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The pilgrimage route from Orxeta to Relleu

From the outskirts of the village of Orxeta a mile inland at the fishing village of Villajoyosa on the Costa Blanca coast in Spain, there is a route to the mountain village of Relleu.

It is part of the pilgrimage route from Alicante to Santiago de Compostela - also called the Camino de Santiago del Sureste.

The first part of this route goes from the fishing village of Villajoyosa to Orxeta. It is 19 km long. The second part goes from Orxeta up into the mountains to the village of Relleu. The route starts at the exit to Finestrat on the outskirts of Orxeta.

Park along the side of the road just before the exit. Go back 50 meters and take the path that goes up the slope on the opposite side of the road.

It is a relatively steep climb of 200-300 metres, but since the path goes in hairpin bends, it doesn't feel so steep to walk it.

You quickly get a nice view of the mountains on the east side, such as Puig Campana in the middle of the picture above.

At the top of this climb you will come to a crossroads where you should turn right. The blue sign in the picture below shows the direction of the pilgrimage route. Follow these wherever you find them.

The route then goes a bit through a forest before you meet a road with a concrete surface. Turn left here.

After 50-100 meters on this you turn off to the right and onto a path that runs parallel to the road for a while. Follow the white/green markings on the tree.

This path eventually leads onto a gravel road that leads to CV-775. Here you turn left at the junction and walk along the road for 100-200 meters until you see a path that turns left and is marked with a yellow/blue arrow.

You follow this path until you reach a car park.

In the parking lot you see an old yellow building. It has previously been a garrison building for the Guardia Civil. Continue straight ahead in the direction of the yellow house, but on the path marked with the blue pilgrim sign.

After this, you walk for a while on a plateau in a beautiful landscape with olive groves in the foreground and the mountains in the background.

Follow markings such as the yellow/blue arrow in the picture above until you reach a paved road. Follow it straight ahead until you reach Relleu (570 metres).

Note the crossroads you have taken along the way so that you can find your way back again. The marking is not always as visible from this side.

On the way back you will encounter the same beautiful mountain landscape to the east. If you're lucky, you may also see a horse or two walking peacefully by themselves, grazing on the hillside.

If you want a shorter and less strenuous trip, you can start at the car park by the yellow garrison building. Then drive CV-775 towards Relleu until you reach distance marker 28. Here you park in the car park on the right.

From here you follow the pilgrim's path in the direction of the yellow house and on towards Relleu as described above. Then you avoid the ascent to the plateau.

More excursions:

Excursion of the week: Pilgrim's trail from Orxeta to Relleu - a pilgrimage route

Suitable for: Anyone in normally good physical shape. The first ascent can be strenuous, but is not at any point dangerous or frightening. If you want a shorter and more pleasant trip without much ascent, you can start at the car park at signpost 28 on the CV-775.

Duration: From Orxeta to Relleu it is 5.4 km. You go back and forth the same way. In total, this is 10.7 kilometers, which takes between 3 and 3.5 hours to walk. You climb approx. 200 meters of altitude on the route. The short route from the car park is 3 kilometers each way (6 km in total). It takes approx. 2.5 hours there and back.

Get there: Search for Orxeta on Google Maps. Drive through the town and park on the shoulder just before the first exit towards Finestrat.

Alternatively: Take off towards Villajoyosa from the A-7 or N-332 from Alicante or Altea. Follow signs for Sella and Orxeta on road CV-770. Drive through the town and park on the shoulder just before the first exit towards Finestrat.

If you want to take the short route, continue on road CV-770 from Orxeta to Sella. After a few kilometres, take the CV-775 road towards Relleu. Follow this road to distance marker 28. Park in the car park on the left side of the road.

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