For lovers of history and nature, the Valencian route of the Molinos de Alborache, which runs alongside the Buñol River, is one of the best in Levante. Dotted with old weirs, waterfalls, trails and old dry stone walls, it is one of the most beautiful routes in all of Spain.
The Molinos de Alborache route allows lovers of long walks to cross nature, following the path of the Buñol River through ponds, meanders and riverside forests. It is one of the most appreciated natural circuits by Valencian hikers and mountaineers. In addition, since it is not a circular route, it is possible to connect with other nearby paths and tracks, to make it longer.
Alborache is a municipality in the Valencian Community, located in the interior of the province of Valencia, in the so-called Hoya de Buñol . The municipality is about 425 meters above sea level, surrounded by large forests and by the Buñol River, which forms a spring of crystal clear waters, the Charco Azul, which at the same time serves as the starting point for our route.
One of the main attractions of the Alborache route, Valencia, are the old buildings that we can find along it. Old mills, converted into “light factories” and that finally became residences, rural houses or almost completely disappeared, wrapped in nature.
If you want to enjoy an impressive hiking route in Valencia, take your hiking boots, your camera and join us on this trip.
The route of the mills
The Ruta de los Molinos is approximately 1,700 meters long . The tour is quite friendly, so it will be suitable for everyone; children, the elderly and those unaccustomed to long walks. In addition, it has several areas in which to rest, with tables, benches and litter bins, as well as fountains with drinking water distributed throughout the route.
From Alborache, the Ruta de los Molinos has several accesses : one in the Molino Galán car park, another that starts at the Yesar or along the old Chiva path. However, the most common is to start the route at Charco Azul or Molino de la Luz.
The trail runs along a well-kept path, which can be done on foot or by bicycle. In this sense, it is not an “adventure” route, so the path is also suitable for pushchairs and can be done without much haste. In fact, the most normal thing is that it is taken as a walking route, to relax and enjoy the landscape, so it is normal that you come across people from the town.
This path is especially attractive in summer, as it crosses several stretches of riparian forest. In the months of warmer climates, the lush vegetation, together with the course of the river Buñol, offer a break from the heat , since a cool and pleasant microclimate is created. On the other hand, in autumn, the route turns gold and red with a floor carpeted with leaves.
The mills of Alborache
The name of the route comes from the numerous buildings that are found along the route. Remembering that the town has always used the strength of the waters of the Buñol River. In this sense, there is documentation that there were up to 11 mills , seven of them next to the Buñol river, three that worked with water pipes and one, further away, that was in the San Jaime ravine.
Among these mills, there were some dedicated to the manufacture of flour, others to paper, and even some of them were dedicated to the production of chocolate. Not all of the documented mills are still standing and some have been converted into homes and rural houses. Others, on the other hand, have collapsed and little more than a few walls remain.
Of those that are still standing, along the route we will find four that were converted into paper mills . This is due to the fact that, in the mid-nineteenth century, Alborache and the surrounding towns developed a strong paper industry. In addition, in some of them you will find information plaques where you can learn more about the ancient life of the mills and their influence on the local people.
However, the mills are not the only attraction on this route. Along the path you will find weirs, canalizations, gates and all kinds of constructions integrated into the course of the river , which have served since ancient times to take advantage of the force of impulse coming from the water.
The path of the route
Of all the access points to the route, the best is Charco Azul. If we start from this spring, we will cross a small forest of poplars, always following the current of the river Buñol.
The path is flat and well signposted, with wooden railings and steps to overcome the most difficult parts of the path.
The Molinos route itself is quite short, however, it can be made longer if it is combined with one of the nearby routes. In this sense, you can visit other natural places such as the Cueva de las Palomas, the Chico de Buñol river, the Cueva de Turche or the Mezquita fountain. All of these nearby places are well signposted, so you won’t have any trouble finding them.