Mariola is one of the most emblematic mountains of the Valencian Community. It is known since ancient times for its plant richness, for its sources and even its waterfalls. Thus, this mountain range, located between the provinces of Alicante and Valencia, hides numerous corners that surprise both locals and foreigners. We visited one of them: the birth of the Vinalopó.
The Vinalopó river is the second in importance by length in the province of Alicante, only surpassed by Segura, which flows into Guardamar, in the Vega Baja region. Nor is it one of the most abundant, as there are some shorter Alicante rivers, such as the Serpis, the Guadalest or the Algar, through which water circulates all year round.
The Vinalopó: a river? singularVinalopó river in Villena
Despite this, the Vinalopó is a unique river. Or better, it is a typical river-rambla of the Mediterranean, with a very irregular flow. In some sections it does not carry water, but sometimes it can experience very important floods with catastrophic consequences.
Except at birth, the little water that the river carries is salty and with a certain degree of pollution. The low flow that leads to Elche is subsequently used to irrigate the fields in the area. Therefore, today it does not have a natural mouth to the Mediterranean.
But nevertheless, upstream the thing changes. If we approach Banyeres de Mariola, one of the highest altitude villages in the province of Alicante and gateway to the Sierra de Mariola Natural Park, we can enjoy the Vinalopó, with its fountains and waterfalls.
A walk through the birth of the VinalopóWaterfalls in the Vinapoló
The birth of Vinalopó is in the Bocairent term (Valencia). However, it is easier to access from the hostel d'Ull de Canals and from the urban center of Banyeres, which is well worth a visit for its spectacular castle, hermitages, fountains and views of the surroundings.
If we follow the indications of the natural park, after a beautiful walk between pines and fields, you get to Blanes factory. It is one of the many flour or paper mills that are located along the upper section of the Vinalopó.
After wading the river through a beautiful stone bridge, we will follow the signs of the natural park signs. A winding path will allow us to enjoy the pools, waterfalls and backwaters of the Vinalopó near his birth.
All this, under the riverside vegetation. This will provide us with a pleasant shade in summer and beautiful shades in spring and autumn. We are already in the magical Mariola!
Fountains and waterfalls of the Sierra de MariolaWaterfalls in the Vinapoló
Few minutes later we will arrive at the Font de la Coveta, popularly considered as the birth of the Vinalopó for its uninterrupted flow throughout the year. However, the true birth of the river is upstream, although in times of drought the water does not run.
After enjoying this beautiful place, we retrace our steps back to the Blanes factory. Near We can visit one of the most unknown waterfalls in the Sierra de Mariola. We talked about the Toll Blau, near the birth of the Vinalopó.
Shortly after passing the factory, towards the hostel of l'Ull de Canals, there is a path that goes into the river. Between pools, waterfalls and small rapids, we reach a dream place. We don't tell you anything else: the surprise is at the end!
By last, We can return to the town of Banyeres to enjoy its cuisine and its steep streets. Another option is to approach the recreational area of Molí l'Ombria, on the side of the Vinalopó. In this place we find more pools and waterfalls. From here depart several hiking trails. All this 45 minutes from Alicante. Viennese?