A mile inside El Campello a little north of Alicante on the Costa Blanca coast lies a mythical mountain called Cabecó d'Or in Valencian.
The belief that there should be gold in the mountain is said to have prompted a Marki (a nobleman) to look for gold in one of the mountain peaks. He never found any gold, but had the mountain peak named after him - Sima del Marqués.
The belief in gold deposits could perhaps be due to the golden color that emerges when the sun shines on the mountain, but most likely the reason is a linguistic confusion.
Because of the valuable water sources, the Muslims gave the mountain the name ur, which means water. But ur is pronounced quite similarly to or, which in Catalan means gold.
One of the most popular hikes in the mountains is a round trip through the Racó de Calderó. It starts at the car park a few hundred meters below the famous Cuevas de Canelobre caves in the municipality of Busot.
The first part of the route is on a gravel road. Although the climb is relatively gentle, you quickly get a nice view of the beautiful surrounding mountains.
According to popular belief, the rich Muslim businessman Ali is supposed to have lived here with his beautiful daughter Gessamina. When the Christians wanted to throw out the Moors, he went to hide a trunk of gold and precious stones in the caves of Cuevas de Canelobre.
He told his daughter that if something were to happen to him one day, she could live well off this treasure for the rest of her life.
When her father did not come home in the evening, she went to look for him. At the last bend before the caves, she found the body of her father who had been murdered by the Christians.
As she sat and wept over her dead father, the killers returned. She fled into the caves and took the treasure with her through a secret tunnel. Neither she nor the treasure has subsequently been found. So goes the legend.
The route for the round trip is marked with a yellow and white stripe, and signs have been put up at crossroads where it is possible to choose routes to other places.
At the first two intersections, follow the signs for Racó de Calderó - a gorge that leads up to the ridge of the mountain.
From the second crossing, the path goes in hairpin turns up the mountain side. There are several paths leading up, but avoid those marked with a yellow-white cross.
Towards the top, the path goes through pine forest.It is a steady and relatively steep climb all the time.
When you get to the top of the ridge where there are ruins of an old stone house, there are signs for several different routes. Choose the one that leads to the right marked Pla de la Gralla por las Cuevas.
The path down again on the other side of the mountain ridge initially runs through a lush pine forest.
Gradually you get a view of the Mediterranean with the coastline where El Campello, Alicante and Gran Alacant are located.
Follow the path down the valley on the other side of the mountain. There is a sign for Cuevas de Canelobre where the settlement begins. Follow this route back to the car park.
Depending on which path you follow, you can get up to the caves and from there go down the road back to the car park, or you can enter the road further down and then have to go up a bit.
It is also possible to extend the trip by following the sign to Cumbre at the top of the ridge. Then you reach the highest point on the mountain at 1,209 meters above sea level. This is a return trip of approx. 45 minutes up and 30 minutes down. This top hike has a steep climb and areas where you have to use both hands and feet to get up. Here it can feel a little unsafe for those who are not used to walking in the mountains. The round trip, on the other hand, is completely harmless.
More excursions: www.turideer.com
Excursion of the week: Tour in the mountains Cabecó d'Or by Busot
Suitable for: Anyone in normally good physical shape. The ascent can be tiring, so you have to adjust your speed according to your performance, but this is a safe route on good paths without dangerous sections. Bring enough drinks.
Duration: The tour is approximately 11 km. It's a 4-5 hours hike.
Getting there: The starting point is the car park a few hundred meters below the Cuevas de Canelobre caves in Busot, a few kilometers inland from the coast at El Campello in the Alicante region. Search for "Aparcamiento Cabecó d'Or" in Google Maps. Then you get straight to the car park. One can also search for Cuevas de Canelobre. Then you will see the car park on the left a few hundred meters before the caves. The tour starts at the information board in the car park.Follow the sign for Racó de Calderó and Cumbre.