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The window of Africa - geological phenomenon in the Guadalest Valley

In the heart of the Guadalest Valley near Confrides is an oblong cliff with a hole similar to the map of Africa.

The hike starts near the small jam factory El Rincon de las Mermeladas.

About 300 meters below (when coming from Guadalest) there is a paved road up to the right. Run this one.

Along this road there is space to park the car, but at the end there is also a larger car park.

When you come to a fork in the road where the road splits into three, take the dirt road/path that goes steeply uphill to the left. Then follow the marked path white/red/yellow.

After a few hundred meters you will see an oblong rock wall. The Africa window is at the right end of this and is barely visible from the path, but then only as a round hole.

The route goes through the pass at the left end and continues to the right again on the back of the cliff all the way to the Africa window.

Before you get up to the cliff, you may be lucky enough to see a Griffon Vulture soaring over the landscape as shown in the picture above.

You also get a good overview of the Guadalest valley and the surrounding mountains.

The path up to the cliff goes uphill all the way. Bring enough water if it's hot and feel free to take breaks from time to time.

After the boulder in the picture above, there is a section of about 30 meters which is so steep that you have to use your hands to help.

The last 4-5 meters are so steep that people with a fear of heights may feel uncomfortable. You may want to bring gloves.

At the top you go through a pass, and at the back the marked path continues to the right along the edge of the cliff.

The path partly goes through forest.

After a couple of kilometers you can see the mountain El Pla de la Casa straight ahead. The top of this is 1379 meters above sea level.

When you walk all the way around the last part of the cliff, you get an overview of the Guadalest valley and the Mediterranean Sea on the horizon.

If you go a little over the edge, you can also see the Africa window on the right.

From here you can go back the same way if you dare, but you can also go round trip which is longer, but easier and more pleasant to walk.

If you go down the dirt road to the valley at the back of the cliff, you will find a forest road in the bottom of the valley leading in the opposite direction of the path you arrived.

It goes through the forest in the valley behind the cliff with the African window. To the right you get a view of the mountains inland.

To the left you will eventually see the pass you came through on the way to the African window and the mountains below with the Mediterranean Sea on the horizon.

After a couple of kilometres, you come to a green water tank at a fork in the road. Follow the road further down to the left.

From here, the road winds down the valley, partly as a dirt road and partly as a concrete-covered road.

At the bottom of the valley you come to an asphalt road. There you turn left and follow this first for 500 meters to El Rincon de las Mermeladas and then another 300 meters before you take the road up to the left that goes to the car park.

More excursions:

Excursion of the week: Tour to the geological phenomenon of the African window in the Guadalest valley.

Length: 9.6 km. You climb 250 metres. Duration 4-5 hours at a leisurely pace.

Suitable for: You should be in good physical shape to go on this tour. The ascent from the car park can be strenuous, and the last part requires the use of both hands and feet. Gloves and good shoes with stiff soles are an advantage.

If you don't feel confident about this, you can choose to go the forest road either way. It is longer, but has no difficult sections. The forest road starts at the first exit on the right after El Rincon de las Mermeladas (when coming from Guadalest). If you cannot find a roadside parking lot here, you must start the tour at the parking lot below El Rincon de las Mermeladas. From the starting point, follow the road straight ahead until you reach a large green water tank. There you turn right and then follow the forest road until the sign for Penya d'Africa.

Get there: Search for El Rincon de las Mermeladas on Google Maps. Alternatively: Drive the N-332 from Alicante or Altea. Take the exit for la Nucía at Benidorm. Follow the CV-70 past la Nucía and Polop and on towards Guadalest. Drive past Guadalest, Benifato and Confrides. About 4-5 kilometers after Confrides you will come to a yellow building on the right close to the road with the sign El Rincon de las Mermeladas. About 300 meters before this, a road goes up to the right. Drive up this and park along the roadside or in the car park at the top.

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