Cycling in the Region of Valencia
In the Region of Valencia, save high mountain and tropical jungles, we can find practically every kind of landscape. Thick forests to the north and the interior of Castellón, Valencia and Alicante, well-conserved beech groves, yew stands, kermes oak, cork and savin trees, and sub-desert locations that boast extremely high botanical value. Mountain peaks towering almost two thousand metres high, with high-altitude vegetation, and vast marshes flanked by rows of dunes next to the sea.
This diversity of ecosystems provides for a unique natural environment of over three thousand different plant species. Many of them are exclusive endemic species, with areas home to varieties that have disappeared or are non-existent in the rest of Europe. These locations also provide shelter to countless fowl during their annual migration, amongst protected natural parks that can be tranquilly explored by bicycle. Within Europe, this wealth makes the Region of Valencia one of its prime examples.
With over half of the territory populated by mountains, there is also a steep incline, more due to the region’s dichotomy than its altitude: mountain-coast, hills and valleys, sun and shade, snow and sea. A constant driving force that creates dynamism and conditions the vegetation, fauna, economy, and above all else, human presence.
The Region of Valencia is a real paradise for mountain bike enthusiasts and Autumn is the best time for riding the tracks and trails. During these months, when temperatures are cooler and the landscape starts to show its Autumn colours, it's a great time to get your gear on and get out into the countryside.
Cycling is a sport with many followers and supporters worldwide. Road, mountain and city bikes are gaining popularity, not only because they help keep users fit and healthy, but also because it is an economical, environmentally-friendly way of getting round that improves mobility in large cities where there are often traffic jams and it is becoming increasingly difficult to park a car.
One spring afternoon I decided to take the new gravel bike out and do a route I've done many times with the mountain bike, the one we always refer to in Quesa as “the Ludey loop”. This time, the plan was to do it anti-clockwise, to avoid the steep climbs going up to El Planil. The route takes me a short distance into the Caroche (or Caroig) massif and allows me to get a glimpse of the immense size of this region.