Over 5 years ago on our first trip when pulling into the castle carpark at Fuengirola we were greeted at our window by a friendly native voice saying “Are your names Paul & Andi”, not expecting anyone to know us in Spain we reluctantly admitted to it wondering how he knew us. It turned out that Ian & his wife Julia had been following our blog whilst also taking a year out around Europe. It just happened to be just before Pauls 50th and although we only spent a couple of days together initially a bond was cemented which has since seen us visit each others homes several times and have a weekend away together in our motorhomes. So when Jules and Ian told us that they would still be in Spain (just as they are at the end of their trip) as we arrived, we couldn’t forego the opportunity to get together again.
After our sprint through France we were ready for a rest, so after a search on Park4Night we found a beach park up just outside the small town El Puig north of Valencia.
With just a handful of motorhomes parked on a vast grassy area a stones throw from the the beach it felt like we had our own private back garden. A walk along the beach or prom took us to EL Puig in one direction and Pucol in the other. Both had a choice of restaurants and bars, shops and small supermarkets. Days spent enjoying the winter sunshine, beach dog walks, tapas lunches, BBQ’s and catching up. A perfect start.
As Jules and Ian took the road north we headed inland to the small town of Simat De La Valldigna where there’s a free aire with services. With the weather forecasting rain we got straight out for a walk. Surrounded by hills there’s several trails to choose from, we opted to follow the Font de Cirer/Font gran track. The route was well marked and took us up to 490 Meters for spectacular views across the town over it’s imposing monastery. Founded in 1297 it was one of the most important of it’s era. In 1835 it was abandoned and the place was plundered and destroyed. For decades, it lay in ruins, but now, the Valencian regional government has been restoring it slowly.
And while some areas are still in ruins, the Gothic style church is still standing and the inside is aparatntely quite breath-taking and can be visited for free. The monastery is surrounded by hundreds (if not thousands) of orange trees which can be found all over the valley.
If walking and history is your thing then this is a perfect spot off the beaten track. We didn’t see one other person on our 9km walk, so if it’s peace and quite you’re after then this is worth a visit.
We intended to stay a few days and walk some more trails but awoke the following day to heavy rain which didn’t abate all day, although the parking area is solid enough it’s on clay so the top surface turned into squelchy mud bath, and with more rain forecast we decided to move on after just two nights. It’s a spot we’d return to though in fairer weather.
It seems we may be dodging the rain for a while yet so off to find some hardstanding!
El Puig GPS 39.573405 -0.278048 Wild camping spot by beach and prom. No services.
Simat De La Valldigna GPS 39.041249 -0.307468 Free aire with services.
Until next time
Andi & Paul x