Spanish Road Trip 2022 - Day 11 Nogueruelas back to Benidorm
Spanish Road Trip 2022 - 4th August. The Journey home Nogueruelas to Benidorm via Montanejos and Sagunto 283km
After another amazing Spanish Road trip its time to head home, but not before stopping off at one of our favourite places Montanejos.
We visited Montanejos last year and fell in love with the area. Montanejos is located in the Province of Castellón,, which is part of the Valencian Community and only about 247km from Benidorm.
Embalse de Arenós This reservoir is about 3km from the town of Montanejos, work on the reservoir began in April 1970 and it took until 15th July 1977 to relocate everyone that lived in the area. Under the waters are several villages, Romeral, Torcas, Masadica and a few others that seem to have been forgotten over time, the dam itself was completed in 1977, it is 109 meters high and about 500 m thick at the base.
Today tourists can enjoy kayaking adventures on the pristine waters of Lake Arenós.
El Chorro - The JET
The real pièce de résistance in this area for us is what is called El Chorro, The JET, which is a giant water spout (drainage point or spillway) from the Arenos Reservoir. This is so amazing, its hard to describe just how beautiful and how powerful it is abut 41,000 litres of water flow out per second.
Walking through what seems like a fine mist of icy cold water is an experience you will never forget, it feels like you are in the middle of a storm of icy rain and wind as you get pulverized by the spray, and the noise is out of this world.
If you are not brave enough to walk through the mist to get to the river on the other side there is a observation bridge where you can get some fantastic photos, which is where the video below was taken from.
To be honest we are never sure if we should be here, but there are parking space for a few cars and there are always others here, but there is also a sign stating "passage is forbidden" most people clamber down the rocks to reach the path to the jet, but there is a road which is a lot safer.
Montanejos and Fuente de los Baños de Montanejos
The town itself is very small with only 2 or 3 hotels available and just over 600 residents, but it is such a popular area, especially during the summer months, that you would need to book a hotel here well in advance.
What makes this area a favourite for many is the Fuente de los Baños de Montanejos which we spent time at last year, enjoying the Mijares River with its natural thermal swimming pool, the river is dotted with pebble beaches and areas suitable for swimming and paddling.
The water at the main font is said to maintain a constant temperature of 25ºc all year round. although we didn’t feel it was that warm, but then it was 38ºc. This thermal pool has hydrogeochemical and biological properties (mineral baths), which are said to have positive effect on our health.
According to a legend, the Moorish king Zeit-Abu-Zeit built some baths here so that the women in his harem would always remain beautiful and young. We also tried this last year, and are neither younger nor more beautiful...... Remains of the ancient Arab baths from the 12th century can still be seen on the bank of the river.
There are quite a few different car parks in the area, and there is a small entry fee (around 4.00€ for adults) to the river and thermal spring, but its well worth it. during high season there are toilets and showers and somewhere to change and a kiosk for refreshments and snacks.
There are some amazing rugged ravines and this whole area is well worth a visit.
Spanish Road Trip 2022 - Sad to be leaving one of our favourite places we continue on with our journey home, stopping off at Sagunto.
Sagunto - Situated 30km from Valencia and is best known for the remains of the ancient Iberian and Roman city of Saguntum. One the most visited sites is the Castillo de Sagunto this fortress overlooks the town. The site's history extends back over two thousand years and includes Iberian, Roman and medieval remains The castle was declared a National Monument in 1931.
Sagunto´s Roman theatre was built in the 1st century and has also been declared a National Monument. It was built making use of the concave shape of the mountain and has exceptional acoustics, with two semi-circular seating areas carved out of the rock, with room for 6,000 spectators.
Unfortunately it was just too hot at 38ºc for us to explore the area as much as we wanted, so Sagunto is on the list for a return visit another time of the year, when its a bit cooler.
A short distance from Sagunto town is the port, with 13 kilometres of sandy beaches dotted with sand dunes making this a popular area for tourists.
The last part of our journey Sagunto to Benidorm, when you are on your way home, you just want to get there quickly, so for the 1st time in 11 days we used the motorway, hence nothing exciting to report.
Arriving safely back in Benidorm, that is the end of this years road trip, we have thoroughly enjoyed it once again, having visited some amazing places, stayed in various accommodation, some good and some that will be remembered for other reasons.
If you love driving and exploring then this is definitely the holiday for you.
Spanish Road Trip 2022
Distance driven - 2, 299km
Total cost of 10 nights accommodation - 554.05€
Additional car parking expenses - 32.00€
Total Diesel cost - in the region of 200€
Best value for money accommodation - A tough choice but Day 7 Puerto Lumbreras Hostal del Sol 2 star, 40€ breakfast included and the other has to be Quenca, Day 9 Hospederia Seminario Conciliar de San Julian, 3 Star - 65€ including breakfast
Worst accommodation - This has to go to Las Banderas, 3 star 44.00€ (4.00€ tax) ample FREE Parking and FREE room upgrade which although cheap was dated and smelly - Day 8 - Villafranca de los Caballeros
Favourite place visited - Cuenca wins again - Day 9
Most disappointing - Unfortunately our last night at Nogueruelas. day 10
Best surprise along the way - Day 2. the Santurario de Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza (Sanctuary of the Virgin of Hope) Calasparra.
What we found different this year - The HEAT, wow! was it hot? To be honest it was hot in previous years but this time we both seemed to struggle more, which made seeing the sights more difficult. We may need to re-think next years trip, but this years was governed by work and as August is the quietest time in Benidorm for British tourists was the only time we could fit in our own holiday.
Accommodation - We found it much more difficult to find accommodation in the places we wanted to visit. What we did find strange was that even though there was limited accommodation available, very few hotels were actually busy.
We love these unplanned ad hoc trips but may have to actually pre-book next year to make sure we get the right accommodation at the right prices, time will tell.
If you have any suggestions for next years road trip please comment below as we are always looking for new places to visit.
Find more photos below (please note some of these are from our visit to Montanejos in July 2021