Find your trail running paradise in this sun-drenched Valencia province

Our guide to an idyllic outdoorsy getaway

Hoces del Turia

by Trail magazine |
Published on

With more than 300 days of sunshine every year, the mountainous Los Serranos province of Valencia is perfect for trail running enthusiasts – here’s why you should consider it for your next active holiday abroad.

Is this little-known Spanish province the hidden gem of Europe’s trail running destinations? Located to the north-west of the city of Valencia, in south-east Spain close to the Balearic Sea coast, Los Serranos is an interior Valencian district you’ve probably never heard of. But perhaps that should change, because this mountainous area is being billed as a must-visit destination for trail runners.

Sot de Chera Vistas desde Rope
©Region of Valencia

Loosely translated to English as either “the mountains”, “highlanders” or “men of the hills”, Los Serranos is as adventurous as the name suggests. Consisting of 19 small municipalities and covering an area of 1,400km2 with a very diverse mix of landscapes, Los Serranos is home to some of the highest mountains in the whole comunidades autónomas of Valencia, in the foothills of the Sierra Javalambre. It’s also home to dynamic river valleys, wild forests and so much more.

The local tourist board describes the area as follows: “a mountainous landscape, crossed by rivers and ravines, Los Serranos offers an ideal setting for lovers of hiking, climbing and observing native flora and fauna”. Plus the area receives a whopping 300 days of sunshine every year, so – unlike the grey and rainy UK – you’re likely to be trail running in glorious conditions, whether you head to Spain in the spring or summer, or for a winter sun break.

Sot de Chera Senal
©Region of Valencia

Los Serranos is well-known in Spain for its trail running terrain, which is ideal for both training and races. There are “countless trails of all distances and difficulties that cross the mountains”, according to Comunitat Valenciana (the local council), and “all of the paths are very well signposted”. But it’s not just about solo training. The area has a busy schedule of trail races, including the famous Ultra Trail Tuéjar – an annual mountain race in March, which challenges runners to complete 12km, 21km and 50km routes. The full ultra distance includes a lung-busting 2,200m of ascent.

Whether you’re visiting the municipalities of Chulilla, Sot de Chera, Aras de los Olmos, Calles, Villar del Arzobispo or the capital Chelva, there is so much adventure to be discovered in Los Serranos. One particular highlight is the Turia River, which meanders through narrow canyons to form a mesmerising landscape of gorges and waterfalls, with the beautiful Benagéber Reservoir at its epicentre.  But there are many other options too.

Chulilla puentes
©Region of Valencia

At the Chulilla Suspension Bridges, a thrilling adventure waits – you can travel along walkways suspended over the Turia River canyon, surrounded by the natural beauty of cliffs and rock formations. At Peña Cortada Aqueduct, an ancient Roman aqueduct in Chelva, you can explore tunnels carved into the rock, cross impressive bridges, and enjoy a unique landscape. Or for something a little more cultural, at El Morrón in Sot de Chera - the most flowery village in the region – you can walk (or run) to the viewpoint summit of El Morrón for panoramic views.

In other words, Los Serranos is perfectly set up for adventurous, active holiday-makers, with a geographical area “full of secrets to discover”, as the local tourist board boasts. For more information visit, and check out our top 4 reasons to consider Los Serranos for your next trail running holiday below.

4 reasons to go on a trail running holiday in Los Serranos

Senalizaciones senderos Chera
©Region of Valencia

1. Iconic trail running routes

This region has no shortage of epic trail running routes. Many are used for official races, but you can follow the same itineraries independently. Excellent options include the Trail de las Tres Culturas (a climb to the Pico de Chelva), the Turia Valley Trail in Gestalgar, the Bomba Trail in Alpuente  and the Chulilla Trail, to name but a few.

Affordable and regular flights are available to Valencia from a broad range of UK airports, including Bristol, London Gatwick and Manchester. Once in Spain, an excellent road network into the rural areas ensures your transfer to the Los Serranos mountains will be far from arduous.

Chulilla muralla
©Region of Valencia

3. Delicious local gastronomy

One of the pure joys of trail running is – after you’ve smashed out the miles – you can indulge in whatever food you fancy. And the options in Los Serranos are plentiful. Local delicacies and homemade products include migas, gazpacho serrano and homemade sausages.

4. Charming accommodation options

There is an excellent network of rural accommodations in Los Serranos. Whether you want to stay at a modern hotel, idyllic farm stay, boutique B&B or even a campsite, your accommodation choice will add a sense of homely, authentic comfort to your holiday in this part of Valencia.

Acueducto Pena Cortada
©Region of Valencia
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