Blowing away the cobwebs with a lovely walk in the morning sun is definitely one of the pleasures anyone living in or visiting Spain can experience. The Elche reservoir walk is one we have done before, but over the last 12 months the local government have done a lot of work in upgrading paths and making it a very enjoyable thing to do.
There are several ways to access the path. If you are feeling particularly energetic there is a linear path that would take you a good few hours to complete the round trip from the centre of Elche. The municipal website is only available in Spanish and Valenciano, but there is an interactive map of the full route to help you out even if you can’t manage with the language.
We prefer to park at the picnic area (Merendero Municipal Del Pantano De Elche) and make our way down to the river. Then we take the paths which stay on the left side of the water traversing some narrow bridges (you can go down and back up again) and negotiating a short but dark tunnel, which you can avoid by following the path over the top of the hill! One drawback is that when you reach the reservoir you can walk along with beautiful views, but once at the orange groves you need to turn back.
You can also park where Google tags the Explanada del Pantano de Elche on the map at the bottom of this blog. From here the paths are new and very easy to follow. There is even a section where a waterway runs alongside the path edged by palm trees which is very atmospheric. A couple of new footbridges cross the river and this does allow you to begin on the rougher tracks we prefer and end up on the right side of the river. From there you will be rewarded with spectacular views of the water running over the edge of the dam. Some stone steps take you up to the waterside where a boardwalk has been constructed allowing you to continue your walk a little further. Ideally an additional boardwalk would take you over the the orange groves allowing for a circular walk, but there’s no sign of that happening!
If you do continue into the countryside at the end of the boardwalk, the rewards are definitely there for you. 20 minutes or so along the path and you will come across a series of stone aqueduct bridges. They are quite spectacular and definitely worth the extra effort.
As you can see, the views are amazing. It’s not a difficult walk, even less so if you choose the path on the right. You could also combine this day out with a trip to the strange rock designs at El Cau.