With my husband Olli-Pekka and our 3 dogs we live in Gran Alacant and enjoy the brilliant Mediterranean climate and possibility of discovering new hiking routes all over our Alicante province and sometimes even a bit further.
Ironically, I have a fear of heights, but I love the views from tops of the mountains too much to stay away. Our dogs are getting older so all the hikes need to be suitable for them too as they always go on our adventures with us. I also love photography and always take load of pictures from our hikes.
This month we chose to visit the Cruz de la Muela which offers most spectacular views.
How to get there: The trail we took to the cross starts from the middle of the street Calle Alicante M Pinar, 14, 03316 Orihuela, Alicante. Insert that to your Google Maps and you should drive there in 40-45 minutes from Gran Alacant.
Don’t walk up the street towards the hill. The route starts towards the lemon trees. Continue the street Calle Orense M Pinar to the campo and that’s where the trail is. After you get on the right path, it’s very well marked. If you are unsure if you’ll find it, go during the weekend. I bet there’s loads of people walking towards the lemon trees.
I found some very interesting history of the cross online: The cross is made of iron and weighs 1,200 kg. Dimensions are 14,8 meters in height, almost 8 meters of arms, supported by a cement base of 1.60 meters.
The cross has been related to the Dominican Valencian saint Vicente Ferrer, who in a sermon, in his passage through Orihuela in 1411, have said: “Devout Oriolans, my children, I am certain that on that high mountain dwell many demons, who with their infernal cunning will cause innumerable spiritual and temporal ruins among you. If you want to be free of them, place there the sovereign banner of the Most Holy Cross”.
It is not known if the cross was originally built on land and then taken on the top of the mountain or if it was carved from a leafy olive tree on the same top. However, we must wait until 1715 to have a reference of the first wooden cross.
Time and man has destroyed the symbol on more than one occasion. The Blessed Oriolino Inocencio Carretero proposed in 1910 the manufacture of a large iron cross, which disappeared during the years of the civil war. In 1942 it was placed again, (of iron) until the 2nd of January in 1985 it was mysteriously cut by “uncontrolled barbarians” and thrown from the top.
That same year it was rebuilt by popular demand and placed there again by an army helicopter.
We think this is a very interesting place and a very nice hike. We climbed to 465m above the sea level. It took us 2 hours and 40 minutes from the car to be back at the car. Coming down took us about 1 hour. Mind you, we walk with 3 dogs and take breaks to drink water.
The area where the cross is kind of small and it has some steep hills looking down. I admit the first time got nearly panicky. Next times it was easier.
The views from this hike are spectacular and city of Orihuela is close by so
I recommend to have a stroll there too.
Next month we go on foot again.
Heidi & Olli
Always when going on hikes check that:
Your Mobile Phone is fully charged
Water – climbing up is hard job & you will need it
Snacks (Remember to take all the garbage back down with you!)
Have good shoes for walking
Have small first aid kit with you
Have layered clothes. Up hill might be
– very windy and cold, even on a warm day.
– Coming down might be chilly, so extra dry
– t-shirt to change into if needed is not a bad idea
Always tell someone where you are going and when you’ll approx. be coming back