Cherry blossom time is one of the year’s great events. Every springtime the cherry blossom in the Vall de la Gallinera, in the Marina Alta, rewards us with this spectacle. It is a phenomenon that usually occurs mid-March to early April depending on the weather.
The Costa Blanca Norte in general and Cumbre del Sol in particular is one of the loveliest places in Spain, known for its beaches and coves, but also for its interior. This area inland is one of the best places to see the cherry trees in bloom. It is a spectacle that has been acknowledged by the Comunitat Valenciana Tourist Office and also travel magazines such as Condé Nast Traveler. This district is up there with the best known parts of Spain, such as Alfarnate, in Málaga, the Valle del Jerte, in Cáceres, El Hornillo in Ávila and the Valle de las Caderechas in Burgos as one of the best places to view one of nature’s spectacles.
Historically known as a cherry producing area, La Vall de Gallinera is a village of 570 inhabitants that lies in a valley. The river Gallinera runs through it and it is ringed by the mountains of the Sierra del Almirante, the Sierra de la Albureca and the Sierra Foradada.
Benirrama, Benialí, Benissivà, Benitaia, La Carroja, Alpatró, Llombai and Benissili make up the area where you enjoy a unique sight in the Comunitat Valenciana region along the “8 Villages Trail”. This is the ideal way to discover the area as you pass by the natural springs, water troughs, charming little streets, the surrounding countryside and of course cherries. We tell you the best way to go about it!
Discover inland Costa Blanca Norte
The “8 Villages Trail” is a route that you take at any time of the year, as we have mentioned it is particularly recommended in March, to coincide with the cherry blossom that carpets the slopes of Vall de Gallinera with a blanket of white.
The trail is 14 kilometres long, although you can walk just parts of it as you wish. The route is signposted and runs mainly through tarmac farm tracks, with only slight inclines (with the odd exception) and so it is ideal for children on one of those sunny Sundays that are perfect for a family outing.
However, this is not a circular route, so the entire return trip is 28 kilometres which might be a bit much if you simply want to enjoy the countryside. So instead we recommend one of the following options:
- If you travel with 2 cars, you could leave one at the start, and park another one at the end of the trail, and that way you can walk the whole 14 km just one way.
- Simply walk a part of the route. In that case you could start out from one of the villages along the way. It would probably be best to choose one of the central villages which have the most services and facilities if you are planning to stop and eat, Benialí, where La Vall town council is located, is a good choice.
One of the main attractions along the route are the innumerable springs that bubble up fresh and clear from the mountain peaks of the Serra Foradà, on the southern side of the valley and from the Serra de l’Almirall, which encloses the valley to the north.
The trail is indicated at all times. In each village you will find panels containing information, as well as signposts at regular intervals along the way.
In short, this is a route for everyone, because you can walk the trail (and see the springs, public laundry places and enjoy the countryside in this beautiful valley) or by car and enjoy exploring all the villages.
The area is well kept with a lot of history and architectural, artistic and natural heritage. A spectacular landscape with its high mountains and a lively environment. We cannot think of a better plan close by, as spring approaches, than to have a wander around these eight villages with the cherry blossom as an added extra.
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