Camino de Santiago is one of the most famous pilgrimage routes in Europe. The best known is the northern route. But there is also Camino de Sureste which leaves from Alicante. One of the first stops on the route is “Cueva de San Pascual” in Orito. A Small cave chapel on top of a hill in Orito, Monforte del Cid. According to one story it is a place where young couples go and ask for their blessings. The chapel can be reached by bike as well and I have to say that after going up the last very steep bit to the church you may well end up saying a few prayers.
The shortest way to get to Orito and Cueva de San Pascual is through Alenda Golf. You can get there either through El Rebolledo and/or La Alcoraya or via CV-850 from Elche. The first two routes I found more scenic but the latter maybe has fewer harder ramps to climb. Whichever way you choose you cannot avoid going uphill. Once you reach Alenda Golf ride almost to the top. Turn right just before the yellow townhouses on the right and continue onwards for couple of blocks. Then turn left to short steep ramp. At the bottom of the descent just after a speed-bump it’s a sharp right turn right to “Calle el Greco” So watch your speed. Ride through the vineyards until you reach at the end of the road where you turn right. You can see the Scallop symbols of the Camino at the signs on junctions.
The last 600m to the top are REALLY REALLY steep. So be aware. The first bit is over 15% gradient and it does not ease off much but the view on the top makes the effort worthwhile. You have fantastic vies to the sea on one side and the valley and mountains on the other. Unfortunately there isn’t a cafeteria at the top but there are a few down in Orito
For the return journey you can always re-trace your cookie trail back to home. Alternatively you can follow the small caminos through the vineyards of Monforte and connect to CV -847 and return through Aspe or Font del Llop golf-course and Elche.
For the mountainbikers: The local bikeshop For Riders does MTB-rides regularly to Orito and Cueva De San Pascual so keep an eye out for their rides to this location on their FB-page.
Whole ride https://www.strava.com/activities/1003294103 through El Rebolledo and return through CV-850
Distance for the full route approx. 80km depending on the route. Moving time approx. 3½ hours.
Difficulty: Medium/Hard (hard for the last climb to the Cueva)
Route: Rebolledo – Alenda Golf – Cueva de San Pascual – Vineyards – CV-850 – Elche – Gran Alacant
You can find several weekly rides from facebook group or you can post in search for company or route. “Gran Alacant Road Cyclist (Bici Gran Alacant)” and local bike shop For Riders have events on their facebook page.
Few things to keep in mind:
Always have something to drink with you and for a bit longer rides maybe a banana or mueslibar.
Always have a little money if you need to stop to buy food or drink.
Take the phone with you.
And the most important. Wave to the fellow – cyclists