Spain – on the border between Valencia and Albacete

We were eager to go on a weekend trip with our caravan so we headed to the area along the border between Valencia and Albacete. We had planned some hiking, but the weather was too hot so we ended up spending it in the river.

Rio Cabriel

We left Friday evening from Javea and drove north and then west until we reached Requena, in the center of the D.O. Utiel-Requena. We found a big parking just below the Barrio de la Vila in Calle del Pintor Juan Masía:

our parking in Requena
39°29’3,0″ N,  1°6’12,1″ W
not an official parking, but empty and close to the old part of Requena

Just opposite the road, stairs go up and we entered the narrow streets with white washed houses, some very old, and an impressive number of churches with beautiful sandstone fronts. As it was already after 8 pm we couldn’t visit any of them, just admire the facades.

Iglesia de Santa Maria

In the centre is the Plaza Albornoz with a couple of restaurants, one of them Restaurante Mesón de la Vila, where you could visit their caves underneath the house used since hundreds of years for shelter and storage.
At the other end of La Vila are the remains of the castle started in moorish times, the Torre del Homenaje.

We also came past a museum called Casa del Arte Mayor de la Seda, which has an information board outside with a quite entertaining english translation. Let’s say you need some imagination 😉

We left the old part and took a walk along Avenida de Arrabal which was closed for traffic and very busy as the Fiesta de la Vendimia was still going on. We reached the monument of the Vendimia, where wine is offered from a porron, a traditional glass wine pitcher.

monument of the Vendimia
how to drink from a porron

Our parking was still empty when we returned but big street lights were on and we decide to stay here over night.

The next day we walked into town to do some shopping at a supermarket before we left Requena.
The wines of this region for sure need further investigation on a next trip.

Our destination is Alcalá del Jucar, but before we got there, we stopped at Villatoya at the river Cabriel, where we took a steep off road like track down to the river and a small parking. It was a very hot day and the waters of the river were very clean and cool. It was a perfect place to go for a swim.
You could walk a couple of minutes up stream to a bridge consisting of 2 cables where you can jump into the river and wait until it takes you down to where you are parked.

Río Cabriel – the most important tributary of Río Júcar

road down to the river
39°20’10.0″N 1°20’22.8″W
small parking next to the river, steep road down

We reach Alcalá del Jucar at 2 pm and decide to head first to the restaurant Mesón El Mirador, from where you look down at the gorge with the village plastered to a steep side of white sandstone cliffs. The restaurant is excellent and the service very good.

Down at the river, there were a couple of parkings, at some campers were not allowed, but we didn’t find any other spot and had no problem parking there nontheless.

We walked up through the village and visited La Cueva del Diablo, owned by a former bull fighter.
The entrance is 3 Euros including a free drink. It goes from one side of the mountain to the other side, where you overlook the river Jucar again. Then it goes upward and you can leave the cave through a long tunnel.

After leaving the cool cave, we were not so far from the castle any more.
We payed 2 Euros and enjoyed the beautiful view from the top.

Alcalá del Jucar
road out of the valley to the south

We left Alcalá to the other side of the river and drove through a spectacular landscape until we reached a camping and parking for caravans called Tollo Pilette in the middle of nowhere, in the forest, next to a small river.

Tollo Pilette – caravan parking
N 39°08’08“, W 1°06’04″
official caravan parking – very calm place in a forest

We are astounded, that we were not the only ones here, but it for sure was not crowded.
Also in the evening it had over 30 degrees but a light wind mad it bearable, and it cooled down during night again.

The next day we took the road via Jarafuel to Cofrentes where we parked near the polideportivo:

 39°13’46,06 N, 1°03’32,55 W

We walked to a mirador, overlooking the confluence of the Jucar with the river Cabriel at the dam called Embalse de Embarquaderos and then to the castle, which you can only visit with a guided tour and there was no tour on this hot Sunday.

Confluence of Río Gabriel and Río Júcar at Cofrentes

The nice lady at the tourist information showed us a place to go for a swim at the Cabriel not far from the town. But we instead drove in the direction to Requena again and  took a long winding road down to Casas del Rio.

We come over a bridge which says 12t, but we were still a little worried. On the other side of the river we parked and went for a swim. This place is great, the river clean and it’s a lot of fun to swim here. We walked up the river and floated down a couple of times, had some lunch and another swim before we drove back up and home.

rio Cabriel at Casas del Rio
bridge and the water wheel
great place for a swim
39°17’52.4″N 1°08’18.3“W
enough space to park next to the river



We really enjoyed the river Cabriel and the 2 great places we found to go swimming as it was a very hot weekend with 38 degrees.

I actually got the inspiration for this weekend from the following blog, so if you head to this area, you will find good information there.


Requena – Villatoya – Alcalá del Jucar – Jarafuel – Cofrentes – Casas del Rio

When we reached Javea and our urbanisation, we noticed at first a small fire on the mountains behind our house. We watched it and due to the high temperatures and the strong wind it spread very fast. We packed all the valuables in our camper, drove the cars and motorbikes further away and left with the camper to the other side of Javea, from where we watched the fire spread during the night together with other people who had to leave their houses or were curious or worried. The next day the fire went on, the fire fighters did their best with planes, helicopters and their trucks working in many places. They managed to keep the fire that much under control, that only few houses were severely damaged. We were very grateful, that we could return to our house after 2 days and that we had nearly no damage. But behind our urbanisation, the nature reserve was completely burned down. Instead of the typical vegetation with the small native palm trees, there was only ash left.

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