If you are based in or have previously stayed in Calpe for a cycling holiday or a training camp, there's a good chance you'll have tried some of the most popular routes and climbs near to the coast and understand the pros and cons of basing yourself on the coast. In this article, we will share 7 new routes, inland of Calpe that you probably have not tried and really must add to your bucket list when you visit the Valencia and Alicante region. From Calpe, you can reach some of the classic climbs of the Valencia and Alicante region by heading inland towards the mountains. Perhaps the best known local ride involves a loop of the Coll de Rates and other favourites might include Bernia Maserof and Cumbres de Sol. For longer rides, the Guadlest valley is also popular, but you should not turn around at Guadalest, as it gets even better towards Alcoy! We've been to camps and done many rides from Calpe and like to visit the local curry houses (mostly only available on the coast), but we much prefer to start our rides inland, as it's the best way to explore more of the regions best riding and mountains. Here are 7 of our favourites routes:
Serra Grossa Mountains The Serra Grossa mountains extend eastwards from the towns of Font de la Figuera to Gandia and separate the Vall d'Albaida from the Costera regions. There are many fantastic climbs most of which summit around 900m in elevation. Start / End : Ontinyent Distance 79km Climbing: 1328m Highlights: Climbs of Port Fontanars, Port Bosquet de Mogente and Ermita Sant Esteve, descend Port Paller.
Sierra Enguera The Serra Enguera mountains are a remote and stunning range that extends northwards from Moixent to Confrentes. It perhaps offers the most serene, beautiful and challenging road and gravel riding in the whole region. Start / End : Ontinyent Distance: 110 km Climbing: 2119m Highlights: Climbs of Port Portixol, Cumbres de Valencia, Puerto Paller. Awesome descent to Enguera and Port Portixol. This route descends Alt del Campello, another one of the regions hardest climbs and starts in Vallada.
Fontanars del Alforins Perhaps the perfect coffee ride, along the Val d'Abaida from Ontinyent to Fontanars del Alforins and through the heart of the area known as the Tuscany of Valencia. Start / End : Ontinyent Distance: 48 km Climbing: 500m Highlights: Pou Clar gorge, Bodegas Los Frailes and 12 km big ring descent from Fontnars to Ontinyent. Amazing cafes and restaurants in Fontanars and Ontinyent.
Serra Mariola National Park A route through and around the Serra Mariola national park, one of the must-do highlights of the Valencia and Alicante region. Start / End : Ontinyent Distance: 75 km Climbing: 1189m Highlights: Climbs of Port de Bocairent, Alt del Portell. RIde the Via Verde from Banyeres and stop at the vulure colony near Alcoy. There are of course lots of options fro extra climbs, not least Montcabrer and Las Canteras from Cocentaina.
Font Roja National Park How many National Parks do you want to ride through in a day? This route takes in the Ombria de Benicadell, Font Roja and Serra Mariola and offers climbs and scenery unlike anything to be found near the coast. Start / End : Ontinyent Distance: 125 km Climbing: 2400m Highlights: Climbs of Port de Beniarres, Alt del Revolcat, Font Roja. Ride through the Serra Mariola and enjoy the amazing descent to the Pou Clar gorge.
Biar and Xorret del Cati Perhaps the hardest climb in the region and many times a star in La Vuelta, Xorret del Cati is one of the hardest climbs in Pro cycling. The others on this route are not to be underestimated either. If you're feeling strong, Reconco de Biar and other climbs can be added to push 3000-4000m in a day. Start / End : Ontinyent Distance: 107 km Climbing: 2004m Highlights: Climbs of Port del Moro, Puerto Biar, Xorret del Cati, Puerto Canalis and nearly 30k of descent from Banyeres to Ontinyent, including the awesome Port de Bocairent.
Carricola Valley and Mount Benicadell A rolling route with gentle climbs through two National park areas. The ride around the lake is spectacular and it's a great way to stretch the legs if you've had several days of hard rides. Of courses, it's possible to ride L'Orcha, Miserat, Vall de Gallinera and D'Ebo from Planes if you want to make it a climbing day too.
Start / End : Ontinyent Distance: 88 km Climbing: 1400m Highlights: Climbs of Port Bocairent, Port Beniarres, Embalse de Beniarres and the Carricola valley. A stunning descent from Agres to Muro through the northern eastern Serra Mariola National Park.
We've so far only covered a few of the many options and will cover more in future posts, but in the meantime, you can find lots of climb information here?