Are you among the early risers who take your regular walk to the lighthouse in Albir every morning? If you aren’t, but live nearby, consider starting your day on the right foot by donning comfortable shoes and clothes and giving your heart a little workout before the heat fully grips the day.
Sierra Helada, or Gelada, depending on preference. Frost Mountain is a peculiar name for a mountain on the Costa Blanca, at least for us Northerners, who are accustomed to far harsher cold than what we find here. But the name was given by fishermen returning with their catch of the day. Often, the light hits the mountain in such a way that it resembles, indeed, an iceberg.
This mountain terrain separates the municipalities of Benidorm and Alfaz del Pi and was declared an official natural park by the regional authorities of Valencia as recently as March 11, 2005. What makes the morning walk to the lighthouse so special is that you meet the same people and the same dogs almost every time. And at the same time. There are many creatures of habit among us, and the routine of taking a morning walk is of the healthiest kind. Be sure to bring a bottle of water and some fruit.
Video of the lighthouse in Albir
Lighthouse walk in Albir starting point
The lighthouse in Albir is accessible solely by walking or cycling, and the journey begins at the entrance to Sierra Helada Natural Park. There’s a spacious parking area and a recently established visitor center, which is open on most days. To get to the natural park from the anchor monument located on the seafront, proceed along the road just above it near the Kasbrane cafeteria (situated opposite the Correos Post Office), and continue to ascend. After approximately 600 meters, you will find the entrance to the parking lot at the end of the street. Also move map and place it under this text.
As spring and summer progress, it becomes increasingly warmer in the mornings. Even if it may be a bit chilly at the start, the sun hits you as soon as you are out of the tunnel. If you take some time to study the roadside, you’ll find a sort of botanical garden here. Rosemary, thyme, and a variety of other herbs and plants grow here. If you’re here at the right time, you’ll see almond trees in bloom. You set your own pace. Take it easy and capture the moment, or focus on walking fast to get out of breath. Some joggers at different paces pass by periodically. And mostly, cyclists on the trail are considerate, with a few exceptions.
Viewing platforms along the trail
Enjoy the View The authorities have built various viewing platforms along the trail. It’s a good idea to bring a small pair of binoculars. From here, you can see most of the area up to Callosa and Calpe. The Sierra Bernia mountains, Puig Campana, and the Calpe cliff, Peñón de Ifach, and the Mediterranean Sea. See nature in perspective, take a deep breath and prepare for a new day. Many consider this area to be perhaps the best that the municipality of Alfaz has to offer. For this is a unique recreational area.
The Giant Cave Cova de Bou
If you feel like climbing a bit, do so, but wear proper footwear. The mountain shelves are not free from snakes, and even though the Spanish viper is no more poisonous than the Norwegian one, it’s best to be a bit cautious. If you leave the path, you might choose to climb up to the natural giant cave La Cova de Bou. Some have had fun tagging the rock walls, but hey, that’s how some people are. Be aware that the seagulls can become quite aggressive if they feel their eggs or young are threatened. They scream and behave like dive-bombers, so hold onto your hat.
Or you can choose to climb down towards the sea to Cove de Mina. From this mine, colorants used in painting were extracted in the old days. Also, take note of the formations in the rock. Here are layers upon layers on top of each other. The yellow stone is marine fossils, which have thus been created under the sea surface.
The area is of interest to geologists
The first known of them is the Scottish James Hutton, who already in 1788, began researching this mountain’s history. Here, remnants of marine fossils have been found, which are said to be 108 million years old. Geological studies have been able to date the mountain’s history 150 million years back. Think about it, what a small breath our life is in history.
We recommend you climb up to the last binocular post, with a fantastic view over the Mediterranean Sea. In very clear weather, you can glimpse the western Balearic Islands. The lighthouse, like most other lighthouses, has a long history. The one standing there today is from 1920. It was built on the ruins of a lighthouse that was built already in the seventeenth century. Today, it is self-sufficient with power, from its own solar panel aggregates.