The Chelva water route

The water route is a beautiful hiking route that starts in the municipality of Chelva, Valencia, and runs through the landscapes that the Chelva river has developed over the years. Discovering it is a great opportunity to explore unique and accessible landscapes.

Within the hiking trails of the Valencian community, those located on the banks of the Chelva River, in Valencia, are among the most attractive. Some paths that are not only beautiful, but also offer a safe and easy environment to travel. In this article we focus on the water route, which runs through several of the best-known landscapes in this area, near the town of Chelva.

How to get

The municipality of Chelva is located in the interior of the province of Valencia, about 70 kilometers from the capital. To get there, it is necessary to take the CV-35 and drive along it for approximately one hour. 

Once in the town, it is necessary to go to the Plaza Mayor, from where the route starts. Part of the route runs through the Muslim quarter of Benacacra or the Christian quarters of Ollerias down to the river. Areas where some of the most interesting places to see in Chelva meet, both before and after the route.

Technical data

The main route, the so-called water route, is approximately 8.2 kilometers long, with a vertical drop of 429 metres . It is a circular route, so once we finish it we will return to the starting point, surrounding the Chelva River.

Regarding the time of the route, this has been about three and a half hours, although it all depends on the pace at which we walk. It is not a very complicated terrain, so it is suitable for the little ones, from about six years old.

As an alternative, we have the Peña Cortada route, which in this case increases the duration to about four hours. It is somewhat more complex, although it is still an accessible route, both technically and in terms of the terrain it moves through, and we detail it below.

Urban Section

To start our route, we will start from one of the best places to visit in Valencia, the Plaza Mayor de Chelva. Walking through its alleys we perceive the sound of water, while we will move between areas full of history. Here we will find the Hermitage of Solitude, from the 17th century, the original layout of the old Jewish aljama or the neighborhood of El Arrabal, which dates from the 14th century. 

We will leave the municipality following the indications that take us to the route to the path of the Chelva river, a tributary of the Turia. Look closely, because many of the blue arrows, which mark the section, are erased or deteriorated. In some cases, you will only see the methacrylate sheets on which they were once located.

the riverbank

We leave the city behind to enter a typical riverbank landscape. In it we will find the usual vegetation of the Mediterranean forest, with poplars, baladres and reed beds. However, this area has the particularity of uniting a natural environment with all kinds of archaeological remains and works made by man, which merge naturally.

Among them, we have various bridges and even some stairs, all of them created in stone and integrated into nature. We will also find rest areas, equipped with benches and tables, where it is possible to make a stop whenever necessary. 

As on any path, it is essential to follow the signposting of the route , which clearly tells us where to direct our steps. It is easy to see. In addition, we will have different information panels.

During the route, we will follow the course of the river, although sometimes we will have to cross it and, in others, climb a bit through the mountains near that channel to return to it again. Something necessary to maintain the continuity of the path. For this reason, it is advisable to use good hiking shoes and try not to carry more load than necessary in the backpack.

The Beach of Chelva

Halfway we will arrive at the Playeta de Chelva. We are talking about a natural space with waterfalls, jumps and one of the best indoor bathing areas in the Valencian community, created thanks to an old backwater of the river. This has been accumulating river sand over time, the result of which is an area with the appearance of a beach , to which it owes its name.

This environment is surrounded by abundant vegetation, which generates the necessary framework to frame this beautiful place. An ideal environment to rest in the middle of the road and even to take a refreshing swim. So don’t forget your towel and swimsuit.

The Tunnel and the Factory of Light

We have already commented that on this route we were going to find elements created by man and integrated into it. One of them is the Olinches pass tunnel. This was created the old-fashioned way, with a pick and auger, in a manual process. It is 107 meters long and allows us to access one of the most spectacular spots on the river.

However, this tunnel had its uses, which was to divert water from the river to the so-called Light Factory. This installation allowed the municipality to be the first to have electricity in the area, coming from the hydraulic power station located next to the river. Today, the facilities are abandoned, although the truth is that they add a special touch to the environment.


Once we reach this point, we will follow the route until we return to the town, maintaining the riverside forest landscapes that we have been commenting on. Keep in mind that other paths and paths emerge from the main route, which will take you to equally interesting areas. But if you want to continue along the main one, you should always look for the official signs. There will always be time to explore other similar routes on your next visit.

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