Despite being known throughout Europe as a rock climber’s paradise, Montanejos offers paradise to those less inclined to steep inclines as well. Just a little over an hour outside the city of Valencia, the little town of Montanejos nestled into the mountains is the perfect escape from the city when you’re craving to be surrounded by nature.
As with any mountain town, you’ll know you’re close when the roads start winding and the views become breathtaking. The river Mijares is perfectly framed by the mountains generously covered with lush green trees that contrast with the colorful rock.
So what is there to do there? There’s a little something for everyone. For those looking to relax, there’s the Fuente de los Baños which is a natural thermal spring with beautiful mineral waters. Beware that thermal does not mean hot – it’s still a little cool, but definitely worth a dip. They say that Zayd Abu Zayd, the last Almohad governor of Valencia, ordered that this area be created for him and his harem in the 13th century.
For those looking to pick up the pace a little and get some exercise in, there are a number of trails that offer stunning views of the mountains. Hikes range in duration from 1 to 3 hours and have a range of difficulty levels.
One of the hikes takes you up to a huge cave that was once inhabited by bats.
For those really looking to make their heart race, a number of groups offer different activities that you can do on the river, like rafting, which I highly recommend. No experience is necessary. The guides are well-trained, and the rapids are exciting enough to get the adrenaline rushing without inducing any heart attacks. And the views you get floating along the river are incomparable – unfortunately I didn’t risk my phone to take pictures, but trust me on this one.
Whether you’re looking for a peaceful retreat or a thrilling adventure, Montanejos is the perfect place to spend a weekend – or two, if you fall in love with it like I did.
The world awaits…discover it.