More than 300 meters above sea level and on the same foothills of the Irta mountain range, is the legendary Ermita de Santa Lucía in Alcocéber.
Although most of its dating places its construction in the late seventeenth century, there are some background samples such as a watchtower that could be traced back a century earlier. This is deduced subjectively because some remains were found in one of the back parts of his Hermitage.
It is said to have been built because of a promise. Apparently, there were a few fishermen who wanted to thank the virgin as they had been left unharmed in the face of an aggressive storm that unexpectedly emerged one morning while they were fishing. Grateful to be alive, they set out to seek the highest point possible on the coast, and built this hermitage in order to be able to venerate their virgin. Finally, they choose the mountain of San Benet for its construction, which to this day is visited in a habitual way by tourists, but also by many lovers of the hiking.
From the top of the mountain range, the Ermita de Santa Lucía in Alcocéber offers spectacular views, and from there you can see this vast panorama in the most beautiful views of the town, and also Peñíscola and even the Islands Columbretes.
Not long ago the Hermitage of Saint Lucia was restored in terms of its vaults, and also in terms of its roof, lighting, access and paintings.
The Ermitage and Sports Activities
From many points of the area, there are many ways to ascend the hermitage, especially by those who are used to the practice of hiking.
The climb is a simple stretch with very little difficulty, but it is dangerous to ride a bike. We would like to show an interesting itinerary that culminates to 312 meters in height.
From the town of Alcocéber you will find a series of very popular exits, known as the Pujà to Saint Lucia, or the Ascent to Saint Lucia. These routes are usually carried out in two ways: a competitive and a non-competitive way, so the first one gives a series of prizes for those who like to enjoy competing. Those who choose the first choice, carry out a march of 18.3 kilometers, with a positive difference of 730 meters. On the other hand, participants who do not opt for thecompetition way, but choose the slightly simpler route of 9.2 kilometers (if you are interested in participating in this race, we recommend that you keep an eye on the official website of Alcalà de Xivert, as at the moment there has not been a scheduled been given out).
These routes to the Ermita de Alcocéber have different categories: Absolute, Senior, Veteran, Local Master, Super Master Trophy and the Great Mountain Prize.
All of them, whether it’s option 1 or 2 of the competition and non-competition, usually meet very early in the center of Alcocéber to start the walk, which usually has a maximum duration of four hours. You will be faced with a long, though moderate, journey, in which the great protagonists are the spectacular views. This pleasant walk combines the beautiful landscapes with t pathways through the forest, which at all times has a pleasant smell of pine. The views of the sea from above are one of its greatest attractions.
You will also find some areas where it is worth taking a break. In fact, in the middle of the climb you will find the famous Torre Ebri, elevated up to 8 and a half meters high. Here you will find an interesting monument of which has evidence that dates its construction back to the 16th century, this could have been devised as a watch tower due to the constant attempts of invasions from the Barbary Pirates at the time. Continuing the ascent to the Hermitage of Saint Lucia, you cannot miss the more direct view to the greenish mountain of Campanilles, as well as other beautiful views somewhat further towards the Castle of Alcalà de Xivert, but also worthy of being photographed.
Even so, if you decide to carry out this beautiful and interesting adventure, do not forget to go well prepared and drink plenty of water, especially if the temperatures are high.
Do you dare to climb up to the hermitage?