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El Montgó - the Elephant Mountain

Just west of the coastal town of Dénia in Spain is a mountain that looks like a recumbent elephant. The area is a protected nature park and has a great diversity of plants and animals.

In order to take care of nature and at the same time make it accessible to the public, the municipality has created several marked routes for hikes of varying degrees of difficulty.

A popular and safe route runs from the CV-735 at the small village of Jesús Pobre to the summit of El Montgo and the cross la Cruz del Montgó. The hike starts on asphalt.

After a couple of hundred meters you turn left onto a paved path that goes up towards the mountain.

The paved path is eventually replaced by a narrower path.

The route first follows the mountain side to the left until you reach the rear end (north end) of the massif.

Then you round and go up to the right so that you come to the back (east side) of the mountain and eventually up onto a plateau and a path that goes relatively gently up all the way to the top.

Before you get that far, you can take a small detour to an approx.10 meter deep cave just off the path - la Cueva Ancha del Montgó.

From the cave you have a great view of the plains below, la Marina Alta, and the mountains further away.

Once you have reached the plateau, you also get a nice view of Dénia and the coast to the east.

It is approx.700 different species of plants in the nature park.There is also a rich bird life and many animals, such as wild boar, fox, rabbit, bobcat, badger and genet.

The path is marked with a red and white stripe. It is true that there is a long way between each mark, but you are never in doubt as to where the path goes.

At one point there is a crossroads where a steep path comes up from Dénia. Be careful to follow the right path towards Jesús Pobre on the way down.

When you are in line with the cross on the mountain, there is a detour up to the cross. This section is only a couple of hundred meters long, but the path goes over pointed rocks that can be tiring to walk on.

The cross on El Montgo was erected for the very first time in 1895. What stands there today is from 1999. It is a symbol that can be seen from Dénia on clear days with good visibility.

The view from the top is formidable in all directions.

There is a diary that you can write in.

From the cross, you can see the rest of the back up to the top of the "elephant's head", which is a few meters higher. The highest point is 753 meters above sea level.If you want to go there, you have to go back down to the path and follow the sign towards Cim (la cima).

More excursions:

Excursion of the week: La cruz del Montgó from the village of Jesús Pobre

Suitable for: Everyone in normally good physical shape, including children. This is a safe hike with no dangerous or scary parts, but be careful if you go off the path because there you may encounter steep slopes and drops. Wear good shoes, either hiking boots or sturdy trainers. Certain parts of the path go over pointed stones. Bring enough water and the right clothes for the season.

Length: The trip is estimated to be approx. 6.2 km in total (out and back). Our GPS watch estimated the length to be 7 km round trip to the cross. The trip up takes approx. 2.5 - 3 hours, and the trip down approx. 1.5 - 2 hours - a total of 4-5 hours.

Get there: The tour starts from the CV-735 just outside the small village of Jesús Pobre. Search Google Maps for "Aparcamiento Ruta Cima del Montgo". This car park is relatively small and narrow, but it is also possible to park in certain places along the road you will follow at the start of the route.

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