The suspension walkway of the Relleu reservoir: a heady experience
The small town of Relleu is located in the interior of the Marina Baixa region, just 18 kilometres from Villajoyosa, on a plain dotted with almond trees irrigated by the waters of the Amadorio River, just before reaching the coast in the historic centre of our marine municipality.
With its undeniable cultural attractions that include important monuments, traditions and gastronomy, in recent times, Relleu has become an essential visit for lovers of hiking. The reason for its success is the Relleu Reservoir Route. A circular path that starts in the centre of the municipality and extends for a total of nine kilometres until it reaches the old reservoir of Relleu, which dates back to the 17th century.
But, without a doubt, the star of the route is the spectacular wooden and glass walkway inaugurated this year. The platform, attached to one of the gorges of the canyon that follows the reservoir, defies a slope of more than 60 meters high, offering an absolutely spectacular view.
So much so that the most daring have come to call this route "El Caminito del rey alicantino" (the king's walkway), although no monarch has ever walked along it as on the well-known path of the Malaga mountains. Do you fancy a visit on your next getaway to the Hotel Montíboli?
The Relleu Reservoir circular route
This hiking route, suitable for everyone, starts from the urban centre of Relleu and runs mainly along an old rural horse path that has recently been recovered and is known as "Camí de les Ripalmes y del Fasamais", old place names of the area.
The route, about nine kilometres round trip, connects Relleu with its reservoir, built in the 17th century, when it became one of the pioneers throughout all of Spain.
The route runs along a lively terrain dotted with old irrigation ponds, dams, ditches, an old lime oven and little-travelled roads next to the rain-fed orchards of Relleu, where they grow olive, almond and carob trees, until reaching the colossal dam.
The Relleu Reservoir occupies a total area of 7.46 hectares and forms a true oasis for all kinds of fauna, which is why it has been protected by the Generalitat Valenciana as a wetland since 2002.
Today it is not used, in favour of the Amadorio Reservoir, located several kilometres downstream, the presence of water is reduced to a few months of the year, after the sporadic but characteristic episodes of torrential rains so typical of the Mediterranean climate, when an extensive lagoon that numerous amphibians take advantage of to reproduce and gain strength for the rest of the year. In addition, the vegetation that surrounds the swamp serves as an ecosystem for many other animal species.
The footbridge of the Relleu dam
Until the end of the 19th century and for nearly 200 years, no other dam was as tall and narrow in the entire country. Which still impresses today with its slenderness. Inspired by the gravity-arch type dam of Tibi, the oldest in Spain, the Relleu dam is of the vault-dam type and was at the time a true advance in engineering worldwide. In addition, its construction was a strong stimulus for agriculture in the area, especially promoted by the inhabitants of Villajoyosa.
This year the dam has a new attraction: a spectacular wooden walkway that extends for 212 meters through the gorge at a height of more than 60 meters. The very high walls of the canyon serve as a habitat for different rock birds, such as the Bonelli's eagle. Therefore, it is recommended to be respectful and silent during the visit, as the eagles may have located their nests very close to the walkway.
Be careful if you have vertigo! The impressive layout hangs from the wall in a display not suitable for all audiences, especially the large glass platform at the end of the walkway. A climax of heart pumping proportions to enjoy an unknown but spectacular corner of the province of Alicante.
In order to control the capacity of the wakway, you have to book your visit in advance as indicated by Relleu Town Hall in the following link. It has a cost of 2,50€.
How to get to Relleu Reservoir
Only 28 kilometres separate the Hotel Montíboli from Relleu, making it an ideal excursion to take during your holidays in the Pearl of the Mediterranean. Although there are regular buses that connect Relleu and Villajoyosa, the best means of transport to visit the Relleu Reservoir and its walkway is by car.
In the vicinity of the hotel, you should take the N-332 north, towards Valencia. A little over a kilometre away, take the CV-770 exit and immediately, at the roundabout, take the fifth exit, towards Sella. The path from this point is unmissable, as there are signs for Relleu at all times, having to take the fork in the CV-775 shortly before reaching Sella. In Relleu there are numerous car parks where you can leave your car. It is a beautiful path up the mountain, especially at the beginning of spring, when the almond trees are in all their splendour.
If you are thinking of a getaway to the Costa Blanca this coming spring, do not hesitate and don't miss this recently inaugurated wonder of nature. Book now at the Hotel Montíboli and enjoy a few days of rest and disconnection in one of the most exclusive corners of the Mediterranean that has so much to offer. We will be waiting for you!
Articles published in 2018