Difficulty: Easy-medium, fairly short, though some narrow paths and one short steep down.
Good Walk for: Wildflowers in Spring; enjoying the villages; Bodega Jarel ; birding in the Poplar valley; seeing the farmed terraces of so many locals.
Distance: 2.5 Km to Canillas; 3 Km to Árchez
Options: On the way out you could make a small detour to visit Bodega Jarel.
Combine the Camino de Árchez route with this one to make a round trip.
For a longer walk do this route from Cómpeta and at the junction just after the Canillas San Antón chapel turned right and walk on the road down to the mill. From here follow the Cájula Valley Loop.
Description: Lovely walk through the terraced countryside. Come out of Cómpeta heading from the plaza along Calle San Antonio passing the chapel of San Antón. Just after this the road bends right; at the start of the curve find a little cobbled path leading down hill between weedy banks. After a few minutes you can find old concrete steps going down on the left. If you want to visit the Bodega Jarel winery go down these and follow the weedy path out past an open water tank (you may see frogs), down a couple more steps (be careful) to the main road. Cross this and turn left – in half a minute you are at the winery and can go into taste and buy wine. Come back up to the main route when you are finished!
Once you have past the steps you walk gently along on a terrace edge path; you can see the main road winding along on your left. You will see the dark line of conifers that edge a house that stand below you on a bend and in another 5 minutes you pass close behind the backs of two more houses before emerging onto the main road. To your right is the turning marked the Mosquin stables; straight ahead is the metal barrier of a road bridge beyond which is a valley full of lovely poplar trees (a friend calls this ‘Nightingale valley’, she has heard them here so often.) Cross over to the barrier, turn left and walk to the its end then another 10 paces and look on the right for a very overgrown poor little path that runs down towards those poplar trees. It can be hard to find but it is there. This is the only steeper bit; go carefully and watch out for brambles. Once you are among the trees cross to the ‘other side’ of the valley bottom and turn left putting your back to the road bridge. You follow a path which will shortly swing right and take you through avocado plantations; you see terraces going down into the valley. After 5 or 10 minutes you come to a track going downhill. Turn left and follow this just for a couple of minutes. When you are almost at a house called Casa La Naranjera you find the cement brick wall on your right ends and a path leads off from it – turn right to take this path.
This winds on very prettily, mainly on the level. You are walking along terrace edges so the paths are rather narrow in places but nothing too challenging. Eventually the pathway comes out just past a building (there’s normally a truck or two nearby) at the end of a track. Go forward onto this track, which heads slightly uphill. You will be shortly be able to see a rather sad burnt off palm stump. You come up to another track near this, with a pylon in front of you beside which is, you guessed it, the start of another footpath.
Take the footpath and follow it; with a couple of twists and turns it takes you most of the way. You have one more choice – a slight uphill or a small down – both paths will lead to the main road but I always take the lower (it is the low road, after all). You then come out onto the road just above Canillas’ San Antón and below the Canillas municipal swimming pool. Now you have a choice: you can turn right to walk up into Canillas (2 minutes) or can turn left to take the road walk down into Árchez. Or both, visiting Canillas first before going down into the lower village.
If you follow the road down to Árchez remember to bear left after the San Antón chapel and to be aware of traffic – this road gets quite a lot of use. The views are lovely. You will pass the ‘hobbit pods’ – unusual rental accomodation in a Gaudi style. After this there is the first of two traffic lights – you can cut into the town via steps down shortly after these, or keep going to the second set and turn into the little square there. Done!
The low road was the second half of the Flower Fiesta walk: you might have a read for some pictures of the flowers seen on that.