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Sierra de Mariola
Valencia Connect > Travel > Valencia Region > Sierra de Mariola

The Sierra de Mariola stretches across both the province of Valencia and the province of Alicante and is renowned as one of Valencia's best kept secrets. This area is perfectly suited for  hiking, horseback riding and scenic driving. The small towns in these mountains with their historical centres are all worth visiting just to take a look around. The Sierra de Mariola is most famous for its “neveras” (deep cylinder shaped holes) where the villagers used to make ice out of snow. When the summer came they chopped up the ice in smaller pieces and transported it to the coast.

Near the Sierra de Mariola region lie some interesting towns. One of the highest towns in the Comunidad Valencia is Bocairent which is famous for its nearby 53 caves cut into the limestone cliff wall known as the “Caves of Arabic”. The origin and purpose of these caves are still a mystery. The city itself has the oldest bullfighting ring of the Comunidad Valencia. Just like some houses and monuments, it was hacked out of the surrounding rock. Otinyent is a much larger town, but has a small old quarter named “el Barrio de la Vila” which is worthy of a stop. Here you can walk through the small and charming alleys of the historical centre, see several remains of the old town wall and watchtowers and its impressive Santa Mari church which has a more than 71 meter high bell tower. Every year between the 22nd and 24th of April, Alcoy celebrates its liberation from the Arabs during the most famous Moros y Cristianos Festival (Moorish and Christians) of all Spain. Hundreds of locals dress up like Muslim and Christian soldiers and march through the city streets heading to the main square where re-enactments take place.

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