Spain – on the border between Valencia and Albacete

We are eager to go on a weekend trip with our caravan so we head to the area along the border between Valencia and Albacete. I have planned some hiking, but the weather is too hot so we end up spending it in the river.

Rio Cabriel

We leave Friday evening from Valencia and drive west until we reach Requena, in the center of the D.O. Utiel-Requena. We find 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 offical parking, but empty and close to the old part of Requena

Just opposite the road stairs go up and we enter the narrow streets with white washed houses, some very old and  an impressive number of churches with beautiful sandstone fronts. As it is already after 8 pm we can’t see any of them from the inside.

Iglesia de Santa Maria

In the center 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 mourish 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. Lets say you need some imagination.

We leave the old part and take a walk along Avenida de Arrabal which is closed for traffic and very busy as the Fiesta de la Vendimia is still going on. We reach 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 is still empty when we return but big street lights are on and we decide to stay over night.

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

Our destination is Alcalá del Jucar, but before we go there we stop at Villatoya at the river Cabriel, where we take a steep off road like track down to the river and a small parking. It is a very hot day and the waters of the river are very clean and cool. It is 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 are a couple of parkings, some are not allowed for caravans, but we didn’t find any other spot and had no problem.

We walk up through the village and visit 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 through a long tunnel.

Now we are not so far from the castle any more.
We pay 2 Euros and get a beautiful view from the top.

Alcalá del Jucar
road out of the valley to the south

We leave Alcalá to the other side of the river and drive through a spectacular landscape until we reach 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 are not the only ones here, but it for sure is not crowded.
Also in the evening it is over 30 degrees but a light wind makes it bearable, and it will cool down during night again.

The next day we take the road via Jarafuel to Cofrentes where we park near the polideportivo:

 39°13’46,06 N, 1°03’32,55 W

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

Confluence of Río Gabriel and Río Júcar at Cofrentes

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

We come over a bridge which says 12t, but we are still a little worried. On the other side of the river we park and go for a swim. This place is great, the river clean and it’s a lot of fun to swim here. We walk up the river and float down a couple of times, have some lunch and another swim before we drive 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

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