Montanejos: Waterfalls and Hot Springs – A Valencia Daytrip
Back in 2012 I found myself living in Valencia, Spain- and a trip to Montanejos was one of the first day-trips I took out of the city with a few friends of mine. Check out the details below!:
It was finally time to begin our “day-trip” out of Valencia with the tour companyDo-Valencia. I hoped this tour would give us a chance to see a different aspect of the region, and that it would maybe be a little “off the beaten track”. We waited outside the hostel bright and early, and were finally picked up by our expat guide Mike and our driver. Then, we rode about an hour out of the city, past numerous Grand-Canyon reminiscent landscape, until we arrived to our first stop. The group walked down a trail to the Bridal Veil Waterfall, where several locals were already there for the afternoon swimming in the pools at the bottom. There was a natural “water slide”, and at one point we braved the slippery rocks to take a photo standing underneath the falls. After a refreshing swim, we headed off to the next destination!
We arrived next at the Fuente de Los Baños, in the town of Montanejos. This place is home to natural hot springs which have minerals in them that allegedly rejuvenate and cleanse the skin. In the 13th century, an Arabic King named Abu-Ceit constructed the bathing springs on this site for his favorite wives so that they could “forever maintain their youth and beauty” from the nutrients in the waters. Some of the original stone structures still remain, so while it’s a beautiful place to visit and swim in, the history surrounding it is pretty cool too. Our group sat down for some lunch on a patio overlooking the springs, enjoyed some bocadillos, then got into the water!
Since it’s called a “hot spring”, I figured it would be warm, but the water was actually pretty chilly. Considering it was late summer in Valencia though, the water felt extremely refreshing. We started swimming around the clear waters and looking at the fish, and then we swam inside a little cave. It was so much fun, just having the chance to swim around and explore! The guides take you through the whole water area, making sure you don’t miss a thing. We were also able to see a hidden cove with a waterfall, and had the chance to do some cliff-jumping (but no one in our group was brave enough to do it!). Once we had our fill of swimming in this paradise location, we took the van to the central plaza of the pueblo.
There we headed into a local restaurant, and quickly sat down and started eating and drinking. Mike ordered us all a delicious mix of tapas (Spanish style appetizers) and some sangria. Before we knew it, the drinks were flowing all around and there was a lot more conversation in the group. While eating the bravas, calamari, pan tomate,and tortilla, the waiter started explaining a “local tradition” of how they put wine in a goat-skin container, and taught us how to drink from it without touching it to our mouths. Then, the owner decided that we needed to partake in another “local tradition” (I say this in quotes because I feel like he maybe made it up) of dipping your finger in alcohol, lighting it on fire, putting it out in a cup of water, and then immediately taking a shot of a light-green alcohol.
Back in the van, we drove to our final destination of the day, a gigantic dam built into the side of a cliff. The water was coming out so fast and with so much force, it was insane! I have never seen anything like it! We climbed up a gravel pile to get closer, and then our guide took a cool jumping photo of everyone in the group. That was our last stop of the day, and we all had so much fun. The drive back to Valencia went quickly, lots of chatting, and we were sad the day had come to an end.
Another great thing about this tour was that the guides took photos for you- no need to worry about getting your camera ruined in the water. Fun tour, fair price, perfect day!