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