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article imageReview: Escape the Spanish Costa Heat : Fuentes de Algar Special

By Amanda Payne     Jul 16, 2012 in Travel
When most people think of Southern Spain and in particular the Costa Blanca, the first thing that comes to mind are the beautiful white beaches. However the traveller may soon tire of the sun and sand and look for something a little more interesting to do
The Fuentes del Algar are natural water falls situated inland from the popular tourist city of Benidorm, not far from the town of Callosa d’en Sarria. The drive up into the hills is very enjoyable, passing orchards and fields with a variety of produce. On arrival, down a narrow, twisty but fortunately reasonably well sign-posted road, the first thing the visitor is confronted with is choosing a parking area. There are several, with those furthest from the entrance tending to be slightly cheaper. Each is manned by an attendant who will keep an eye on your car whilst you visit the falls. It’s worth shopping around a little and perhaps haggling to ensure a good deal on car parking. Walk past the many bars and restaurants that have mushroomed around the falls to reach the main entrance.
Fuentes del Algar
Fuentes del Algar
There are a number of pathways around the falls, some leading through aromatic herbs, others up to the arboretum. Be aware that the paths are very steep and may be slippery. There is also a cactus garden with around five hundred different species of cacti to enjoy and a small environmental museum. All around are stalls selling local products, especially those made from the fruit of the Nispero tree (loquat) which is the main produce of the surrounding area. You will have driven past several Nispero orchards to reach the falls. Local honey is also a speciality.
Another view of one of the series of waterfalls
Another view of one of the series of waterfalls
Once you have negotiated your way up to the falls themselves, you will find that the climb is more than worthwhile as they really are spectacular. You may swim in some of the pools and changing facilities are available. Be aware though that even on the hottest summer day, the water is absolutely freezing cold. Although access to the pools has been improved recently, the stones in the pools themselves are very slippery so be careful.
You can swim in the pools under the falls  if you are brave enough; the water is freezing!
You can swim in the pools under the falls, if you are brave enough; the water is freezing!
There are picnic areas and brick built barbecues where you may enjoy your own food, if you have had the strength to carry supplies up the paths. There are child friendly restaurants and cafeterias within the falls area as well as those out by the parking areas. Benches have been provided at various points so that the weary may sit a while and enjoy the view.
Pretty waterfalls flowing into crystal clear pools
Pretty waterfalls flowing into crystal clear pools
The Fuentes del Algar (you may also see it spelt Fonts del Algar, which is the local Valencian dialect spelling) are a very popular tourist attraction, even featuring in a British television series, but make a pleasant and natural change from the heat and crowds of the beaches in summer.
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