I mentioned recently that I was in rural Spain, and although staying near the sea, there is an impressive series of mountains near by. Driving on the mountain roads of Spain is quite an experience, with plenty of narrow roads filled with bends winding around the hills, frustratingly short of places to stop to enjoy the breathtaking views.
From Els Poblets, near Denia, there are a number of interesting drives that involve mountain roads. A visit to the little town of Pego is relatively easy, and the Cueva de las Calaveras – The Cave of Skulls – near Benidoleig makes an interesting visit. From Denia, a drive along the coast road over the Montgo – a local mountain – to the town of Javier is certainly worth doing; if the views and the beaches aren’t enough for you then the carting track on the other side might be.
However, a longer and more spectacular drive is that to the fortress town of Guadalest. The easiest way to get there is to drive down the AP7, the motorway that runs along the Mediterranean Coast, but if you are brave enough, then the CV715, the road through the mountains, provides a fantastic drive. The journey out starts relaxed only to suddenly start a steep climb up the side of a hill, with little at places between you and the edge. The short metal barrier seems to give limited protection as you snake along the roads barely big enough at times to take a vehicle in each direction. There are a few places to stop and take in the view along the way.
A turn onto the CV755 is required for the last part of the journey. Just before Guadalest is a rather nice motorcycle museum that’s worth a visit, and certainly worth the couple of Euros charged for admission. The little restaurant beside the museum is also a good spot for lunch, particularly if you are a fan of both chicken and garlic.
Guadalest itself is impressive, and provides great views not just of its castle, but the neighbouring countryside and the turquoise lake forming a reservoir below it.
The town is just above Benidorm, so the road back to the coast sees mountains replaced with giant accommodation blocks as you get closer to the sea.
I’ve taken the drive a few times and still enjoy it. Definitely recommended.