Denia Montgo Natural Park
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Denia Montgo Natural Park
Denia Montgo Natural Park
Mount Montgó Natural Park
Walk around Dénia, do as you please!
The Montgó Natural Park was declared as such in 1987 in acknowledgement to its landscape, flora and fauna values.
The Natural Park rises 753 metres above sea level and shelters over 600 vegetable species. Amongst these we must point out the kermes oak, the red lavender, maritime fennel, the Valencia rock violet, the rock scabious, the black sabine or the palmetto.
As far as fauna is concerned, you can watch birds as the yellow legged seagull or the Audouin seagull, several crows, ravens and birds of prey (the partridge eagle, a couple of royal owls, popular kestrel ad the pilgrim falcon), reptiles, amphibians and mammals such as the dormouse, rabbit, badger, genet, etc
Go through the Short Distance Trails (PR V 152) or the green route. All these routes have been signposted and range from low to medium difficulty.
Discover caves such as the Cova de l’Aigua (Water Cave) or the Cova del Camell (Camel Cave), where you’ll be impressed by the views, feel nature around you, with the sea behind.
Walking trails in Mount Montgó Natural Park
The following walking trails A, B and C have been homologued by the Valencian Federation of Mountaineering. Homologation: PR V 152 In benefit of the park's conservation, please remember that you are in a natural protected area.
Try to go in small groups, make as little noise as possible, respect plants and animals, keep to the marked trail and do not leave rubbish or any traces of your excursion.
DISTANCE one way: 5,2 Km.
REQUIRED TIME one way: 1h 30min.
ALTITUDE: 190 m.
The magnificent panoramic vistas from this route grow more and more spectacular as one climbs higher. The cave itself is ordinary and is of no special interest.
REQUIRED TIME one way: 3.
ALTITUDE: 753 m.
As the route takes 3 hours to go and 3 hours to come back, it is advisable to Stara out in the morning. This route is hard-going for children and older people.
This route is of special interest as it reaches the summit of the Montgó and offers some breath-taking vistas. From there, one way follow the path that descends to the other Creueta that belongs to the district of Dénia.
REQUIRED TIME one way: 3 h. 30 min.
ALTITUDE: 694 m.
These are the same for the "Creueta" at the summit. It is also advisable to go back by the same way as the other existing paths are not marked and it is easy to lose one's way.
This route is the longest and offers some magnificent panoramic vistas.
Route A: The "Racó del Bou" trail
The timing and distance references are counted from the entrance panel, where the routes begin.
DISTANCE one way : 2,6 Km.
REQUIRED TIME one way: 55 min.
ALTITUDE: 190 m.
This route is the second shortest and one of the easiest. Although it is of lesser interest, one is in contact with nature and the walk is enjoyable and apt for all ages.
RACÓ DEL BOU (bull's corner)
The complete name is “Racó de l’ull de bou” (Bull’s eye corner). The Racó probably acquired its name from the shape of the mountain in that area. The sign showing one has arrived, is situated on a level stretch which is the most accessible point closest to the “Racó del bou”.
The “Racó del bou” is situated in an ample area of the Montgó (the shaded area) where one can find the following species: Kermes Oak (Querzus Cofifera), French heather (Erica Multiflora), Palm heart (chamaerops humilis), etc.
Route B: Cova de l'Aigua (The Water Cave)
REQUIRED TIME one way: 1 h 10 min.
ALTITUDE: 330 m.
Although this is the shortest route, it is of great interest as it offers beautiful panoramic vistas of the southern part of Dénia (Lloma del Castanyar, Les Rotes) and its surrounding areas. There is a roman inscription beside the cave called “Cova de l’Aigua”.
A few metres away to the left of the cave entrance, there is a roman inscription.
