- Region: Valencian Community
- Province: Alicante
- Declared a Natural Park: 1987
- Park surface area: 2298 hectares
- Towns and villages: Alcoy, Ibi
Points of interest
Located in the region of La Hoya de Alcoy in the north of the province of Alicante and between the municipalities of Alcoy and Ibi, the Carrascar de la Font Roja Natural Park is made up by the mountainous terrain of of El Alto de San Antonio (L’Alt de Sant Antoni), El Carrascar de la Font Roja and La Teixereta. The summit of the Sierra del Menejador at 1,356 m is the highest point in the protected area.
Due to the harsh and rugged terrain here, intensive agricultural practices have always been limited but during the 18th century, the snow trade played an important role in the mountain regions, which led to the birth of the ice cream industry in Jijona and other nearby municipalities and there are six snow wells present in the natural park that can be visited.
In the area of the Sanctuary of the Font Roja is the hermitage dedicated to the Virgen de los Lirios and an old hotel that is now into the visitor center and park offices.
Other nearby places of interest and worth a visit are:
- Cave paintings of “La Sarga“.
- Iberian villages of “Puig” and “La Serreta“.
- The snow pits.
- Charcoal kilns and lime kilns.
- Hermitage of “Sant Antoni“.
- Hermitage of “Sant Pascual“.
- Municipal Natural Area of ”Racó de Sant Bonaventura-Canalons“.
- The mountain area of “La Serreta“.
- Beauty spot “Barranc del Sinc“.
- Beauty “Sant Cristòfol“.
Find a hotel close to the Carrascar de la Font Roja Natural Park
In the Carrascar de la Font Roja Natural Park there are some exclusive endemisms such as the Mariola salvia (Salvia blancoana ssp mariolensis) and others with a very limited distribution area including Candytuft (Iberis carnosa ssp hegelmaieri), Valencian pea (Lathyrus tremolsianus), saxifraga (Saxifraga corsica ssp cossoniana) and “Pebrella” (Thymus piperella) a variety of wild thyme which grows in the mountains of the north of Alicante and south of Valencia. (The flavour is similar to a combination of thyme, oregano and savoury and it is used mainly with meat dishes.)
Aleppo pines (Pinus halepensis) are the dominant tree species along with shrubs of Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), Gorse (Genista scorpius), Rockroses (Cistus sp) and heathers. Other tree types are Holm oak (Quercus ilex), Portuguese Oak (Q. faginea), Manna Ash (Fraxinus ornus), Maple (Acer opalus ssp granatense), Field Elm (Ulmus minor) and Laurustinus (Viburnum tinus) intermingled with Butcher’s broom (Ruscus aculeatus) and Honeysuckle.
There are many species of raptors to look out for, the endangered Bonelli’s eagle, Golden, Booted and Short-toed eagles, Common buzzard, Peregrine falcon, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and Goshawk. Nocturnal raptors include Eagle, Long-eared, Tawny, Scops, Barn and Little owls. Common birds of the locality are Chaffinch, Serin, Robin, Great-tit, Red-legged partridge and Green woodpecker.
Mammals are less likely to be observed as they are generally nocturnal, never the less within the park are Wild boar, Wild cat, Badger and Fox, smaller ones include Stone marten, Weasel, Genet and Rabbit.
Amphibians and reptiles within the area are Iberian water frog (Rana perezi), Iberian spiny toad (Bufo spinosus), Iberian wall lizard (Podarcis hispanica), Spanish Psammodromus (Psammodromus hispanicus), Spanish sand racer (Psammodromus algirus), Ocellated lizard (Timon lepida), Viperine snake (Natrix maura), Ladder snake (Elaphe scalaris), Montpellier snake (Malpolon monspessulanus), Horseshoe whip snake (Hemorrhois hippocrepis) and Lataste’s viper (Vipera latastei).
The two most popular walking routes in the Carrascar de la Font Roja Natural Park
- Menejador peak : This route is about 6.5 km long and takes about 2.5 hours Rest and view points are Cova Gelada, Pla de la Mina, Pla dels Galers, Mirador de Pilatos, Mas de Tetuán, Cava Coloma and of course the peak of el Menejador.
- Barranc de l’Infern: This route is about 5 km long and usually takes about 2 hours. It crosses the northern side of the mountain between 950 and 1.190 meters. Rest and view points are Cova Gelada, Pla de la Mina, Pla dels Galers and Barranc de l’Infern.
Centro de Visitantes Carrascar de la Font Roja Natural Park
The visitor center and management offices of the Carrascal de la Font Roja Natural Park are located next to the Sanctuary and Font Roja itself, about 8.5 km from Alcoy following the CV-797.
Entrance is free and there is a variety of material available on the environmental and cultural values of the protected area: thematic panels, a small botanical garden, audiovisuals, photographic exhibitions, models, biological samples, fossils, etc.
The official website for the Carrascar de la Font Roja Natural Park is: https://parquesnaturales.gva.es/es/web/pn-font-roja/centro-visitantes
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