Albir - trip to El Faro
The lighthouse on the top of the cliff at the entrance to the Albir Bay in the Sierra Helada National Park was built in 1863 in connection with the Torre Bombarda guard tower previously used in the defence against pirates. Now it's a great goal for a hike.
From the lighthouse (El Faro de Punta Albir) you have views to Altea Bay (Bahía Alteana) and Calpeklippen (El Penyón de Ifach) off the coastal town of Calpe a few miles further northeast and of course to the coastline south west.
When the lighthouse was put into use, the travel was so strenous and time consuming that the personel had to stay permanently on the lighthouse. With to days nice paved road, the hike only takes a little more than half an hour. On the way to the lighthouse you pass an idyllic bay Cala del Metge.
The long threads in the plants in the picture below are so tough that they have been used to make ropes.
To the left before the lighthouse, there are two paths leading down to the old ocher mine (la Cova del Bou). The red yellow ocher ore consists of oxidized iron mixed with other minerals. When the ocher ore is crushed into a fine powder, it becomes a strong dye.
Below the mine you will also find ruins from the railway line that was used to transport the mineral down to freighters. Ocher was a popular dye and a major export product.
At the lighthouse you will find preserved parts of the ancient guard tower from the seventeenth century, La Torre Bombarda. From the tower the sentinels could give an early alert of attacks from pirates. The lighthouse has secured safe sailing along the coast for the past 150 years.
The road can be walked and cycled.
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Excursion of the week: The lighthouse of Albir.
Length: 3 km - 30-45 min walk each way.
Suitable for: Everybody. You can get along with a bike, baby stroller and wheelchair.
Get there: There is a sign to the lighthouse on the main road in Albir. The trip starts at the parking lot on the west side of Albir on the slope up to the cliff where the lighthouse is located. From the parking lot there is a path up to the lighthouse.
From here you can also cross Sierra Helada to Benidorm.
Challenge: Can you find this spot?
Tip: Near the path.
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