What is the connection between Cadiz, Elche, Venice and Dubrovnik? No, it's not like they all had a football team in the elite of their national championships, although that could be the answer. The real link is that the Eurovelo 8 Mediterranean route crosses them all.
This route has been designed to promote the wealth of natural and cultural resources of the Mediterranean by boosting cycling, with a route of almost 7,500 kilometers in which one starts cycling from Cádiz and can quietly finish in Cyprus. Well, it's easy to say, you need some time and strong legs to cycle all the way there. Fortunately, you can do the route in sections.
If we narrow the circle and focus on cycling routes in Spain, the Eurovelo 8 route has up to 41 memorable stages, 10 of which crossing the Valencian Community.
Take a look at the following best eurovelo routes:
Starting with the Eurovelo routes, this stage connects the Region of Murcia with the Valencian Community. Starting in Orihuela, its 49 km have a positive slope of 242 m to Elche, where we can enjoy the last remnants of Murcia crossing Guardamar del Segura. Before reaching the center of Elche we will cross Parque Natural del Fondo, a protected natural area located between Crevillent and Elche, made up of multiple lagoons fed by the waters of the Segura river.
Wrapped between palm trees we will leave Elche in the direction of Alicante to face a 40 km stage in which we will cross Santa Pola before reaching Alicante. Even if you stray a bit, if you have time we recommend that you take the opportunity to stroll the Parque natural de la Salinas de Santa Pola, made up of a group of dunes and beaches where salt mining is located.
On arrival in Alicante, once you have left your bike safely, we recommend to enjoy the area of the old town known as Santa Cruz or El Barrio, which has a lively nightlife, especially during the busiest tourist months.
Be careful! Don't get carried away with those post-stage beers, because the next day is the toughest part of the Eurovelo 8 route as it crosses the Valencian Community.
As we have already anticipated, the stage from Alicante to Castalla is the hardest of all: 50 kilometers and a drop of 800 m, which allows us to cross the Vía Verde del Maigmó (Greenway), one of the largest greenways in the Valencian Community. This Greenway is characterized by the number of tunnels it houses, in addition to the two viaducts it crosses.
Upon your arrival in Castalla, don't miss the opportunity to visit the Castillo de Castalla, a fortress dating from the 11th century that was extensively restored between 2003 and 2006.
Taking into account the beating of the previous day, Eurovelo 8 seems to have a proposal of a stage that would not make us suffer as much as the day before, 41 km in which we will descend rather than ascend, with the Parque Natural de la Sierra de Mariola looming as we get closer and closer to Alcoy. This park is one of the most popular among nature lovers and outdoor sports enthusiasts. Although the Eurovelo 8 does not cross it, it is still recommended to visit it once.
Stage 26 of the Eurovelo 8 route will return us back to the coast to reach one of the most popular coastal towns in recent times: Gandía. By the way, if you are a fan of Las Fallas, be sure to visit the museum located in this town.
The route of stage 27 takes us to the Valencian Parque Natural de la Albufera in a very flat route of 79 km in which we will cycle along the coastal area all the time. This natural park, to which some Arabic poems attribute the meaning of Espejo del Sol (Mirror of the Sun), is located just 10 kilometers from the city of Valencia. It is worth mentioning its great ecological value, with the presence of some endangered species. Once we have crossed the Parque Natural de la Albufera, we reach the city of Valencia, one of the cities that has made the greatest effort to promote the use of cycling in Spain. Here, you can enjoy miles of Eurovelo cycle routes and cycle lanes to get to know it thoroughly.
We continue without leaving the coast on stage 28, which will take us to Sagunto on a route of just over 33 km. A quiet stage, which can even be complemented by stage 29 due to the low effort. However, if you are passionate about history, don't miss the chance to get lost in Sagunto, where you can climb its castle on top of the Sierra Calderona, go back 2,000 years while sitting in the stands of the Roman Theater or discover the remnants of Hebrew culture preserved in the Jewish Quarter.
This stage will take us 56 km to stroll and enjoy well-known beaches such as Almenara, Xilxes or Nules, which will surely tempt you with a pleasant swim in the Mediterranean Sea. On our arrival in the city of Castellón de la Plana, we can stroll around the Plaza Mayor, with the Torre del Fadrí at its side, a construction that was built at the end of the 15th century. You will certainly find a wonderful ambiance.
The penultimate best eurovelo route before leaving the Valencian territory will allow us to enjoy the Valencian coast for 49 km until we reach Alcossebre, a charming coastal town in the town of Alcalá de Xivert. Its privileged location makes it one of the most visited coastal towns in the area.
We say goodbye to the Valencian Community on this Eurovelo 8 route, but not before enjoying the Parque Natural de la Serra d'Irta or crossing well-known towns such as the walled Peñíscola, Benicarló or Vinarós. After 60 kilometers we cross the border into Catalonia to continue our journey as far as our hearts take us.
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