Route of the Monasteries of Valencia
Distance: 56 miles (90 km)
Surface: Marked Paths / Disused Rail Tracks
Although the Route of the Monasteries of Valencia is primarily of interest to Roman Catholics, there is much to interest nonreligious visitors on a walkway that traverses bridle paths and disused roads and railway lines along Spain’s Costa Blanca. The going is easy throughout, and the right way is clearly marked with red and white signs bearing the code GR-236.
The walk starts in Gandía, then heads south. The first stop after 5 miles (8 km) is at Alfauir, where the monastery of Sant Jeroni de Cotalba is a pleasing synthesis of Gothic, Renaissance, and neoclassical.
Next on the Route of the Monasteries of Valencia is the convent of Corpus Christi, just north of Luchente (Llutxent) and Santa Maria monastery, shortly after the village of Simat de la Valldigna. The latter stands on land granted around 1300 by King James II of Aragón to the Cistercian order, so that its monks could withdraw inland to safety away from marauding Barbary pirates on the Mediterranean coast.
In Carcaixent, Aquas Vivas (Aigües Vives) was an Augustinian foundation until the twentieth century when it was converted into a hotel, and the last monastery,Santa Maria de la Murta, was granted to the Hieronymite order by Pope Gregory Xl in 1376. The walk ends at the railroad station in Alzira, a small town on the banks of the Júcar River.