Sierra Espuna

 

Places to See

 

Drive to Totana via El Pareton.

Follow the signs for Aledo and La Santa that take you through Totana. There is now an alternative route that avoids the busy town. When you reach the motorway before Totana, follow the road towards Murcia. Stay on the motorway for about 3kms before coming off again. Cross the motorway and follow the new bypass to the top side of Totana and then follow the signs to Aledo.

Once out of Totana, and climbing, the road becomes windy but remains good.

Look out for a large hotel on the right. (It is actually called a Sanctuary).

A new road junction has been built just past the Sanctuary – (A round-about I think).

Turn left at this roundabout if you want to go up to La Santa, where there are statues in the hedges and a large statue of Christ at the top. (This is a wonderful viewpoint).

Come back down to the new road junction and turn left towards Aledo.

You could stop here at Aledo and wander round this very old monastery town, built on a precipice, but I think Aledo warrants a separate days visit.

 Pass Aledo and after about 1.5 miles look out for a large sign indicating a right turn to the Sierra Espuna National Park.

A mile or so in, and amongst the trees, there is a nice café / restaurant on the left. This is a good comfort / coffee stop, or even stop to have a very nice meal. (If they are open).

Be careful though when entering the car park. The entrance is after a sharp left hand bend, and it is rough with different levels in the car park held up by logs which are hard to see.

From here continue climbing until you reach a place where another new road junction has been built.

You must choose now whether to go to the top of the mountain, which is 1 mile above sea level, or you could start the decent now.

To go to the top turn left.

Keep going up until you approach the military installation at the top. Radar domes and buildings. You may see wild goats on the way.

Don’t go too far up towards the gates, they are a bit sensitive about it, and you will have gone past the signs that tell you to turn round.

Turn round and park so that you can get out and enjoy the views and the silence.

In the early part of the year you may well be above the snow line, and I wouldn't recommend it if there is snow on the roads.

You now have to go back the way you came to the new junction, where you turn left.

It is a long, long way down, and very narrow and windy, but after several miles you will come to a café on the right up some steps. (Park opposite if you want to stop here) (Really good value and a lovely setting – Menu del Dia about 7 euros a head, and beer in frosted glasses – and often wild pigs wandering about nearby).

If that restaurant is closed there is another one near the bottom of the mountain on the left, called Paraje Moriana – Slightly more expensive, but very good.

You will leave the park at a difficult junction and turn right for Alhama de Murcia.

In Alhama look out for the signs for Cartagena and Mazarron.

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