A little south of the small mountain village of Relleu, a footbridge was opened in January this year, attached to the steep mountain sides in the deep gorge at Relleu's dam - la Pasarela de la Presa de Relleu.
The dam construction was an engineering feat when it was completed in 1680. With the technology of the time, it was not easy to get blocked off such a wide and deep area.
The construction was designed by the Italian engineer Cristobal Antonelli in 1607, but was not completed until 1680. It had to be added to the height twice later because so much soil and sand accumulated in the pond.
Today, the pond is drained most of the year, but during periods of heavy rainfall, the plains in the picture above can be filled with water.
What are today plains were deep abysses when the dam was built - as they are still at the downside of the dam. Over the years, soil and sand have filled up the deep sections and destroyed the dammed area.
At the bottom of the dam, a 212-meter-long footbridge has been set up attached to the steep rock walls in the gorge. It was opened in January this year (2022).
At the end there is a vantage point with a glass floor where you can look down into the 40-60 meter deep abyss.
The trip from Relleu (pronounced rejeo in Spanish) to the dam goes through a beautiful mountain landscape.
In parts of the route we come down to the bottom of the river Río de Amadorio which empties into the fishing town of Villajoyosa a few miles below.
The river course is mostly dry as shown in the photo above, but can be filled with water during periods of heavy rain.
In several places along the path, boards have been set up with information about the areas - such as the ruins of the lime kiln in the photo below.
The trail mostly goes through a flat and easy terrain to hike in. It's well marked with white and green lines.
In some places you can see ruins of old farms.
It is possible to go a slightly different way back so that it becomes a round trip. It gives a little variety. Follow markings (white / green).
The tour starts at the town hall in Relleu, not far from the church.
Here there is also a parking lot where you can leave your car, but choose the short detour (circumvalación) on the south side of the old town to get there. The streets in the middle of the old town are very narrow.
It is not difficult to find your way by following the signs (white/green).
If you want extra help, you can load the route by scanning the QR code of Wickiloc on the sign below. You can also by a map in the town hall.
The tour starts on the north side of the town hall and goes in city streets for the first couple of hundred meters. If you choose the round trip, you will return to the city on the east side.
The facility with the footbridge is only open when it is staffed. Opening hours may vary during the year, but in the spring it is open from 10 - 17.30 from Tuesday to Friday and from 9.30 - 18.30 on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. (See htttp: //www.relleuturismo.com to see opening hours other parts of the year). It costs 2.5 Euro for adults and 1.5 Euro for pensioners and children under 11 to enter. You are given 15 minutes at the facility, and only 15 people are allowed in at a time. At the vantage point with glass floors, it is only allowed to be 4 people at a time. In high season it may make sense to book an appointment by calling +34 613033336. Calculate approx. 1 hour and 15 minutes on the walk from the town hall in Relleu to the footbridge. Set aside more time if you walk slowly or want to spend time looking around.
More suggestions for excursions: www.turideer.com
Excursion of the week: Pasarela de la Presa de Relleu - the footbridge at the dam at Relleu
Duration: 2.5 hours (4.8 kilometers each way - approx. 10 kilometers if you choose a round trip).
Suitable for: All - easy terrain
Get there: Drive CV-770 from Villajoyosa towards Orxeta and Sella. Drive past Orxeta and turn left at the sign for Relleu some distance before Sella. Follow the road CV-775 to Relleu. It may be wise to turn left into what is called the Circumvalacion just before entering the old town centre. Then you avoid the narrow streets in the town center. The city hall is located right next to the parking lot on the south side of the city.