Leaving Murcia in the morning, we take the A7 to Alicante, until we arrive at Crevillente, at the foothills of the Serra de Crevillent. This is a very dry region, and the vegetation surrounding the town consists mainly of Carob trees, Almond trees, Olive trees and Esparto.
Historically, Crevillente dates back to Roman times, and in 1263, during the times of the Reconquista, James the 1st of Aragon captured the city from the Moors, after which, it became part of the kingdom of Valencia. Crevillente has a long and fascinating history, and was occupied even before the arrival of the Romans in Spain, some 2,000 years ago.
Early settlements were established by the Iberians, and these were extended somewhat, when the Romans arrived, though the town did not really develop, until the Moorish occupation, when new agricultural methods enabled the area to be cultivated.
From Crevillente, we take National Road N-325, a great stretch of road with many curves and very good asphalt, known as “Crevillente Canyon”. Circumventing Alicante, we will ride the N-340 to Xixona, from where the typical local dish “Turrón” originates. Turrón, also known as torró, torrone, turrone, torrão, turon or nougat, is typically made of honey, sugar, and egg whites, with toasted almonds or other nuts, and usually shaped into either a rectangular tablet, or a round cake. We’ll have to try one, while we’re there…
After stocking up on enough Turrón to last us through the following days, we’ll continue onwards to Puerto de la Carrasqueta, a true paradise for motorcyclists, due to the thousands of curves, and the exceptional condition of the asphalt. The ascent is long and mostly steady, with a few hairpin turns and straight sections, that seem to go on forever. It begins where the CV-780 joins the CV-800 main road, just north of Xixona.
From there, we’ll ride the winding CV-70, through Confrides, to the monastery town of Guadalest. We’ll take a break in Guadalest to enjoy its historical buildings and streets, as well as the breathtaking views from the monastery above.
Surrounded by the Aitana, Serella & Xorta Mountains, Guadalest was a strategic military stronghold, with fortifications dating back to 715AD and the period of Moorish occupation of Spain. It has a long history, and saw a lot of action during the Moorish occupation. In 1644, a strong earthquake seriously damaged the fortress and the houses of the village, and during the War of the Spanish Succession, Guadalest suffered even more serious damage from a mine explosion.
Declared a 'Monument of Historical and Artistic Value’, the town of Guadalest has grown up around the fortress, where the population originally lived within the protection of the castle walls. The castle can only be entered through one small tunnel, cut through the rock at the San Jose gate. The area inside the walls includes the ancient city dungeon, the bell tower, the Castle of Saint Josep, the Orduña House, the parish church and the fortified Moorish building, ‘Alcozaiba’.
Just outside the San Jose gate are the houses that the Moors lived in. “El Arrabal" with its little streets and squares, is where the majority of the shops, craft shops, museums and restaurants are situated today.
After visiting Guadalest, we will ride along some great winding roads to the hilltop town of Altea, where we take a look around the old town, and enjoy the beautiful views of Mediterranean Sea, from several viewpoints overlooking the coastline.
From Altea, we’ll ride back along the Costa Blanca towards Murcia, passing Vilajoiosa and El Campello, arriving back in Murcia for an evening of exploration or recovery, depending on your riding style!
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