Extend your trip to the village of Guadalest and walk the Guadalest reservoir loop. It is without a doubt one of the most scenic hikes in the Alicante area! This post includes a detailed description of an easy hike as well as suggestions for slightly more challenging routes.
El Castell de Guadalest is a small Spanish village in the province of Alicante, built on a hill, 587 meters (1900 feet) above sea level. This quaint village is mostly known for its castle and bell tower.
In summer, this place is flooded with tourists who usually plan their visit to Guadalest from a few hours up to a day. And no wonder. Guadalest is small and even with visiting all the museums there, you probably don’t need more than half a day to see everything.
But, if you are an avid hiker or like active holidays, then a hike around Guadalest reservoir is one of the things you should not miss!
The turquoise blue water, the mountains everywhere you look, and the views of villages surely make this route a memorable experience.
There are at least 3 variations of this hike. All of them vary in levels of difficulty. In this post, I will talk in detail about the easiest route but will also include trails for the rest of them so you can compare and plan accordingly.
Easy hike around Guadalest reservoir
Drive from the village (or your accommodation) down to Guadalest reservoir (embalse de Guadalest).
Park your car and walk over the dam/reservoir and follow the road up (this is a very quiet road, with only a few cars passing by). You will be walking slightly uphill at the beginning but after a while the hike is pleasant.
At some stage, you will reach the best spot for taking photos (the Guadalest village in the background with the reservoir below and mountains all around) so make sure to take some.
After about an hour of walking (or more), the winding road will bring you to a crossroads. You will hear a river/spring on your left and see a small bridge. Walk over the bridge and turn left right away. Continue up the hill (you will pass the public swimming pool on your left).
Once you climbed the hill, you will see 2 paths – one to the right – going up (this is asphalted road that leads to one of the villages; one to the left, – going down). Choose the left path.
When you reach a wide flat area (there is a rubbish container right in front of you), keep walking. In about 1-2 minutes of walking, you should reach a spring that you have to cross. (btw: this area is a bit run down and dirtier than the rest of the hike).
Keep walking. After a while, you will finally reach a crossroad with proper signs showing you where to go. To finish your hike around Guadalest reservoir you turn left (if you turned right, you would walk 30 minutes uphill until you reached the village of Benimantell. From there you can walk up to Guadalest. But for this hike, you would need to start in Guadalest village – see below Hike 2).
After 20 minutes or so of leisurely walking (pretty much flat dusty road) alongside the dam, you will get back to your starting point.
This hike takes about 2.5 hours with a leisurely walk. At a quicker pace and rarely any stops (which is hard to do with so many beautiful picture opportunities and views) you can do it in 2 hours.
Detailed trails on Wikiloc:
Hike 1: Guadalest Reservoir Loop.
Hike 2: El Castell de Guadalest – Reservoir – Benimantell village – El Castel de Guadalest (this one is marked as EASY but the first 15 minutes are very tough walking down a pretty steep hill in my opinion!).
Hike 3: El Castell de Guadalest (village) – Reservoir Loop – El Castell de Guadalest (you will start and finish the hike with a pretty steep hill so keep this in mind. It is challenging).
For more hike routes, visit the local tourist office or the Guadalest website.
- Bring plenty of liquids with you.
- Wear comfortable shoes – preferably hiking shoes or anything that you have done long walks in is the best (most of the walk/hike is done on a road so even sandals will work).
- Start early in the morning or late afternoon to avoid the heat. We did this hike 3 times starting at 7:30 in the morning. Each day the temperature was completely different. Note that when heading through the reservoir in the morning, you will be in a shade for about 1.5 hours which is good but it can get cold also).
- The car park near Guadalest reservoir is very small so can get full quickly, especially during weekends.
- For the best experience, rent an apartment and stay 1 or 2 nights. We booked via Airbnb and were happy with our choice. Note that accommodation prices vary, depending on the season. There are rarely any last-minute deals and never in summer so it’s best to check well ahead.