Hiking Chulilla and The Hanging Bridges (Valencia)
This post has been contributed by Dmitry at Valencia Mountain Enthusiasts. He offers hikers a multitude of hikes in the Valencia region (you’ll find more details at the bottom of this post).
Chulilla is one of the most popular travel destinations in Valencia. A deep canyon with high cliff walls, you follow the Turia river while crossing several suspension bridges. It is one of the most beautiful hiking routes in the entire Valencian Community.
The route starts from the main square of the village of Chulilla – Plaza de la Baronia. The best way to do this hike is in a clockwise direction, this way you will leave the hanging bridges till the very end and get to enjoy the scenery, anticipating the excitement of crossing the bridges. First, you head down towards the Charco Azul, following the signposts from the main square. As you make your way down into the canyon, stay on the right side to walk on the narrow path next to the irrigation channel.
Soon, the path will bring you to Charco Azul – the most Instagrammable spot in Chulilla. Recently the local town hall installed a floating boardwalk that helps you to walk further into this pond and take beautiful pictures. On the right side you will see the remains of a gangway. It was used by the people who built the Loriguilla dam, finished back in 1965. The workers had to walk to and from the dam every day, so they built these gangways as well as the hanging bridges, as a shortcut, which made their commute easier.
After exploring the area around Charco Azul, take the wide gravel path which will take you through the canyon and around the village of Chulilla. Soon, you will see the signposts for PR-CV 77 trail, which you will follow for the rest of the hike. The gravel path changes into a single track trail here, which starts going uphill gently. After some 40 minutes of hiking through pleasant scenery you will get to the cave paintings of Barranco de Falfiguera. The cave paintings are on the other side of the ravine, so you will need to either take the steep trail down or follow the path until you get to the bottom of the ravine and turn left making your way back for about 300 metres. Here you will need to look for a narrow passage in between the rocks, which takes you to a ladder that facilitates the ascent to the cave paintings.
In order to get back on the trail, just take the path through the ravine, heading West until you see the white and yellow blazes of the trail again. After a bit of easy scrambling, you will find yourself on another wide gravel road. Take a right turn here and follow the road, which goes upwards for about 2 kilometres from here. The ascent comes with a reward – you will get great views of the Loriguilla reservoir at the pass. The road continues downhill and takes you almost all the way down to the blue waters of this reservoir.
Finally, you are getting closer to the hanging bridges! After following the paved road for a while, you will pass a small parking lot and then see another PR-CV 77 signpost, indicating that the bridges are very close now. You will enter the canyon again and get to gaze at its immense red and yellow walls as you hike through. Make sure to pay attention to the wall on your right, as in winter you will see plenty of rock climbers all along this way. Eventually, you will arrive at the spot where the two famous bridges are. Take your time to take plenty of photos and use the opportunity to touch the fresh waters of the Turia river.
The final part of the trail goes slightly uphill. Again, it comes with a reward, as you will get better and better views of the river below you. At the end of the ascent you will get to see the boardwalk at the Charco Azul, but this time from the very top of the canyon. Here you will find a lookout point and a sign reminding you not to throw rocks down into the canyon. You will pass by another parking space and after some 5 minutes of walking along the road you will be back in Chulilla. There are plenty of bars here to have a refreshing drink or an energising coffee after a long day of hiking.
Note: Expect the entire hike to take 5 to 6 hours.
Dmitry has given you all the information you need to do the hike by yourself. But if you you prefer taking a tour, he does that. He’ll pick you up at your hotel, drive you to the starting point of the hike, and guide you along the hike while pointing out all the highlights.
Also have a look at the Valencia Mountain Enthusiasts page to see all his upcoming hikes.