Orihuela is a city of a thousand faces. It's fantastic and numerous beaches make it the municipality in the entire Valencian Community, awarded with the most, blue flags. Its brilliant past as the historic seat of the Church in the Levante has bequeathed it a first-rate artistic and monumental heritage. Its festivals, customs and gastronomy give it a unique character brimming with culture and tradition. And its mountains, often unnoticed, are a haven of nature that serves as the culmination of an exceptional destination.
The Cerro de la Muela, known locally as Cruz (cross) de la Muela for the colossal iron cross erected on its summit perfectly visible from the urban area, rises about 465 meters above sea level and is the most emblematic and popular mountain of the Sierra de Orihuela, despite not being a high peak.
La Cruz de la Muela is a great viewpoint over the historic centre of Orihuela, surrounded by the infinite fields of cultivation of the Vega Baja region, and the plain that extends towards the sea, crossed by the Segura River and dotted with mountains. What better than a hiking route to enjoy this panoramic view?
Characteristics of this very family orientated route
The Cruz de la Muela route is in total 9.6 kilometres. The difficulty, both physical and technical, is low, so it can be done as a family and comfortably in about 3 hours, taking breaks to enjoy the views, eat something at the viewpoint and take pictures.
The outlay of the terrain is very flat and the climb is very gradual, although it is advisable to wear appropriate sports shoes to avoid slipping. Although there are recently replanted pine forests, it is a route with little shade, so it is advisable to carry out this route avoiding the hottest summer months.
The Cruz de la Muela pathway
The hiking route to reach the summit is known as the Senda de la Cruz de la Muela and begins in the town of Orihuela, in the neighbourhood of Monte Pinar. It is a simple and accessible route for the whole family that is perfectly signposted and has the classic white and yellow paint marks that guide the itinerary for hikers.
The exact starting point of the route is the confluence of the streets Ourense and Alicante, in the aforementioned urbanization of Monte Pinar, which is accessible by the CV-868 in just a few minutes from the centre of the municipality.
From the top and the return to the starting point, there is the possibility of going back along the same path, again following the Senda de la Cruz de la Muela or by taking the Senda de los Mineros, which is also indicated in detail with numerous signs, and which surrounds the hill but includes old mines and small caves until returning to the urbanization of Monte Pinar, and more specifically to the Sanctuary of the Virgen del Pilar.
History of the Cruz de la Muela
The Cruz de la Muela is a symbol of Orihuela. Popular legend says that the primitive cross erected on the hill was the work of San Vicente Ferrer, the most remembered Valencian saint, who preached in the area around 1411.
Little else is known about the origin of this symbol, whose first documented evidence dates back to 1715 in the form of a wooden cross planted on top of Cerro de la Muela. Then in 1910, at the request of Pope Leo XIII to celebrate the arrival of the 20th century, the first iron cross was raised on top of the hill, which disappeared during the Civil War. It was not until 1985 that the current cross was erected.
Without a doubt, this is a perfect place to inspire anyone to disconnect and enjoy a day of sports and nature. Even the famous Orihuelan poet Miguel Hernández often took to the cross in his youth and wrote some of his first verses there.
Do not miss the opportunity to enjoy this experience during your stay at the Hotel Servigroup La Zenia, located on the beachfront of Orihuela. Just 35 kilometres from the hotel, a day of culture and hiking awaits you in one of the most beautiful municipalities on the entire Mediterranean coast. What are you waiting for? check it out.