The text is a document that tells us of the existence of a military detachment which was to keep watch over the coast. Around the year 238 B.C. Lucius Alfius Donatus was commisioned to carve this epigraph into the rock thus proving the presence of a “vexilatio” from the 7th Gemina Legion in the surroundings of the “Cova de l’Aigua”. Its job was to impede any possible military intervention by the enemies of the emperor Maximino. (Source: Parque Natural del Montgó. Estudio multidisciplinar. Agència del Medi Ambient, Generalitat Valenciana)
Steps lead us to the entrance of the cave. Once in the cave, one must continue on the left hand side until one finds water on the cave floor. The cave is made up of three compartments and reservoirs. Only the first part of the cave is accessible.
Preroman and classic times: Common roman pottery, especially fragments of oil lams (4th and 5th centuries B.C.) have been found suggesting that the cave was used for religious ceremonies during which food and drink were offered. Lamps used for illuminatin the cave and related to different religious acts have also been found.
Muslim times: Fragments of containers for liquids prove that this cave continued to be used.
16th and 17th centuries: The cave was fitted with clay drains for catching rain water so it could be used as a reservoir which was to supply a predetermined area of Montgó.
Green Route
From the Cova de l'Aigua (Water Cave) to the Racó del Bou (the bull's corner)
Difficulty:: Low.
Estimated time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Difference in level: 350m.
The route starts at the hermitage built in the 1980s, next to the Pare Pere (18th c.) small shelter, a peculiar refuge where this famous person from Dénia would retire to pray and where we can watch this Franciscan’s life portrayed in Valencian ceramics. A few metres away the camí de la Colònia starts (Colony path). There is a chain stopping motorised vehicles from getting into the park and we can start our peaceful ascent along this comfortable path.
The path twists and turns crossing the today abandoned Montgó farming colony, a frustrated attempt (in the first third of the 20th c). to produce Muscat grapes. The area has suffered several fires, the traces of which can be seen throughout the route, although we can also observe how nature struggles to recover from these aggressions: lentisk trees (Pistacia lentiscus), kermes oak (Querqus coccifera), rockrose (Cistus), sarsaparilla (Smilax aspera), dentate lavender (Lavandula dentata), several kinds of orchids, etc. all these typical Mediterranean scrub vegetation, which work hard to recover the area’s vegetal cover.
We reach a crossroad on this path and we take the path on the left, towards the east. Approximately 200 metres away a narrow path on the left ascends to the feet of the walls of Mount Montgó’s northern face. In this area, with quite a damp and fresh atmosphere, ferns are frequent such as the polipodium (Polipodium cambricum), or plants such as the rusc (Ruscus aculeatus), and many others common in humid areas of the Mediterranean mountains. We must point out the rock endemic plants such as the herba santa (Carduncellus dianius), the desferracavalls (Hipocrepis valentina) or the rock scabious (Scabiosa saxatilis), amongst others; we must not forget that we are in a flora micro reserve and that many of the plants around us are strictly protected.
As we continue going up, the landscape becomes more impressive and our sight can reach all the Gulf of Valencia, the mountains of la Safor, Cullera, the Mediterranean Sea and, in clear days, the island of Eivissa in the horizon to the east.
Once we have reached the thick mountain walls, to reach the Cova de l'Aigua we’ll have to take the crossroad in the path going east, and we’ll reach a steep stairway, which will take us to the cave. Before getting in, we’ll find a Roman inscription in the rock dated in 238 AD, protected by a metallic grille. A little further up, you can enter the cave, which collects rainwater inside, filtered by the sandstone of Mount Montgó. The water is kept by a stratum of impermeable loamy clays. In the past this small cave was conditioned as a water deposit, which was used and canalised for human use, and even to irrigate small orchards at the feet of Mount Montgó.
Retracing our steps and always following the crossroads towards the west, we shall go through the most luxuriant shady area in Mount Montgó, and we’ll be able to see some of the park’s rarest species such as the flower ash trees (Fraxinus ornus) or cornicabra (Pistacia terrebintus). Little by little, we’ll descend to the Racó del Bou or de l'Ull de Bou, owing its name to the shape of the walls in this point (bou meaning bull), where we’ll take the Colony’s Path, taking us back to the Pare Pere Hermitage.
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