GR7 TRIP. Bocairent – Mariola.

                                                                              Covetes dels Moros.

 I had a short day ahead of me, achieved by splitting a long day into two and by staying on a camp site this coming night. There was a lot to see in Bocairent so after breakfast set off to explore. Narrow medieval streets and steps, gateways, fountains, unique bullring, gardens all featured on a marked walk around the town. But there are also two important sites  across the valley outside the town. On a rocky hilltop at 750m is the 16th century Chapel of Santo Cristo reached from a bridge below the town by the winding ‘Stations of the cross’ path.

Chapel de Santo Cristo.

                                                     Chapel of  Santo Cristo.

Too soon after breakfast to tramp up there.

Instead I was more interested in Covetes dels Moros a series of caves and windows carved into a rock face as seen in the heading photo. [don’t forget to click to enlarge] I arrived at the steps down to the ravine only to find them closed off today – Monday. As are most other things in Spain on a Monday! Undeterred I made my way over the barrier and up to the rock face for a closer view.

There are 53 windows and ‘rooms’.  Their origin seems to be obscure and they are difficult to date [?11thcentury]. Their purpose also is only speculated at – granaries, monastery or funeral chambers are suggested. Obviously today I couldn’t gain access. Will have to be content with  —

Back up to the square for a coffee and bocadillo before setting off towards the Sierra De Mariola to the south. The GR7 seems to take a circuitous route on roads but on the map there seemed to be an old way up to Ermito St. Jaume. And so it proved – a lovely, obviously ancient, winding path gradually gaining height through the trees and limestone bluffs. I was quite pleased with my find.

 Came out onto the  high plateau of Mariola, rejoined the GR7 and strolled along to Ermita de Santa Barbara. Here there was a fountain of good water, Font de Pla, and an amazingly old black poplar tree propped up by masonry. The hermitage was extensive and ornately decorated with a little chapel at one end. Lovely place for a break and an orange.

                                                       Ermita de Santa Barbara.

                                            Ornate window.

 The path now passed through a forest of oak and pines undulating along the Sierra De Mariola at just under the 1000m mark. The sun continued to shine and keep up the temperature. There was a touch of autumn colour appearing.My lodging for the night was not the best but there was a half decent shop; so I ate well and then slept warm under a clear starry night.

                                        Camping Mariola.

2 thoughts on “GR7 TRIP. Bocairent – Mariola.


    Here is attempt two at posting this comment.

    This seems altogether more rugged and isolated walking than most of the GR walking I have done in France. I notice in your pic one of those uncomfortable paths made up of rocks like semi-spherical tennis balls – I encountered many of these on the French Gorges walk. Click to enlarge reveals an unbelievable increase in detail.

    1. bowlandclimber Post author

      Yes walking in Spain has a different dimension to the more manicured French paths, rougher and demanding more care with navigation. The Spaniards could make much more of this potential.


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