Vuelta de Serella - Costa Blanca
Abdet - Guadalest - Callosa D'en Sarria - Tarbena - Castell de Castells - Farmoca - Facheca - Gorgos - Benesau - Confrides - Abdet.
This ride will be a full days outing for most. 90km. 1800 Metres of Ascent. If you do the tour in an anti-clockwise direction you will have an easy first hour as the majority of it is downhill! Leave Abdet and turn left on the CV 70 - Callosa D'en Sarria is signposted. This is the busiest road of the route so take care, particularly on a Sunday when there are groups of motorcyclists around. Enjoy the amazing views across to Serella. Our ride take us to the other side of these peaks. If you look closely you will spot the remains of Serella Castle on one of the highest fins of rock.
After passing through Benimantell take the road to Guadalest/Callosa and soon the village of Guadalest is reached with its rocky pinacles and ancient castle. Immediately beyond you start decending the fantastic twists and turns of the old road to Callosa, this is guaranteed to put a smile on your face! You are likely to see more cyclists than cars on this section. After crossing the Rio Guadalest (motorbike museum and tourist shop - good for dried fruit, nuts, etc) the road contours along to the old brick factory chimney at the edge of Callosa. Take the road right through this busy town which is centre of the valley's fruit growing industry. At the roundabout take the junction signposted Bollula (straight on) and the town is soon left behind. There are whole hillsides covered with netting here. These nets are to protect the valuable Nisperro crops which is a type of Medlar. The fruits are shipped as far as Japan.
There is a possible small detour here to the Fonts D'algar. A narrow ravine with waterfalls and walkways - as well as cafes and at the weekend buses of tourists! It is worth a look though, particularly during the week,
At Bollula your easy start comes to an end and the steep initial section of the climb to Tarbena comes as a bit of a shock. However the gradient does ease and hopefully you will have enough energy to enjoy the views up to Tarbena. One of the cafes just before Tarbena is an ideal stop after the long climb and allows you to take in the panoramic outlook over the Bollula Valley.
Keep on the main road here and climb out of the village through almond groves and after a km or so turn left toward Castell de Castells (pictured at the top of this article). There are superb views down to the Col de Rates road as you continue to climb gradually underneath some spectacular outcrops. You now get views of the north side of the Serella and Aixorta peaks for the first time as you reach a high area of almond terraces and the farm building of Casa Bixauca. A few kms further on a deceptively steep climb is followed by a fast decent to the Castell de Castells road (possible short detour into village), otherwise turn left at the junction and take the undulating road to Famorca and Facheca. This part of the ride feels very remote and peaceful as you pass through the pine forests.
At Quatrotondeta take a detour through the narrow streets of the village (watch out for the wheel eating grids). If you take the right turns you will be spat back out on the the main road in the direction of Gorgos. It is possble to turn left to Benasau soon after leaving the village on a minor (unsignposted) road. However we recommend that you take the route through Gorgos as you will pass through some unusual scenery where the River Ceta has carved into some soft grey rock.
A few kms after crossing the river you turn left to Gorgos. There is a good but basic bar as you leave the village and you will get a large Bocadillo de Tortilla (omlette sandwich) for about 3 euros.
Another few kms and you rejoin the CV 70 (turn left) and a long straight section to Benasau (another good bar at the far end of the village on the CV 70). There is 300 Metres of steady ascent now to the Puerto de Confrides. An alpine style climb up impressive switchbacks. The col (Puerto) is the high point of the ride and heralds the decent to Confrides and return to Abdet. It is worth allowing time for one (or more) of the several great cafe stops en route.
For more info on cycling in this area visit www.abdet.com
|Tarbena||are we there yet?||bowling through Bolulla|