Paso el Contador - the pass between Sella and Guadalest
On the original cart road between Sella and Guadelest, there is a narrow pass that the shepherds had to guide their animals through to get back from mountain pastures.
The pass is called El Contador - "the counter" - and the name has its background in that it was easy to count the animals in the herd when they had to walk in a narrow row to get through.
It is technically possible to drive between Sella and Guadelest and Benimantell on this gravel road, but it is not comfortable, and it does not go fast either.
Therefore, it is best suited for hiking and necessary transportation to the properties.
Along the road there are some old small farms that are still in operation.
The road up from the Sella valley is quite steep, but there are no dangerous areas. You get your heart rate up and quickly get a nice view.
El Paso del Contador is located at the top of the long hill. Here is a sign that shows the way forward.
The highest point of the trip is the highlight of the trip in both a literal and figurative sense.
On the other side of the pass, the road goes down again and further inland in the mountain areas towards Guadelest.
On the way back down you can take a detour along the hillside to the left. About 400 meters from the top there is a path to the left.
If you follow it, you will see the valley from the other side. There is no sign here, and at one point the path has disappeared because the farmer has plowed up the terraced field.
But you should turn right when you come to an area with terraced ground, as in the picture above, and continue down (back) on the opposite side of the ground.
Here you will find the path that leads you down the valley. On the left you will eventually see the ruins of an old finca.
Along the path there are also some bushes with berries called strawberries (even if they are not). The berries are sweet and good when it has turned red, but do not eat more than a single berry. If you eat more, you can get very sick to your stomach.
On the way down you pass several cultivated areas.
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Excursion of the week: Trip to the El Contador pass
Suitable for: All in normal good shape.
Duration: about 3 hours
Get there: Drive CV-770 from Villajoyosa to the mountain village of Sella. Turn right at the bend just before Sella center on the road towards Benimantell. Continue straight ahead until the asphalt surface ends. Here the road splits in two. To get to El Contador, you have to take the road that goes left and up. It is possible to park in this area and walk from here, but it is also possible to drive a couple of kilometers on the gravel road. When reaching a small plateau, it is possible to park in an open area to the right of the road, next to a finca. Then just continue on foot along the gravel road straight ahead until you reach El Paso El Contador (or Pass Del Comptador as it is called in Valenciansk).